Karen Lewis Discusses the Challenges of the Rapid Expansion of Genetic Testing in Healthcare

Karen Lewis, MS, MM, CGC, medical policy administrator and genetic counselor at Priority Health, said that providers are engaging in genetic testing, but they are doing so in "an uninformed fashion."

Karen Lewis, MS, MM, CGC, medical policy administrator and genetic counselor at Priority Health, said that providers are engaging in genetic testing, but they are doing so in “an uninformed fashion.” The challenge for providers is that the field is growing “exponentially,” and many providers often get information in “snippets.” Often, they do not have the time to do research to find out if a given test has “true clinical utility,” Lewis said, meaning, that it goes beyond being accurate and changes the way a physician makes treatment decisions.

Can genetic testing improve patient care and still lower costs? Yes, Lewis said, because over time, “we are able to identifying patients who can benefit from testing that has true clinical utility.” Lewis said she is trying to identify more people who can benefit from testing and eliminate those who have no benefit from testing.