In the Journals

GeneSight genetic test yields cost savings for psychiatric patients

A health economic study evaluating the financial impact of the GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test on major commercial health plans found that use of the test yielded reduced spending for a commercial health plan among patients with psychiatric disorders.

Analysis of all psychiatric patients showed that the average total costs savings were $5,505 in the GeneSight group compared with the treatment as usual group over a 1-year, post-testing period.

“Health professionals are challenged to identify proper treatment in a budget-friendly and efficient manner,” Joachim Benitez, MD, from Weill Cornell Medical College, and colleagues wrote in Personalized Medicine.

“Given the heightened awareness of psychiatric disorders on the social and political agenda, payers would benefit from understanding the financial consequences of increased adoption of [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test],” they continued. “Although previous studies have addressed the clinical utility of [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test], economic evidence validating the value of incorporating [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test] into the standard of care has yet to demonstrate its financial impact at the health plan level.”

Researchers compared payer costs related to treating patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, OCD and schizophrenia using GeneSight test vs. treatment-as-usual, according to a press release. They used claims from a large payer database compiled by OptumInsight and tracked cost data for four components of patient care — inpatient, hospital-based outpatient, physician and pharmacy — for a 12-month period after testing with GeneSight. Statistical analysis adjusted for differences in the two arms during the period before testing.

Benitez and colleagues included 205 patients tested with GeneSight and 478 patients given treatment as usual in the analysis.

The results showed that the average total costs savings among all psychiatric patients were $5,505 in the GeneSight group compared with treatment as usual over the 1-year after testing ($17,627 vs. $23,132; P = .0004), according to the release. In addition, sub-analysis of patients with depression revealed a material savings of $6,050 in those who received GeneSight compared with treatment as usual over the post-testing period ($18,741 vs. $24,791; P = .009).

The researchers also found that coverage of GeneSight may yield cost per-member-per-month savings relating to spending on anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder and marginal per-member-per-month savings relating to overall spending on psychiatric disorders.

“From the perspective of managed care decision makers, as our results indicate, the use of [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test] offers clinicians and their patients the benefit of more precise selection of psychotropic drugs while offering cost savings to the health plan,” the investigators wrote. “Since the test cost is a one-time investment, average savings are expected to increase as the duration is extended over the life cycle of psychiatric treatment.” – by Savannah Demko

Disclosure: Assurex Health, Inc., manufacturer of GeneSight, provided funding for this study as well as input on study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation. The authors report no other relevant financial disclosures.

A health economic study evaluating the financial impact of the GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test on major commercial health plans found that use of the test yielded reduced spending for a commercial health plan among patients with psychiatric disorders.

Analysis of all psychiatric patients showed that the average total costs savings were $5,505 in the GeneSight group compared with the treatment as usual group over a 1-year, post-testing period.

“Health professionals are challenged to identify proper treatment in a budget-friendly and efficient manner,” Joachim Benitez, MD, from Weill Cornell Medical College, and colleagues wrote in Personalized Medicine.

“Given the heightened awareness of psychiatric disorders on the social and political agenda, payers would benefit from understanding the financial consequences of increased adoption of [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test],” they continued. “Although previous studies have addressed the clinical utility of [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test], economic evidence validating the value of incorporating [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test] into the standard of care has yet to demonstrate its financial impact at the health plan level.”

Researchers compared payer costs related to treating patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, OCD and schizophrenia using GeneSight test vs. treatment-as-usual, according to a press release. They used claims from a large payer database compiled by OptumInsight and tracked cost data for four components of patient care — inpatient, hospital-based outpatient, physician and pharmacy — for a 12-month period after testing with GeneSight. Statistical analysis adjusted for differences in the two arms during the period before testing.

Benitez and colleagues included 205 patients tested with GeneSight and 478 patients given treatment as usual in the analysis.

The results showed that the average total costs savings among all psychiatric patients were $5,505 in the GeneSight group compared with treatment as usual over the 1-year after testing ($17,627 vs. $23,132; P = .0004), according to the release. In addition, sub-analysis of patients with depression revealed a material savings of $6,050 in those who received GeneSight compared with treatment as usual over the post-testing period ($18,741 vs. $24,791; P = .009).

The researchers also found that coverage of GeneSight may yield cost per-member-per-month savings relating to spending on anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder and marginal per-member-per-month savings relating to overall spending on psychiatric disorders.

“From the perspective of managed care decision makers, as our results indicate, the use of [GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic test] offers clinicians and their patients the benefit of more precise selection of psychotropic drugs while offering cost savings to the health plan,” the investigators wrote. “Since the test cost is a one-time investment, average savings are expected to increase as the duration is extended over the life cycle of psychiatric treatment.” – by Savannah Demko

Disclosure: Assurex Health, Inc., manufacturer of GeneSight, provided funding for this study as well as input on study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation. The authors report no other relevant financial disclosures.