WASHINGTON — Fifteen Democrats in Congress are seizing on momentum in the field of precision medicine, penning a letter Tuesday to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price urging increased patient access to genetic testing.
The letter was sent on the same day the Personalized Medicine Coalition hosted a congressional briefing, which featured Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts, a Democrat.
Glad to see some political momentum behind this. We published a randomized controlled trial last month showing a 52% readmission reduction, 42% ER reduction, and 85% mortality reduction saving an estimated $4382 per high risk polypharmacy patient in only 60-days – yet Medicare is not covering the technology. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0170905
Nice study, but the reality in the US there has actually been a trend away from insurance companies paying for predictive testing. The new regulations require that an ICD-10 disease code be written on every physician written for an ordered test. For example when my doctor ordered a screening aortic ultrasound he had to code it as “aortic aneurysm”. Let’s say you had a severe drug induced hemolytic anemia resulting in a $50,000 hospitalization that might have been prevented by pharmacogenetic screening. The insurer would not balk at paying for the hospitalization buy not pay for the screening test to prevent it.
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