Genetics Not Generating an ROI? Here’s What You Can Do About It

Oct 17, 2022

Early cancer detection and prevention should be the norm for all patients. Many health systems have established cancer genetics programs to help achieve that goal.

But, too often, those programs remain siloed in specialty service lines, unable to demonstrate profitability and secure the staffing and resources necessary to scale. As a result, thousands of patients with clear cancer risk factors don’t receive the care they need to stay ahead of late-stage diagnoses.

CancerIQ’s work in over 200 clinical locations around the country shows it is possible to democratize access to precision prevention. Health systems are beginning to offer broad populations access to genetic testing and personalized cancer prevention pathways, improving clinical outcomes and generating $160-200 per patient in downstream revenue.

What separates the genetics programs that succeed from those that don’t? Here we examine the most common bottlenecks that keep genetics programs from taking off. Learn how your health system can address these challenges — and find out how to get early access to more than just our software, including new comprehensive precision prevention services, designed to help health systems instantly bridge the resource gaps that prevent growth.

Here are the top three ways to generate a greater ROI from genetics

  1. Screen for risk factors more broadly. Fundamental to precision prevention is the early assessment of hereditary, lifestyle and adherence-related risk factors. These factors are considered the “first genetic test” because they can provide invaluable information about a patient’s potential risk of cancer. Yet many patients do not receive a comprehensive cancer risk assessment until after they are diagnosed. 

    To get ahead of this, health systems need to equip clinicians across a range of care settings to collect and interpret risk factors based on the latest evidence-based guidelines.

    CancerIQ supports comprehensive risk assessment in care settings like breast imaging, women’s health, gastroenterology and primary care, greatly broadening access to this critical first step. Health systems can also leverage CancerIQ’s digital tools to market risk assessment directly into the community.
  2. Promote timely access to genetic testing. The second challenge health systems face in deriving greater value from their genetic programs is access. Once at-risk patients have been identified, health systems frequently funnel them into centralized genetic testing and counseling programs. However, adding this extra step can narrow the funnel too soon, creating unnecessary barriers to care.

    Instead, we believe genetic testing should follow the trajectory of the electrocardiogram (EKG). Once confined to cardiology, EKGs are now provided in primary care settings as a diagnostic tool. If abnormalities are found, patients are then referred to specialists.

    Similarly, CancerIQ’s recommendation engine is designed to empower a range of clinicians to partner with genetics teams to provide patient education and order genetic tests. Not only is this more convenient for patients, but it also supports overextended genetic counseling teams by helping them work to the top of their license and focus on the most complex cases. This sets up genetic testing to become the next essential primary care diagnostic.

  3. Centralize medical management of high-risk patients. The last step in the precision prevention process is medical management. Health systems commonly punt high-risk patients back to primary care providers to coordinate long-term care. However, navigating follow-up care decisions, securing prior authorizations and facilitating specialty services for an entire population of high-risk patients can be a lot to ask of any one primary care team. And unless handoffs are seamless, it can open the door for patients to seek care elsewhere.

    Instead, CancerIQ recommends health systems build a circle of care around high-risk patients with a centralized, dedicated program. Proactively building this team of experts helps smooth patient handoffs, signaling to patients that the care they need to appropriately manage their risk is available within their home health system. This prevents network leakage and positions genetics as a driver of downstream revenue.

    Generating a greater ROI from genetics is straightforward: Screen more patients, broaden access to genetic testing and create centralized care pathways for medical management. We've previously detailed how to do this in a short eBook. However, we recognize that even the most straightforward transformations aren’t possible without the right staff and resources.

We’re excited to extend an opportunity to a limited number of health systems to implement more than just our software. As part of this program, CancerIQ will build out a tailor-fit suite of comprehensive prevention services to outfit your genetics program from the ground up, including virtual genetic counseling and patient navigation support. If you're ready to unlock greater value from genetics, get in touch for more information about our first-of-its-kind program.

Together, we can bring better outcomes for patients and generate greater value for your health system.Let's get started

Topics: Genetic Counseling| High-Risk Patients| Health Systems| Cancer Centers