US report on genetic testing services and reimbursement

9 May 2006

The US Health and Human Services Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society (SACGHS) has released a report, Coverage and Reimbursement of Genetic Tests and Services. SACGHS provides policy advice to the NIH Department of Health and Human Services on the complex medical, ethical, legal, and social issues arising from the development and use of genetic technologies, including genetic tests.

The new report outlines current provision of genetic testing services and policies concerning coverage and reimbursement, making recommendations for improving the present system in both the public and private sectors. This includes establishing a task group to develop guidelines for coverage decision-making, with a particular focus on the issue of testing for very rare genetic diseases. The group would also assess current evidence to establish the analytical validity, clinical validity, and clinical utility of available genetic tests, and identify any areas in which further evidence is required (see OrphaNews report).

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