This innovative RIMS 2015 session explored a new era of technology emerging in heathcare – personalized medicine. It is expected to revolutionize healthcare and, thus, will become very useful in the workers’ compensation arena.
- Geralyn Datz, President, Southern Behavioral Medicine Associates PLLC
- Sonny Roshan, CEO, Chairman, Aeon Laboratories, LLC
- Kimberly George, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, M&A, Healthcare, Sedgwick
How it Works
Using a simple, in-office test, genetic testing determines how a patient’s genetic makeup will determine a successful or unsuccessful response to a prescribed medication. Pharmacogenetic testing (PGX) taps into DNA to uncover how a single prescribed medication is metabolized. It is being used to improve and expedite patient care by optimizing or eliminating the typical trial and error process, which can lead to adverse reactions, drug tolerances, addiction or death. PGX is rapidly becoming a standard of care and is considered in line with good clinical practice.
Benefits of PGX Testing
Due to the potential cost savings, pharmacogenetic testing is expected to become an effective tool for risk managers. Currently, only 50% of patients respond positively to their medications. We are all different, so a uniform way of prescribing is not effective. PGX maps drugs with your unique genetic makeup to increase effectiveness. From a workers’ compensation standpoint, it can help to:
- Proactively drive the right treatment from the beginning of a claim.
- Reduce the amount of doctor visits, physician billing frequency and overprescribing.
- Diminish drug addiction and dependency.
- Reduce adverse drug reactions – the leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Resolve long-tail claims.
Preparing for a New Pattern of Care
Personalized medicine introduces a new pattern of care that is expected to be incredibly effective. This includes early assessment, patient education, rational and evidence-supported treatment planning and, ultimately, better outcomes that include:
- The right dose
- The right drug
- The right indication
- The right patient
- The right time (non-evasive, one-time only)
Personalized medicine is at the forefront of new solutions for workers’ compensation. As the healthcare community perfects its use, keep it on your radar as a potential tool. Partnered with the resources and care you provide to help injured employees return to work, it can be an important element of your workers’ compensation program.