Economic Considerations for Health Insurance Coverage of Emerging Genetic Tests
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Public and private health insurance plans face the question of whether to cover emerging genetic tests for cancer and other diseases. This paper outlines issues in the economic evaluation of new genetic tests, illustrating key methodological issues and policy implications with findings from a comprehensive and systematic review of the 14 full economic evaluations published over the past 5 years that have addressed both the costs and consequences of molecular genetic tests. Key questions for framing an evaluation include: whose viewpoint matters, which costs and consequences are relevant, and to which clinical alternatives should new genetic tests be compared? While economic evaluation research can inform coverage decisions about genetic tests, the coverage decision-making process must also inform economic researchers about the aims, context, and value systems within which genetic tests will be covered and practised.
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