What is precision medicine?
Most medical treatments are designed for the "average patient" as a one-size-fits-all-approach, which may be successful for some patients but not for others. Precision medicine, sometimes known as "personalized medicine" is an innovative approach to tailoring disease prevention and treatment that takes into account differences in people's genes, environments, and lifestyles.
The goal of precision medicine is to target the right treatments to the right patients at the right time. Advances in precision medicine have already led to powerful new discoveries and FDA-approved treatments that are tailored to specific characteristics of individuals, such as a person's genetic makeup.
+ Who can benefit from precision medicine?
BHIPM treats all adults 18 and older in California, and we consult with doctors and their patients in 50 states. Precision medicine helps healthy people looking to improve their quality of life and longevity, people who have chronic health concerns or illnesses, people who are looking to dive deeper into their current health program, and people looking for more one-on-one time with a doctor who is knowledgeable, equipped and takes the time to responsibly provide the best path forward.
+ Why don’t all doctors use the personalized, preventive approach to patient care today?
There are many reasons why precision health is not offered by all doctors, starting with the insurance companies who are not designed to look at one patient at a time - they have a population health approach that looks at the average of many.
Another reason is that precision health is a specialty that requires a lot of learning and training. Most doctors today are too busy or not interested in learning this modern advanced approach. Additionally, most insurance companies do not pay for many of these preventive, proactive labs and technology so doctor's do not offer them.
+ I already have a PCP, but want the benefits of precision medicine, can I come without a referral?
Absolutely, our goal is to empower our patients to take control of their own healthcare. Precision medicine is our specialty that is available to patients no matter what other doctors they may see. You can share the results with your PCP, or not. We can also help you carry out our recommendations, for a monthly fee, if you prefer not to go through your primary care physician.
+ WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR GET DNABLED PROGRAM AND 23ANDME?
Most recognizable DNA testing companies (i.e. 23andMe) utilize a less comprehensive method (genotyping chips) to determine a limited number of gene variants, a tiny fraction of the total variation from one person to another. This method does not sequence your DNA and provides a very limited view of an individual’s genetic variation and is not intended to be comprehensive, nor used for clinical purposes. As the body of genetic scientific knowledge expands, these genotyping chips become obsolete and recurrent testing (and cost) is needed to leverage the new information. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is used in the GET DNAbled process and captures virtually every single point of variation from person to person and has no need to be repeated to leverage new scientific findings. GET DNAbled uses WGS contextualized with an individual’s real-world personal medical and family history to allow interpretation and consultative report generation by a highly specialized medical doctor.
+ WILL I HAVE TO DEAL WITH GOING TO AN OFFICE OR LAB?
No. The entire process can be done in the privacy of your own home. A whole genome sequence saliva kit and any necessary blood spot kits will be shipped directly to you. The final report delivery can be done via HIPAA compliant video conferencing. If blood draws are required, they can be done in the comfort of your chosen location, including your own home. If you prefer an in-person experience, you can make an appointment to come to our offices in Sherman Oaks.
+ IS GET DNABLED AND OTHER PRECISION LABS COVERED BY INSURANCE OR WILL IT AFFECT MY FUTURE INSURANCE?
Your whole genome testing and GET DNAbled reports are currently not covered by insurance — although some of the additional tests may be, depending on your personal medical and family history. We are happy to provide you with medical superbills that you can submit to your insurance company if you get any of the following: Food/Inhalants Sensitivity Testing, Micronutrient Testing, and Pharmacogenomics.
No one is allowed access to your whole genome sequence file or GET DNAbled reports without your permission. Your genetic rights under US law are protected by GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act). Genetic information cannot be used for purposes of limiting access to health insurance or employment. It can be used to limit access to life insurance and long-term care insurance. We do not advise sharing or selling your genetic information unless it is de-identified and anonymized. Your actual name is not used at all in the sequencing of your DNA.
+ HOW ARE THE RESULTS GIVEN TO ME & DO I GET TO KEEP A COPY?
Your individualized results are securely uploaded to our HIPAA compliant patient portal. All of your GET DNAbled reports, raw Whole Genome Sequence (WGS) data file, as well as any labs and actionable results will all be summarized and remain saved in a HIPAA compliant cloud storage for you to securely access and/or download and share with your family or doctor. You may request deletion of all of this information at any time.
+ CAN MY PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN BE INCLUDED IN APPOINTMENTS?
We welcome you to invite your primary care physician (PCP) to any meetings with Dr. Stanford. Thereafter, your PCP can help you manage the medical recommendations that are given. You will also be able to share your reports with your PCP who can download them and keep them in your chart for future reference (if you direct the PCP to do so).