Genomind Press

New Research Suggests Genetic Testing May Help Improve Costs Associated with Mental Health Treatment

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — May 16, 2018 — Mental health patients whose clinicians incorporated a genetic test to help personalize treatment decisions experienced fewer side effects requiring emergency room visits or hospitalizations, along with significant cost savings, according to a study from Genomind and Healthagen Outcomes published in the journal Depression and Anxiety from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

“Pharmacogenetic testing represents a promising strategy to reduce the amount of medication trial and error and associated complications for patients with mood and anxiety disorders,” said Roy Perlis, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a Genomind scientific advisor and one of the paper’s authors.

Genomind’s Pharmacogenetic Test requires only a small sample of saliva, collected by a clinician from swabbing the inside of the patient’s cheek with a cotton swab. The test looks at key genes in a patient’s DNA that can affect the patient’s response to medication. In the study based on claims data, 817 Aetna members with mood and anxiety disorders who underwent testing with the pharmacogenetic tests were matched with 2,745 similar Aetna members who did not undergo testing (controls) on a variety of dimensions, such as diagnosis, duration of illness, comorbidities, number of prior treatment failures, age, gender and socioeconomic status.

Those who had genetic testing experienced 40 percent fewer emergency room visits and 58 percent fewer inpatient hospitalizations than individuals in the control group who did not receive genetic testing to help guide their treatment (p<0.0001 for both). That is, testing was associated with significantly less utilization of emergency rooms and inpatient visits during the following six-month period. The two groups did not differ significantly in number of psychotropic medications prescribed or mood disorder–related hospitalizations.

The decrease in utilization translates to a significant reduction in overall healthcare costs. Based on claims data, the study authors estimate that the subsequent six-month cost of care was $1,948 lower per individual in the tested group versus the control group.

“Studies like this can provide new understanding of the impact of the genetic test in real-world healthcare settings. The results help inform continued research and advancement of personalized care,” says Van Crocker, president of Healthagen Outcomes.

The Genecept Assay is already used by clinicians in all 50 states. It now covers more than 20 drug classes, 122 medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 18 clinically validated genes and 97 percent of medications used to treat depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention-deficit disorder and autism. It also offers comprehensive coverage of pain medications.

About Genomind

Genomind is a unique personalized medicine platform that brings innovation to healthcare around the world. Genomind, comprised of pioneering scientists and thought leaders in brain health and genetics, delivers actionable insights to clinicians, healthcare partners and individuals in order to improve the quality of human life. Learn more at

About the Genecept Assay

The Genecept Assay is a genetic test designed to help clinicians optimize treatment decisions for their patients with mental illness. It identifies patient-specific genetic markers that indicate which treatments are likely to work as intended, have no effect or cause adverse effects. It is an easily administered cheek swab test that analyzes key genes that have been selected based on hundreds of studies showing that variations in these genes can inform treatment decisions. The Assay is used to guide treatment for a range of psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, schizophrenia, chronic pain and substance abuse, and has been shown in peer-reviewed published studies to improve patient outcomes and reduce overall medical costs. Each Assay provides clinicians with an easy-to-read patient report and a complimentary psychopharmacogenomic consultation. Learn more at

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