Spending on genetic, molecular testing expected to rise quickly

Posted March 26, 2012

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An analysis of spending on genetic and molecular testing by UnitedHealth Group suggests that the cost of those tests may have reached $5 billion in 2010 and could hit $25 billion by 2021.

The company released a report in March that included analysis of its claims data and results of a survey of patients and physicians regarding genetic tests. Physicians said they had recommended genetic testing for an average of 4% of their patients in the past year. About 75% of physicians said they had patients who would benefit from such tests but hadn’t yet received one.

Doctors were worried about the cost of such tests: 59% said they were very concerned about how patients would pay for the tests, and 21% said they were worried about their payment for genetic tests. More than half of physicians said they believed the net effect of genetic testing would be to increase health care spending. Nineteen percent believed it would reduce health care spending. The report is online(link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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