Patients avoid genetic tests, fearing insurer backlash

As FierceHealthcare readers know, researchers soon hope to tailor treatments to patients based on their genetic profile. The thing is, it will be hard to do that if patients are reluctant to take genetic tests. Unfortunately, though, it appears that this is just what many are doing, afraid that such results will be used against them by insurers, according to a recent report in The New York Times. And while a bill outlawing genetic discrimination was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year, it hasn't reached the Senate yet.

Meanwhile, patient fears may be well-founded. One study by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute found that in 7 out of 92 hypothetical underwriting decisions, insurers said they would deny coverage, charge higher premiums or exclude some conditions from coverage based on genetic test results.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this FierceBioResearcher piece
- read the piece in The New York Times

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