Future Medical Care Demands No Insurance Contingencies
Gene-based medicine holds the key to improving health care outcomes and reducing costs, but only if individuals feel confident to undergo tests, according to national health care experts today at the Personalized Health Care National Conference hosted by The Ohio State University Medical Center.
"The only way to get to personalized health care is for people to get tested, which they won't do as long as they fear the results could be held against them forever in terms of access to health care," said Lisa Salberg, president of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association, during a panel discussion about the challenges of moving personalized health care forward. "We need to eliminate pre-existing conditions in all health insurance policies in the U.S., period."
Salberg said genetic testing will need to be covered by insurance in the future the same way routine tests such as blood work and echocardiograms are covered now. Genetic testing reports will also have to be presented in a relevant format that family physicians can understand and apply to individual patients.
The American health care system is undergoing significant change as a result of advances in gene-based medicine, said Dr. Wiley "Chip" Souba, vice president of health sciences and dean of Ohio State's College of Medicine. Public policy and regulation will require radical adjustment, he said.
"The science of personal health care has arrived," said Souba. "Our responsibility is to translate it into personalized patient care."