Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Not Needed, and Pricey

Unneeded genetic tests may be costing the US public upwards of $500 million a year, Stat News reports.

Researchers from the University of Michigan note in a Journal of Hospital Medicine review that testing for inherited thrombophilia isn't recommended in most clinical settings and that results typically don't influence patients' treatment. "It really is one of these tests where there is no benefit to patients in the hospital," author Christopher Petrilli from the University of Michigan tells Stat News.

Still, Petrilli and his colleagues write that the test still gets ordered. They report that 280,000 claims for thrombophilia analysis, such as FVL, PT20210, and MTHFR gene mutations analysis, were submitted under Medicare Part B in 2014. That, they add, is at a cost of between $300 million and $672 million. Stat News adds that additional claims were likely filed with private insurers.

The president of the American College of Physicians, Nitin Damle, tells Stat News that physicians need to discuss the risks and benefits of testing with patients. "You can explain to them that getting a test is not going to change therapy and that it's just going to lead to more anxiety, unclear results, and more testing," he says.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.