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01.12.2014 | Original Research | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Genetic Counseling 6/2014

Cost Sharing and Hereditary Cancer Risk: Predictors of Willingness-to-Pay for Genetic Testing

Journal of Genetic Counseling > Ausgabe 6/2014
Jennifer M. Matro, Karen J. Ruth, Yu-Ning Wong, Katen C. McCully, Christina M. Rybak, Neal J. Meropol, Michael J. Hall
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10897-014-9724-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Increasing use of predictive genetic testing to gauge hereditary cancer risk has been paralleled by rising cost-sharing practices. Little is known about how demographic and psychosocial factors may influence individuals’ willingness-to-pay for genetic testing. The Gastrointestinal Tumor Risk Assessment Program Registry includes individuals presenting for genetic risk assessment based on personal/family cancer history. Participants complete a baseline survey assessing cancer history and psychosocial items. Willingness-to-pay items include intention for: genetic testing only if paid by insurance; testing with self-pay; and amount willing-to-pay ($25–$2,000). Multivariable models examined predictors of willingness-to-pay out-of-pocket (versus only if paid by insurance) and willingness-to-pay a smaller versus larger sum (≤$200 vs. ≥$500). All statistical tests are two-sided (α = 0.05). Of 385 evaluable participants, a minority (42 %) had a personal cancer history, while 56 % had ≥1 first-degree relative with colorectal cancer. Overall, 21.3 % were willing to have testing only if paid by insurance, and 78.7 % were willing-to-pay. Predictors of willingness-to-pay were: 1) concern for positive result; 2) confidence to control cancer risk; 3) fewer perceived barriers to colorectal cancer screening; 4) benefit of testing to guide screening (all p < 0.05). Subjects willing-to-pay a higher amount were male, more educated, had greater cancer worry, fewer relatives with colorectal cancer, and more positive attitudes toward genetic testing (all p < 0.05). Individuals seeking risk assessment are willing-to-pay out-of-pocket for genetic testing, and anticipate benefits to reducing cancer risk. Identifying factors associated with willingness-to-pay for genetic services is increasingly important as testing is integrated into routine cancer care.

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