SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Genome Medical announced today the launch of programs designed to allow employer groups to offer genetic services and physician-guided genetic testing to their employees through its national network of clinical genetic experts.
Improving access to genetic information is an important part of today's health care. The programs available through Genome Medical allow employers to facilitate access while remaining compliant with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), by offering employees the opportunity to consult independently and confidentially with Genome Medical providers.
With approximately 7,000 inherited genetic disorders and only about 6,000 practicing genetic experts in the United States, finding and accessing the right expert can be a challenge, and wait times for an appointment can be long. In addition, research shows that non-genetic specialist doctors have an order error rate for genetic testing that is three times the error rate of genetics specialists.
"Many individuals have a family history suggestive of an inherited condition such as cancer or heart disease, but lack guidance from their own providers about how to evaluate these risks," said Dr. Robert C. Green, a company co-founder and medical geneticist at Harvard Medical School. "Employer programs that provide their employees with confidential access to independent genetics experts can help these individuals and their families benefit from evaluation and testing that meet established recommendations."
Employers are taking an increased interest in employee benefit packages that can lead to improved health and well-being, as well as more efficient management of employee health care costs. Genome Medical now offers the following programs for employer groups:
Genetic Medical Services Genome Medical can help identify individuals at risk for an inherited disease or condition who would qualify for genetic testing under current medical guidelines and insurance coverage. Services include genetic counseling, genetic test ordering when indicated, simplified sample collection, medical case management and referrals as needed.
Proactive Health Programs Research shows that a small percentage of the population is carrying a known genetic marker for an illness where early knowledge of risk could lead to preventive care and more informed treatment options. Genome Medical offers family history assessment and proactive genetic screening for actionable genetic conditions to help individuals learn of genetic risks and take appropriate action. The program includes: detection of changes in genes associated with heritable cancers, cardiovascular disease and blood disorders; assessment of how genes affect response to anesthesia and other medications; and carrier testing for family planning and reproductive health.
Genetics Resource Center The Genome Medical Resource Center provides an easily accessible, national network of genetic experts to employees. Using interactive tools, real-time chat services and a telehealth platform, individuals can ask questions and explore options across the full spectrum of genetic topics and conditions.
Genome Medical Second Opinion Employees can turn to the Genome Medical Second Opinion program for an expert opinion on any genetic-related diagnosis or treatment plan. Genome Medical's network includes physician leaders across multiple specialties at top medical institutions who can provide expert second opinions. To ensure proper follow-up and appropriate care, the team at Genome Medical can advise patients on the best course of action, particularly for cases with high complexity, and make appropriate referrals to ensure the very best care is delivered.
"Recent studies suggest that many patients who meet guidelines for genetic testing are not receiving appropriate genetic services," said Lisa Alderson, co-founder and CEO of Genome Medical. "Genome Medical employer programs can accelerate access to the standard of care in genetics by providing another avenue to identify individuals for whom a genetic test might be beneficial. In addition, employees can gain access to information that helps them be proactive about their health. And having healthier employees is in the interest of all employers."
All of Genome Medical's employer group services are available online, including video or phone telemedicine consultations and live or on-demand educational webinars to efficiently address employee questions and provide the education necessary for informed consent to testing. Genetic counseling is offered in all 50 states, and physician services are available in 30 states (covering nearly three-quarters of the U.S. population) and expanding rapidly.
Additional information about Genome Medical's genetic health programs for employers is available by contacting [email protected].
About Genome Medical Genome Medical is a nationwide genomics medical practice bringing genetics to everyday life. Our clinical team provides expert genetic health care for individuals and their families to improve health and well-being. We also help clinicians and their patients navigate the rapidly expanding field of genetic testing and use test results to understand the risk for disease, accelerate disease diagnosis, make informed treatment decisions and lower the cost of care. Genome Medical is headquartered in San Francisco and is backed by Canaan Partners, GE Ventures, Illumina Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and HealthInvest Equity Partners. To learn more, visit www.genomemedical.com.