Unique IDs for more than 160,000 genetic testing products released for use in test ordering, authorization, coverage, payment, and clinical decision support
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 24, 2021) – Concert Genetics has released its comprehensive genetic test identification system for use in the market, enabling a level of automation in test ordering, coverage, payment and clinical decision support never before possible, the company announced today.
Concert’s Genetic Testing Units (GTUs) are the first and only ID system that uniquely identifies all 160,000 genetic testing products, organizes them into a multi-level taxonomy, and incorporates new tests as they enter the market, which is currently happening at a rate of more than 30 per day. Initially developed as an internal test tracking system, Concert’s GTUs have powered the company’s widely used, end-to-end genetic test management solutions, becoming essential infrastructure for precision medicine in the process. Today, they become available to the market at a time when the need for reliable test identification is more urgent than ever.
Ambiguity in test identification has created unsustainable burdens for healthcare stakeholders. For example, disagreements between health plans and laboratories about test reimbursement often arise from the codes used to bill the test. Genetic tests are billed using an average of 6.9 codes, often in thousands of code combinations (source). The inevitable confusion leads to a protracted series of denials and appeals that waste valuable clinical resources and distract from patient care.
“At Concert, we believe in the promise of precision medicine, and we recognize this promise will not become a reality until unnecessary friction is eliminated,” said Rob Metcalf, CEO of Concert Genetics. “Today, every system of record in healthcare, from electronic medical records and lab information systems to billing and claims payment systems, operates with a different or incomplete language to identify tests. Without a common language, automated digital communication has been impossible, and manual work has been the only option. As of today, that is no longer the case.”
Concert’s GTU system assigns a five-digit alphanumeric code to each specific, orderable test from a specific lab. The system links to Concert’s master test catalog and covers a wide range of clinical areas, including prenatal, pediatric, rare disease, pharmacogenomic, hereditary cancer, and somatic oncology tests. The system is organized into Concert’s multi-level taxonomy, which groups the 160,000 individual testing products into almost 45,000 categories, which roll up into 34 domains and 8 clinical areas.
In the context of Concert’s data platform, the test identification system also ties with other key data assets, including billing codes, lab quality information, and health plan medical coverage policies, enabling automation where manual work is otherwise required. This system builds on Concert’s recently announced patent US10,896,405, for capabilities that support real-time, automated coverage determination and accurate reimbursement of genetic tests.
“The reason this system is transformative is that it eliminates manual work and potential for error at every step in the value chain,” said Metcalf. “A test can be selected, authorized, ordered, resulted, billed, adjudicated, and correctly paid through a seamless exchange of information between systems that requires few if any manual stops, all because of unanimous agreement about the test in question.”
“The promise of precision medicine lives on the other side of that transformation, first because it tightens the link between tests, care pathways, and targeted therapies, and second, because it supports a true learning system,” said Gillian Hooker, PhD, ScM, LCGC, Concert’s Chief Scientific Officer. “With test-specific identification, real-world outcomes studies and economic value analysis based on observational data are finally within reach.”
Concert GTUs can be accessed and viewed on the Concert website, and are available on a royalty-free basis under the terms and conditions for many uses. Licenses for additional uses, including derivative works, can be obtained from Concert. The easiest way to view Concert GTUs and the terms and conditions of their use is by creating a free account here.
More information about the technical and design aspects of the GTU system are documented in a whitepaper, which can be downloaded here.
For more information about this announcement, or to inquire licensing options for Concert GTUs, contact us.
About Concert Genetics
Concert Genetics is a software and managed services company that promotes health by providing the digital infrastructure for reliable and efficient management of genetic testing and precision medicine. Concert’s genetic testing management capabilities leverage a proprietary database of the U.S. clinical genetic testing market, market-leading expertise, and a technology platform that supports genetic test ordering, resulting, coding, coverage, and payment integrity. Learn more at www.concertgenetics.com.