Trending News Today: Cost Influences Decision to Receive Gene Testing for Cancer Mutations

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape

A bipartisan group of senators want Congress’ final opioids package to lift a restriction on Medicaid funding for substance abuse treatment, The Hill reported. According to the article, a proposal introduced on Tuesday would allow states to use Medicaid money to pay for coverage at addiction treatment facilities for individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders for up to 90 consecutive days. Supporters say it would expand access to treatment for substance abuse but opponents worry about the cost, the article reported. Current federal law bans the use of Medicaid funding for inpatient residential treatment facilities with more than 16 beds.

Close relatives of patients with cancer may be more willing to receive testing for genetic mutations if it was accessible and affordable, Reuters reported. According to the article, researchers asked 741 individuals with 1 of 30 cancer-associated mutations and 360 of their close relatives to invite other close relatives to get their genes sequenced at a low cost. Over the first year of the discount testing program, 48% of invited relatives agreed to testing. Approximately 48% of these close relatives tested positive for the same genetic mutation linked to cancer in their family member, and about 5% had a different variant also associated with tumors, the study found. Twelve percent of these relatives who tested positive then invited additional family members to get tests, the article reported. According to the authors, only about one-third of relatives typically get tested.

A new study found that less than 1 in 5 teens with chronic health problems have made plans with their pediatricians to take charge of their own care and transition to physicians who treat adults, Reuters reported. According to the article, the researchers examined data from surveys of parents and caregivers of approximately 21,000 children aged 12 to 17 years, including 5900 who were being treated for ongoing medical issues. Overall, just 17% of teens with special health needs and 14% without any medical issues appeared prepared to transition to adult care, the article reported.