Frequently Asked Questions
What is pharmacogenomics?
Pharmacogenomics is the study of how your genes affect your response to a particular medication. This is a way to personalize your medication regimen since not all medications work the same in every person. For a medication to work, enzymes have to break the drug down so your body can absorb it and have an effect. Pharmacogenomics can test the functionality of your enzyme. For example, if you are taking Tramadol which is an inactive drug and the enzyme needed to break it down (CYP2D6) is slow metabolizer, you will probably not get the effect the pain relief. You can increase your dose by taking an additional pill but all that happens is side effects.
How is this different than genomic testing?
Genomic testing tests for your genes. This test looks for gene alteration, harmful changes within your DNA which is mainly used for cancer. This is different than pharmacogenomics which test for enzyme activity related to your medications.
How often is the test done?
Since your genetic makeup does not change, this test is only done once.
How is the test done?
It's a cheek swab that is done with a special Q-tip by a certified pharmacogenomics pharmacist. The pharmacist gathers the sample and sends to the specialized contracted laboratory.
Who can order the test?
The provider of service is the one who will order the test. It is just like any other laboratory test that needs a form to be sent to the lab.
How long does it take to get the results back?
It takes between 3-5 working days to get the results back.
Who is eligible to take the test?
Anyone is eligible to take the test and can benefit from the personalized genomics results.
Does insurance cover the test?
Medicare and United HealthCare (UHC) cover this test completely. There is no copay or cost to the patient or the provider ordering the test. There is also no cost for the kit and shipment of samples. Other commercial insurance may or may not cover the test. We can also a pre-authorization ahead of time to verify coverage. Missouri Medicaid currently does not cover this test but is in the process. Check back with us in the future.
What if I want to pay out of pocket?
If you do not have Medicare or UHC and your insurance does not cover the test, you are still able to get the test done. The cost includes a face-to-face meeting with a pharmacogenomics certified pharmacist to evaluate your medication conditions and go overall all your current medications to determine your eligibility and benefits of the test.
Do I get the results?
The results obtained is over 20 page long and the certified pharmacist goes over the results and gives a 1 page summary of the results and recommendations based on the current medication regimen of the patient. The results are directly communicated with the ordering provider.
Other labs are already doing the test, how is this one different?
Our company has certified pharmacogenomics pharmacists that perform the rest and evaluate the results. Other labs may send the testing kit or have reps that trains the staff to do the test which takes up staff time. Most importantly, the results that the provider gets back is over 20 pages and time consuming for a busy practice to decipher. Sometimes, a support may be available over the phone to go over the results. This takes time and is not efficient for a busy practice that needs results quickly and accurately. We do all the work for the practice so the practice can focus solely on the patient.