Frequently Asked Questions
Do most health insurance/ Medicare/ Medicaid policies pay for pharmacogenetic testing?
Yes, testing is often covered when a patient is prescribed one or more implicated medications for certain medical conditions. Generally speaking, cardiology, pain management, and behavioral health patients are currently receiving the best coverage results.
What is the cash price for pharmacogenetic testing?
What happens if a patient's policy refuses to cover the cost of testing?
Helix Personalized Medicine is proud to partner with laboratories that put the patient first! If coverage is denied (or partially denied) patients may be billed for the remaining balance. Our lab partners do offer financial assistance programs to provide relief for patients who are balance billed and experiencing financial hardship on a case by case basis.
How many genes are analysed in the PRIMER Panel?
Our PRIMER panel currently analyzes 14 critical genes that are responsible for the metabolism and biotransformation of more than 90% of all prescribed medications. Part of our criteria for a gene to be incorporated as part of the PRIMER panel is the development of relevant, consensus backed dosage adjustment guidelines for medications that are metabolized by the gene of interest (for all documented phenotypes).
How often are medication plan alterations recommended after pharmacogenetic testing is performed?
Alternative medications and/or dosage adjustments are recommended in approximately 50% of all cases.
How long does it take to receive test results?
Typical turnaround time for lab results is 5-7 business days.
What happens to patient DNA sample after testing is concluded?
Once the testing procedure has been concluded, all personal identifying information is removed from patient samples. These samples are then stored by our lab partners and used for research purposes (such as statistical analysis on future genes of interest). This is critical to the development of consensus backed dosage adjustment guidelines that we feel are necessary in order to provide sufficient data for doctors to act on.
Why is a Doctor's order required for pharmacogenetic testing?
Unlike ancestry DNA tests that can be performed without a prescription, pharmacogenetic test results often suggest medication plan adjustments. The FDA and Helix Personalized Medicine both believe that any medication plan alteration needs to be done under the watchful eye of a qualified Medical Doctor.
Why is pharmacogenetic testing not mandated before receiving prescription medications?
This type of testing has only been FDA approved since 2005 and it is still very new in many fields of medicine. Pharmacogenetic testing protocols are quickly becoming a new standard of care in modern medicine. At Helix Personalized Medicine we believe that this test should and will ultimately be incorporated as a key component of standard newborn health screenings.
Which medications are analysed in the PRIMER Panel?