Genomic molecular testing practices in a pediatric tertiary care institution can vary in utility by patient indication.
To evaluate exome sequencing (ES) ordering practices and the effects of applying criteria to support ES stewardship. Exome sequencing can provide molecular diagnostic information for patients with known or suspected genetic diseases, but it is relatively expensive, and the cost is often borne by patients, institutions, and payers.
We examined ordering patterns of ES approved by board-certified geneticists at our tertiary pediatric care center, as well as preauthorization outcomes for ES requests. We compared positivity rates among patients by patient phenotype, composite insurance coverage criteria, and insurance preauthorization outcome.
Patients who met composite coverage criteria were more likely to receive a positive result from ES compared to patients who did not meet composite coverage criteria, though this trend was not statistically significant. There was no significant difference in ES results between patients who were denied or not denied preauthorization by insurance payers.
Insurance payers should consider implementing and/or expanding coverage criteria for ES, and institutions should implement stewardship programs to support appropriate ES practices.