Company Profile Crowdfunding Call 1-800-670-3213 to speak with a live agent. Follow NBC News Health Care
Contact info Call Aflac Type: Midsize luxury When asked what insurance does, most people are likely to say that it provides protection against the financial aspects of an unexpected loss. However, the industry’s contribution to the economy goes much further.
In familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), carriers profit from presymptomatic diagnosis and early treatment. Due to the autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, first degree relatives of patients are at 50% risk. A program to identify healthy relatives at risk of premature cardiovascular problems, funded by the Netherlands government until 2014, raised questions on privacy and autonomy in view of the chosen active approach of family members. Several countries are building cascade screening programs inspired by Dutch experience, but meanwhile, the Netherlands’ screening program itself is in transition. Insight in stakeholders’ views on approaching family members is lacking. Literature and policy documents were studied, and stakeholders were interviewed on pros and cons of actively approaching healthy relatives. Sociotechnical analysis explored new roles and responsibilities, with uptake, privacy, autonomy, psychological burden, resources, and awareness as relevant themes. Stakeholders agree on the importance of early diagnosis and informing the family. Dutch healthcare typically focuses on cure, rather than prevention. Barriers to cascade screening are paying an own financial contribution, limited resources for informing relatives, and privacy regulation. To benefit from predictive, personalized, and preventive medicine, the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in genetic testing as a preventive strategy, and informing family members, need to be carefully realigned. Full article