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The value of genetic testing: beyond clinical utility.

Lerner B, Marshall N, Oishi S, Lanto A, Lee M, Hamilton AB, Yano EM, Scheuner MT. The value of genetic testing: beyond clinical utility. Genetics in Medicine : Official Journal of The American College of Medical Genetics. 2017 Jul 1; 19(7):763-771.

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the value of genetic testing from the perspective of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinical leadership. METHODS: We administered an Internet-based survey to VA clinical leaders nationwide. Respondents rated the value (on a 5-point scale) of each of six possible reasons for genetic testing. Bivariate and linear regressions identified associations between value ratings and environmental, organizational, provider, patient, and encounter characteristics. RESULTS: Respondents (n = 353; 63% response rate) represented 92% of VA medical centers. Tests that inform clinical management had the highest value rating (58.6%), followed by tests that inform disease prevention (56.4%), reproductive options (50.1%), life planning (43.9%), and a suspected (39.9%) or established (32.3%) diagnosis. Factors positively associated with high value included a culture that fosters adoption of genomics, specialist versus primary care provider, genetic tests available on laboratory menus, availability of genetic testing guidelines, clinicians knowing when to request genetics referrals, and availability of genetics professionals. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate the varied value of genetic testing from the perspective of clinical leadership within a health-care system. Engaging organizational leadership in understanding the various reasons for genetic testing and its value beyond clinical utility may increase adoption of genetic tests to support patient-centered care.Genet Med advance online publication 15 December 2016.

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