We hear a lot about the wonders of genetic testing, how it can revolutionize medicine and find cures for fatal diseases.
A new study from the University of Michigan also shows how it can waste a half a billion dollars a year.
Unnecessary medical care is estimated to cost the United States between $750 billion and $1 trillion dollars a year, accounting for nearly a third of its overall spending on health care. Wasteful testing is one of the primary drivers of those costs.
Dr. Nitin Damle, president of the American College of Physicians, said it’s important for doctors to have conversations with their patients about the pros and cons of particular tests, to help weed out the ones that don’t offer a clinical benefit.
He noted, however, that many patients still want to have tests to understand their medical issues or predispositions they might pass to children. In those cases, it is appropriate for patients to pay out of pocket, instead of billing the government or private insurers. “That’s not an easy conversation to have to have with patients,” Damle said. “But if they’re not following the science, payers shouldn’t necessarily be responsible for covering that.”
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Genetic test costs taxpayers $500 million a year, with little to show for it