Catalyst for Payment Reform

Collaborative 4: Genetic Testing

The use of genetic screening and testing in health care is a burgeoning field.  But while genetic testing can give employees and their providers insight into key health indicators and therapeutic options, employers covering or considering this benefit are unsure how to navigate and assess the potential benefits and unintended consequences.  Employers need to be equipped with the knowledge necessary to implement thoughtful strategies in this area.

In November 2017, we kicked off Collaborative 4: “Navigating the Potential Benefits and Unintended Consequences of Genetic Testing” to educate employers on the risks and opportunities in the field of genetic analysis.


Thank you to our subject matter expert, Dr. Jeffrey M. Davis, MD, MPH, Senior Health Management Consultant at Willis Towers Watson who has an extensive knowledge in genetics, and to the leading employers who joined this collaborative.

Description of our work

Through a combination of research and market analysis, group consulting, and participant sharing of experiences, challenges, and strategies with each other, CPR and Willis Towers Watson developed tools for employers to use as they approach genetic testing and screening benefit options. Each month, over the course of 6 months, CPR, Willis Towers Watson, and Collaborative participants met virtually for 90 minutes to discuss the genetic testing and screening employer benefit landscape, including current and future trends in genetics and personalized medicine, the risks and opportunities of specific genetic technologies, and the relevant privacy and legal considerations, among others.  Participants also met with vendors to review their current capabilities.

Final deliverable

CPR, Willis Towers Watson, and our Collaborative participants developed the How-To Guide: Unraveling Genetic Testing Benefits, an educational resource for purchasers that incorporates the latest research and includes a data request and vendor questions to evaluate the impact of genetic testing on a purchaser’s population.  In addition, CPR hosted a six session Genetic Testing Education Series that featured five health plans and other vendors.