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Increased Coverage

More insurers are willing to cover whole-exome sequencing, Dark Daily reports. While most coverage decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, Cigna and Geisinger Health Plan have adopted policies regarding WES coverage, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Whole-exome sequencing is becoming more common, Dark Daily's Dava Stewart writes, as physicians learn about its applications and as its becomes cheaper. At the same time, insurers are becoming more open to covering whole-exome sequencing as there's increased evidence for it as a diagnostic tool and as some studies have indicated that whole-exome sequencing can be cheaper than multiple single-gene tests. Still, she notes that many of the coverage decisions are "subject to quite a few caveats."

"As more insurers opt to cover WES, more physicians will utilize whole-exome sequencing in support of patient care," Stewart adds. "That would open the door for medical laboratories that perform WES to deliver more value to physicians, patients, and payers."