There are many clear benefits to building a genetics program focused on identifying and treating patients with a high risk of a cancer diagnosis. On the clinical side, expanded access to genetics screening and counseling at the point of care increases rates of early detection, while improving health equity across the broader patient population. From an operational perspective, organizations can expect to see improved performance on cancer screening metrics and reduced network leakage as more patients stay within the system for preventive cancer care.
Sometimes, though, the financial benefits aren’t as clear. After all, conventional thinking suggests that a genetics program requires significant investment in labor and operations, from IT to clinical equipment to overhead. Increased spending drags down margins, which makes it difficult to scale, which makes it difficult to see more patients.
As this cycle continues, most genetics programs are limited to seeing patients who have just been diagnosed with cancer. They’re missing the opportunity to prevent or detect cancer early in many, many more high-risk patients – those with genetic mutations, those with a family history of cancer, those at risk due to lifestyle or behavioral factors, and those at risk due to non-adherence to cancer screening guidelines. This can lead to more late stage diagnoses that require care from larger cancer centers.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. Our experience at CancerIQ suggests that genetics programs can flip the script. By expanding risk assessment at the point of care, genetics programs can identify more high-risk patients, put them on the right care plan, and get them in the door for the right preventive services for their level of risk.
This leads to better outcomes, as patients are less likely to require expensive, late-stage cancer treatment with significant side effects. It also has a positive impact on health system revenue. In assessing the success of our clients in optimizing cancer risk assessment, genetic testing, and care management processes through their genetics programs, we found that it’s possible to generate about $160 in downstream revenue for each patient screened. For a program that screens 10,000 patients annually, that amounts to $1.6 million in annual revenue.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Every genetics program faces operational bottlenecks that make it difficult to move patients through the funnel. To make this financial model work, programs need to get more patients at the top of the funnel, to meet with a genetics specialist, and get on a care plan appropriate for their given risk level – whether it’s based on genetics, family history, lifestyle, or screening non-adherence, or a multitude of factors.
Watch our latest webinar, Transforming Your Genetics Program from a Cost Center to a Profit Center, to learn how to overcome these operational bottlenecks and make the business case for doing more with your genetics program. We’ll also provide you with an overview of the financial model that gets you to $160 in downstream revenue per patient.
Already sold on the idea? Fill out the form below and we’ll be glad to spend some time with you to create a detailed financial model tailor-made for your organization.