TRANSPERS July 2021 Newsletter: New Deputy Director | TRANSPERS Study Top Citation in Genetics in Medicine | Aducanumab Controversy
Letter from Center Director
This issue also highlights several milestones and team achievements, testifying to the growing influence of our work. We added an “In the News” section at the end, featuring memorable quotes by our faculty in the media.
As always, I welcome your engagement.
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD
Patricia Deverka, MD, Joins TRANSPERS as Deputy Director and Senior ResearcherA longtime TRANSPERS collaborator, Patricia Deverka, MD, has recently joined the TRANSPERS team as our new deputy director and senior researcher. Pat comes to us with extensive experience in studying the factors affecting the clinical integration of new genomic technologies. Pat is the Executive Director at Deverka Consulting, LLC where she focuses on helping biotechnology companies and start-ups develop evidence to support payer coverage and clinical adoption of innovative technologies. Previously, she was the Director of Value Evidence and Outcomes at Geisinger National and spent nearly 15 years in the pharmaceutical and pharmacy benefit management industries leading departments of outcomes research and was a thought leader in approaches for demonstrating product value.
TRANSPERS Publication on Perspectives of US Payers Among Top 15 Articles Cited Last Year in Genetics in MedicineA TRANSPERS study examining the perspectives of US private payers on insurance coverage for pediatric and prenatal exome sequencing was ranked #12 out of the top 15 citations for 2020 in the journal Genetics in Medicine. The study led by Julia Trosman, PhD, in a collaboration with the UCSF Program in Prenatal and Pediatric Genomic Sequencing, was the first to show how payers’ views on insurance coverage of exome sequencing are expanding and aligning with the views of patients and other stakeholders.
Jeroen Jansen and Kathryn Phillips Identified as Top Cited Scientists in their FieldsAn analysis by John Ioannidis et al. assessing scientists for citation impact found that publications by TRANSPERS scientists Jeroen Jansen, PhD, and Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, were in the top 2% of citations in Health Policy and Services. Jansen and Phillips also ranked in the top 2% among researchers across all fields of science.
Laboratory Business Models and Practices Impact Access to Germline TestingMaren Scheuner, MD, MPH, led a TRANSPERS study investigating the impact of laboratory business models and practices on availability and access to germline genetic testing. Published in Genetics in Medicine, the study includes a conceptual model to serve as the basis for stakeholder discussions, future research agendas, and policy decisions. “We are on the threshold of a disruption in the germline testing marketplace,” the authors concluded.
Influence of Payer Coverage and Out-of-Pocket Costs on Ordering of Hereditary Cancer PanelsA TRANSPERS study, led by Grace Lin, MD examined the influence of payer coverage and out-of-pocket costs on ordering panel tests for hereditary cancer in diverse settings. Published in Journal of Genetic Counseling, the study found safety-net clinics reported few barriers to testing related to cost, largely due to laboratory assistance with prior authorization requests and patient payment assistance programs that result in little to no patient out-of-pocket expenses. However, the authors concluded, “access to genetic counseling is a barrier and must be addressed to ensure equity in testing.”
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, addressed new tests for early disease detection and raises provocative questions about equitable access to precision medicine.
Maren Scheuner, MD, MPH, co-authored an American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics statement to guide individuals and healthcare providers who are considering undertaking DNA-based health screening.
Funding NewsJeroen Jansen, PhD, a TRANSPERS Faculty member, received a $50,000 UCSF Resource Allocation Program grant to study health equity impact in Health Technology Assessments. The study will 1) assess how a formal health equity impact analysis can be conducted for a new health technology—including assessing evidence needs, data availability, and analytical approach along with required assumptions—through a cancer case study; and 2) develop a generalizable blueprint outlining how available evidence can be used to perform model-based health equity impact analyses of new health technologies.
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD: “Next Generation Sequencing in Clinical Practice: Current Status and Future Directions”
Genomics & Precision Health at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thursday, February 18, 2021
Grace Lin, MD: “Impact of Payer Coverage and Out-of-Pocket Costs of Hereditary Cancer Panel Testing: Implications for Safety-Net and Academic Medical Centers, and the Latinx Community.” UCSF Breast Oncology Program, March 24, 2021
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD: “Addressing Reimbursement and Economic Challenges for Genomic Medicine: Current Status and Future Directions”
Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine Forum at Duke University, Thursday, March 25, 2021
Michael Douglas, MS: “Economic, Financial, and Policy Implications of Genetic Testing for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD).”
UCSF Dementia Day, May 18, 2021
Jeroen Jansen, PhD: “Disease Modifying Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease Are on The Horizon! How Can We Use Health Economic Models to Explore the Health Equity Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of Biomarkers for Early Detection?”
UCSF Dementia Day, May 18, 2021
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, and Patricia Deverka, MD: “Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Tests – “Liquid Biopsy Tests” – Are Here – But Will Payers Provide Insurance Coverage?”
PHIND Seminar Series, Stanford University, May 18, 2021
Kathryn Phillips, PhD, and the Global Economics and Evaluation of Clinical Genomics Sequencing (GEECS) Working Group: “Implementation of exome and genome sequencing: Who has access, who pays, and what are solutions for implementation challenges?”
European Conference on the Diffusion of Genomic Medicine: Health Economics & Policy, May 26, 2021
Christine Weldon, MBA: “Multi-cancer hereditary syndrome testing: Genetic Counselors’ Perspectives”
American Society of Clinical Oncology, June 4, 2021
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD: “Developing Effective Payment and Reimbursement Models”
Precision Medicine: Moving Theory into Practice at USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD: Respondent to “Definitions of Race in the Context of Health and Medicine”
Understanding Ontologies in Context at National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD: “Building the Evidence Base for Appropriate and Efficient Implementation of Emerging Genomic Tests for Disease Management and Screening,”