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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if GeneFolio is right for me?

The best way to know if GeneFolio is right for you is to talk with your Avera provider. However, nearly everyone will benefit at some point in their lives from receiving GeneFolio testing. Consider it especially if you:

  • Are preparing for upcoming surgery
  • Are being treated for behavioral health issues such as depression
  • Are being treated for cardiovascular disease
  • Need better pain control for chronic pain
  • Have experienced muscle aches and trouble taking a statin for cholesterol management
  • Take five or more medications

How do I order the GeneFolio test?

You need an appointment with an Avera provider to order the GeneFolio test.

If you live in the Avera service area (South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota), schedule an appointment with an Avera provider and ask about the GeneFolio test. Your Avera provider can order the test using the lab #322-3050. Find an Avera provider.

If you live outside of the Avera service area, we apologize that we’re currently unable to offer the GeneFolio test to patients at non-Avera facilities due to licensing. We recommend talking to your provider about your desire for pharmacogenomics testing. They may be aware of a similar test available in your area. You can also search online for “pharmacogenomics testing companies” near you.

How much does the GeneFolio test cost? Is it covered by insurance?

GeneFolio is available starting at $179, plus lab fees. Insurance may cover the test in certain cases, but not often.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) dollars can be used for the GeneFolio test.

In the realm of health care tests, the cost of $179 is relatively low, especially considering the benefits. Plus, when you have co-pays and/or deductibles for prescription drugs, getting the right medication the first time saves you money and time.

What does the GeneFolio test involve?

  • Your Avera provider orders the test and takes a blood sample in the clinic.
  • Avera’s genetic scientists at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics analyze the sample and create a personalized results report for you.
  • The simple-to-read report indicates which medications you’re more compatible with and which you aren’t. The report is color-coded like a stoplight and identifies medications as green, yellow or red. Medications that are marked “green” may work well as there is no or minimal drug-gene interaction. Medications marked “yellow” might have a caution attached, for example, a change in the standard dosage. Medications marked “red” should be used with caution and more monitoring from your physician.
  • You may schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss any potential medication changes.
  • The report is saved in your Avera electronic medical record for future use and can be viewed by you in the Reports section of AveraChart.

How many genes are tested with GeneFolio?

GeneFolio tests 17 genes that impact medications in four main classes: pain, depression and other psychotropic disorders, statins for cholesterol and certain types of blood thinners. Additional genes and medication classes will be added in the future.

How many medications are included in the GeneFolio test?

GeneFolio tests 200 medications with additional medications to be added in the future.

How long are the results viable?

Your results are viable for a lifetime because DNA doesn’t change. For example, a patient who is tested now for pain management could use the results at a later date when needing medication to control high cholesterol, and so on. Results are kept in your electronic medical record, which can be accessed by medical professionals at any Avera location.

What is the rate of success using the GeneFolio test?

So far, more than 300 patients have been tested with GeneFolio. This test is so new that we haven’t had time to track long-term results yet. However, the main purpose of GeneFolio is to provide information that physicians can use as a tool for better prescribing. So if you think of success as the number of patients and their physicians who are now more informed about how they metabolize medications in the four classes of pain, behavioral health and statins, and blood thinners, then the success rate would be close to 100 percent.

The GeneFolio test is based on sound science and has helped numerous patients. For instance, one patient was actually using a walker to get around because he had such debilitating muscle pain as a result of taking statins. After receiving his GeneFolio results, his doctor put him on another medication that he would tolerate better, and he’s now back to enjoying camping and other favorite activities. And, GeneFolio makes prescribing safer because it helps us predict exactly how a patient will metabolize medications. This informs us not only about the different medications to prescribe, but also the best dosage.

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