(Reuters Health) – While many primary care providers believe genetic tests to assess risk for common chronic diseases might prove useful in treating patients, a recent study also suggests they’re worried that steep out-of-pocket costs may limit who can be tested.In a survey of 488 doctors in community and academic practices in New York City, 74 percent of physicians thought genetic tests that could flag a higher than average risk for specific diseases were clinically useful, and 70 percent expected these tests to improve clinical outcomes for patients within the next five years.But even though four in five of the survey participants had received some formal genetics training, only one-third had ordered any genetic test, given results to a patient or referred a patient for genetic counseling in the past year.Insurance may be part of the problem. Four in five doctors said they didn’t expect insurance to cover genetic tests within the next five years. And, half of physicians worried that insurers might use genetic test results to deny coverage or charge higher premiums to patients.”If insurance does not cover costs, this can further widen disparities in access to genetic testing by keeping them the purview of patients who have… Read full this story
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