Until last week, scrutinizing a fetus’s DNA for indications of genetic abnormalities meant tapping into the mother’s womb with a needle. Now there’s a test that can do it using a small sample of the mother’s blood. MaterniT21, a Down’s syndrome test that Sequenom of San Diego, California, launched in major centres across the United States on 17 October, is the first of several such tests expected on the market in the next year. It signals the arrival of a long-anticipated era of non-invasive prenatal genetic screening, with its attendant benefits and ethical complications….
In the “news your can use” section of their press release:
The out-of-pocket cost of the test for insured patients will be no more than $235. Sequenom CMM will initially operate as an out-of-network provider to ensure eligible patients will have coverage for the test. While negotiating to ensure coverage by most major private insurance programs, the reimbursement for the test is expected to be similar to that of current invasive procedures like amniocentesis or CVS.