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What is the Insight Genome program?

The Insight Genome program is an elective genetic testing program at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. As part of Insight Genome, patients receive clinical whole genome sequencing and a separate pharmacogenomic test. In addition, patients have a pretest consult and posttest follow-up visit with a clinical geneticist and genetic counselor.

The whole genome sequencing test looks at a person’s entire genetic code including 20,000 genes associated with more than 6000 medical conditions. That genetic code is then analyzed to identify variants, or changes in the DNA, that may impact health and disease risk.

The pharmacogenomic test provides information about many different genes and how they impact a person’s response to over one hundred drugs.

How can the Insight Genome program help my patients?

Genome sequencing will look for variants that may impact health and disease risk. Some DNA variants that are found may help explain your patients’ current symptoms. Other variants may show that your patient has a higher risk of developing a disease in the future. For example, variants in certain genes are associated with an increased risk for colon cancer. In other cases, a variant may be found that indicates your patient is a carrier of a genetic disease.

In addition, the pharmacogenomic testing provides you with information about drug choice and dosing.

What is whole genome sequencing?

Whole genome sequencing looks at a person’s entire genetic code including 20,000 genes associated with more than 6000 medical conditions. That genetic code is then analyzed to identify variants, or changes in the DNA, that may impact health and disease risk. Our knowledge about the genome and how changes in DNA contribute to disease is increasing with time. Most DNA variants do not have an impact. Some variants are responsible for differences such as hair or eye color. Other variants are linked to disease.

Who should consider Insight Genome?

Any adult may choose to be a part of the Insight Genome program. People may consider Insight Genome because they are interested in:

  • A better understanding of current medical problems
  • Information about future disease risk to guide preventative healthcare decisions
  • Filling gaps in family history when an individual has little or no information about family members and their health
  • Providing valuable information to relatives and future generations

What is the cost of the Insight Genome program?

The cost of the Insight Genome program is approximately $7000. That cost includes the clinical whole genome sequencing test, the pharmacogenomic test, as well as physician visits at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine.

Will insurance pay for the Insight Genome program?

The Insight Genome program is patient-pay.

What is the process for testing?

A patient begins the Insight Genome process by contacting the clinic directly 256-327-9640. The patient will be informed of the logistics and cost of the Insight Genome program. They will be asked to obtain a consult request and past medical records from a healthcare provider. A consult request is encouraged, but not required.

Insight Genome is comprised of two clinical tests ordered by a physician at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. In addition, patients have two visits to the clinic. The first includes gathering of personal and family health history, physical exam, genetic counseling, and collection of blood and saliva samples for testing.

Once genetic testing is completed, patients have a posttest consultation with a clinical geneticist and genetic counselor to discuss results. The patient’s genetic test reports as well as documentation of their visits become part of the patient’s medical record at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine.

How long is the testing process?

The turnaround time for the Insight Genome testing is approximately 90 days.

What are the risks of the Insight Genome program?

Some patients may find out that they have an increased risk for disease; this can include both treatable and untreatable diseases. Patients are given the opportunity to choose the types of result that are returned prior to the clinical whole genome sequencing test.

Finding out about disease risk could impact a person’s ability to get certain types of insurance. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) protects individuals from having their genetic information used when obtaining health insurance and employment. However, this protection does not apply to other types of insurance, including life, long term care, and disability policies. For more information: https://www.genome.gov/10002328

In addition, results from genetic testing may impact family members. It may be helpful for patients to have discussions with family members before having genetic testing to find out what information they would want to know.

Genetic counseling is important to understand the risks and benefits of testing, and is provided through Insight Genome.

What will happen to my patient’s Insight Genome results?

The patient’s genetic test reports as well as documentation of their visits become part of the patient’s medical record at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine.

What if I have additional questions about the Insight Genome program?

The Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine is staffed with a clinical geneticist and genetic counselors. We are happy to answer your questions.