When genomic sequencing is added to a patient’s care, the initial costs can be considerable, but they don’t appear to climb over time. For example, costs related to follow-up tests don’t seem to proliferate. Even the initial costs are mostly due to DNA sequencing itself, not the various activities involved in integrating sequencing into the clinical setting.
These conclusions came from a study that considered only short-term healthcare costs. It did not account for how long-term healthcare costs might be decreased by genomic sequencing, even though genomic sequencing promises to reduce such costs by enabling prevention and early treatment.
The study (“Short-term costs of integrating genome sequencing into clinical care: Preliminary results from the MedSeq Project”) was presented October 9, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in Baltimore. It assumed a third-party payer perspective using medical record data and price weights from Medicare reimbursement schedules.
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