Molecular pathology time consuming and not adequately reimbursed, survey found

March 17, 2021

Tests in molecular pathology are generally time consuming and not adequately reimbursed, according to a new survey from the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP).

More than 100 molecular professionals from AMP and American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) responded to the survey, summarized in “Analysis of Professional Work Effort in Molecular Test Interpretation Report.”

Molecular diagnostic services are currently provided by both physicians and qualified doctoral scientists with specialized training and experience. The survey found that the extensive analysis, interpretation, and reporting requirements can often take more than six hours per test.

Survey respondents said analysis and reporting was a significant burden for labs relative to other functions, with more than 65% saying it was “a significant or high burden.” Technical complexity, additional research requirements, and placing test results in context were the reasons most often noted for extra effort being required in analysis and interpretation.

Overall, results from oncology assays were generally delivered faster at labs than human genetics. The survey respondents also said that whole genome sequencing and whole exome sequencing were the most analysis heavy and time consuming.

But the time spent on data analysis and interpretation is not adequately reimbursed, the survey respondents, with single gene tests for human genetics being the only test respondents said was not completed at a financial loss.

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