DNA sequencing as standard preventative care. Are we there yet?

| | May 17, 2018

Geisinger doctors will soon start offering patients DNA sequencing as part of routine preventative care, the Danville, Pennsylvania-based health system's president and CEO Dr. David Feinberg announced...at the HLTH Conference in Las Vegas.

Feinberg says they believe sequencing the exomes, the parts of the genome that give instructions for making proteins, at cost of $300-$500 per patient will be cost effective by catching disease earlier or eliminating disease altogether. He gave the example of familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. One in 250 people have the condition, and guidelines say should it be treated starting at age 8, Feinberg says, but “nobody knows who has it because nobody is testing broadly besides us.”

Patients won’t pay for sequencing, even if they’re not on Geisinger insurance. The health system will foot the bill for sequencing with donor funding and funds from its insurance business as a quality initiative to see if the testing really is cost-effective. Any additional care the patient gets connected to test results will still be billed.

"We think by scaling it we’ll hopefully more quickly show the cost-effectiveness of it, and it will become pretty obvious that everybody should be getting this,” Feinberg said.

Read full, original post: Geisinger Says DNA Sequencing As Preventative Care Is Ready For The Clinic

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