Announcing Pharmacogenetics Testing Program for Long Term Care
Dr. Linda Shell RN (LindaShell.com), in conjunction with PGx Medical (PGxMed.com) announces launch of a pilot program for pharmacogenetics testing in aging services. Pharmacogenetics, a simple one-time diagnostic lab, covered by Medicare B, assists providers in aligning medications with a person’s DNA.
Genetic testing has been used extensively in patients with arthritis, anticoagulants, and cancer for many years to assist in personalizing medications, reducing costs and minimizing side effects.
The pilot offers long term care communities – including independent, assisted, skilled, memory care, and home health a streamlined program for implementing pharmacogenetics. The pilot goal is to demonstrate the ability to improve quality, reduce costs and maximize care of older adults through the use of pharmacogenetics.
According to the NIH 50% of nursing home residents take 9 or more medications per day (2016). Dr. Shell states, “as a gerontological nurse, one of my concerns has been the prevalence of polypharmacy. The risk for side effects increases when a patient has more than nine prescriptions.”. The problem is often related to comorbid conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease, and hypertension requiring multiple medication management. In long term care, medication-related problems currently cost $177.4 billion a year (ascp.com). The problem of polypharmacy can lead to interactions between multiple medications resulting in serious harm. Some medications increase the risk of confusion, falls, and behaviors in the cognitively impaired. With over 43.1 million adults 65 and older, research indicates personalized medications play a role in improving the quality of life.
Along with anti-psychotic medication monitoring, updated CMS regulations coming in 2018 increase the scrutiny of medication review. A simple, straightforward solution is needed – one that offers providers an effective tool that aligns prescribed medications to the unique needs of each resident.
Collaborating in this pilot program is PGx Medical, a leading supporter and provider of pharmacogenetic testing in older adults. Their team is knowledgeable and uniquely qualified to assist providers in the process of pharmacogenetic testing. They have spent years educating healthcare professionals on the benefits of pharmacogenetics, how it impacts current medications and is a roadmap for the future.