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Aims to provide evidence-based information to reduce misuse of genetic testing
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- InformedDNA, the largest independent provider of genetic counseling services, released today a white paper that provides clarity on the appropriate use of genetic testing. Use of these diagnostic tests is growing rapidly, but inappropriate testing has negative consequences for individuals and the U.S. health care system.
The paper, titled Genetic Counseling: Connecting Patients to the Power of Genetics and authored by Rebecca Sutphen, M.D., FACMG, Amber Trivedi, M.S., CGC, and Kelle Steenblock, M.S., CGC, discusses the complexity of testing, gaps in physician understanding, issues regarding access, current guidelines, and the role of trained genetics specialists in helping patients maximize the effectiveness of genetic testing, while avoiding unnecessary, wasteful testing.
"Genetic counseling provided by trained specialists can bridge the gap between patients and the appropriate use of genetic testing. It provides an evidence-based solution that allows specialists to ensure the right patient gets the right test," said Sutphen, President and Chief Medical Officer of InformedDNA. "The results of a genetic test can also have an enormous impact on future health care-related choices. Genetics specialists help patients evaluate their results and make more informed choices based on the best and most current information available."
While genetic testing can provide a life-saving service, it only paints a partial picture of a patient's health risks. In order to accurately determine a patient's risk-profile, the following steps are taken by genetic specialists:
However, there are gaps in physician knowledge of genetics and with more than 10,000 genetic tests available, it's not surprising that as many as half of tests are ordered inappropriately. Misuse of genetic testing can carry a number of unintended consequences. In 2010, annual spending on genetic testing eclipsed $5 billion and could reach $25 billion within a decade. As payers continue to look for ways to reduce costs, consulting with genetic specialists can safeguard insurers against paying for diagnostics that are not medically useful, while also improving quality of care.
"Inappropriate testing can have unintended consequences for patients, even beyond their individual health," said Steenblock, InformedDNA's Senior Vice President for Clinical Services. "Genetic counselors help patients navigate these difficult issues."
InformedDNA helps individuals and health care providers accurately interpret family health history and genetics, bringing the promise of personalized healthcare to life. InformedDNA is the authority on the appropriate use of genetic testing – leveraging the expertise of the largest network of independent genetic specialists to help ensure health plans, hospitals, employers, community clinicians and patients all have access to the highest quality genetic services. InformedDNA's key offerings include clinical genetic counseling, genetic testing utilization management, and personalized hereditary risk assessment and prevention solutions. www.informeddna.com
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