Three highlights from “The future of genetic testing,” a webinar with Randy Scott, chairman at Invitae

Randy Scott, PhD, recently presented a webinar The future of genetic testing: Making genetic information more affordable and accessible for all.

In case you missed it, we’ve compiled the top three highlights from the webinar. Read on for the highlights or watch the entire recording.

1. Our vision: Affordable genetic testing for all

Genomic technology is getting faster, better, and cheaper. As the costs continue to fall, high-quality, affordable genetic testing and diagnostic-quality genetic information will be housed on one platform and delivered to inform healthcare decisions throughout life. In fact, the long-term role of genetics in medicine is diagnostic-quality proactive testing.









2. Where are we now: Why are barriers still so high for access?

There are several major reasons why barriers to genetic testing are still so high:

  • Society is often willing to pay outrageous prices for drugs but seldom understands how to value information that would direct more effective therapy.
  • The healthcare reimbursement system is increasingly overwhelmed by new technology, and its molecular CPT coding system often obscures obscene pricing games by labs that stack codes in hopes of a big payout.
  • Payer medical policies on genetic testing are often outdated and slow to evolve, even years after the medical standard of care has changed.
  • The end result is that many current medical insurance policies ration outdated technology at high prices while limiting or denying access to more comprehensive genetic testing at lower costs.

3. A call to action: How do we work together to create a better ecosystem for genetics?

If you believe in an affordable, accessible healthcare system, what can you do to influence the decisions that impact speed and the quality of care?

1. Ask your lab about pricing, specifically about their billing practices and patient-pay pricing options when coverage is denied by payers. Support labs that are consistent with making high-resolution genetic testing more affordable and accessible to patients.

2. Demand that medical guidelines are rapidly updated to meet improvements in standard of care.

3. Demand that payer coverage policies line up with guidelines, and pre-authorization requirements do not create artificial barriers to access for appropriate patients.

4. Encourage transparency in sharing of genetic variant data in ClinVar and other public databases to ensure quality care across the industry.

If we as a genetics industry lead, the world will follow.

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