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Are We Asking the Right Questions About Genetic Tests?

January 7, 2015

Hayes, Inc. resource aids payers and providers when making decisions about performing genetic tests

Lansdale, PA—With thousands of genetic tests on the market, patients and their healthcare providers have more tools than ever to detect harmful changes in a person’s genes that might be associated with life-threatening conditions. Nevertheless, genetic testing is not right for every patient, nor does every genetic test on the market today deliver information that enables providers to better manage their patients. 11 Questions to Ask When Making Genetic Testing Coverage Decisions, the latest white paper from Hayes, Inc. highlights issues to consider when deciding whether or not a genetic test is the right option.

“As genetic testing technology rushes headlong toward the use of advanced approaches such as whole exome or whole genome sequencing for clinical purposes, it becomes increasingly more difficult to determine when and for whom genetic testing is indicated,” says Dr. Diane Allingham-Hawkins, PhD, FCCMG, FACMG, Senior Director of the Hayes Genetic Test Evaluation Program. “Our latest white paper outlines a series of questions that can be applied to a wide variety of genetic tests to help payers and providers decide whether or not a genetic test should be performed.”

Hayes, Inc. advises payers and providers to question not only whether the test is appropriate for the patient, but to ask about the limitations of the test as well as the scientific evidence supporting the technical and clinical performance of the genetic test. “It is important to understand what a particular test will, and will not, do,” says Dr. Allingham-Hawkins. “Many tests have less than 100% sensitivity and specificity. That is, there may be false-negative and false-positive results. We need to consider the implications of these incorrect results on the patient. But more importantly, the results of genetic testing should enable the healthcare provider to more effectively medically manage the patient.”

Download your complimentary copy of 11 Questions to Ask When Making Genetic Testing Coverage Decisions today to read more about the multiple considerations to take into account to avoid the financial, operational, and emotional consequences of performing unnecessary testing.