As Sequencing Moves into Clinical Use, Insurers Balk

Once strictly the domain of research labs, gene-sequencing tests increasingly are being used to help understand the genetic causes of rare disease, putting insurance companies in the position of deciding whether to pay the $5,000 to $17,000 for the tests.

Aimee Robeson just wants an answer.

Her son, Christian, was born in 2010 with multiple, mysterious syndromes that leave him unable to speak, chew, or walk on his own.

Initial genetic tests failed to provide a diagnosis. Aimee's hopes are now pinned on a new test called exome sequencing that searches all the protein-making genes for glitches that could explain Christian's condition.

Once strictly the domain of research labs, gene-sequencing tests increasingly are being used to help understand the genetic causes of rare disease, putting insurance companies in the position of deciding whether to pay the $5,000 to $17,000 for the tests.

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Source: Reuters