A First-Hand Look at the Challenges of Genetic Testing and CV Care

With the sequencing of the human genome and further genetic research underway, there are increasing opportunities to target treatments to individuals instead of one-size-fits-all therapies.

Proponents of this type of "personalized medicine" see potential cost-saving and patient safety benefits. However, others raise concerns about the limited data available to prove these benefits and cost savings.

One of the biggest hurdles to personalized medicine is that in most cases genetic tests are not covered by private or public health plans. A recent case in Indiana provides a first-hand example of this challenge. CardioSource had the opportunity to talk with Michael Mirro, MD, FACC, about a recent case where Wellpoint Inc. had repeatedly denied a family’s repeated requests for DNA testing for its three children to see if they have the same genetic mutation for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as their father. Wellpoint had called the test, which is more than 99 percent accurate in determining which children have the gene mutation, experimental and not medically necessary. In a recent reversal, however, Wellpoint issued letters to Dr. Mirro and the family saying it would make an exception and pay for the tests.

Watch the video above and share your thoughts on this subject.

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