Announcing Blue Cross Personalized Medicine Program Aimed at Customizing Member Treatments

Amy Barczy

| 3 min read

Amy Barczy is a former brand journalist who authored...

Woman looks at her medication
Home DNA test kits have become widely popular as people seek to learn more about their genealogy and ancestry, as well as their risks for some diseases. Genetic testing technology is also being used by the medical field to help tailor treatments and medications to the individual. One of the genetics tests is pharmacogenomics, a type of precision medicine that uses an individual’s unique genetic makeup, as well as their lifestyle and environmental factors, to help decide a course of treatment. A recent study found more than 90% of patients had a genetic variant that could affect their response to a medication. Pharmacogenomics holds great promise to personalize medical treatments for the individual, enabling providers to deliver treatments that are more precise and more effective. This is an alternative to the standard use of the “one-drug-fits-all” approach that typically relies on trial and error to find the right medication for an individual. Using this blanket approach for an entire population has led to unintended adverse drug reactions which are a leading cause of death according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and extra costs for the patient and health care system. Blue Care Network members will soon have access to Michigan’s first end-to-end pharmacogenomics precision medicine program – Blue Cross Personalized Medicine℠ – using this technology. A pilot program is currently underway for select members through the end of this year, and a comprehensive program launch is scheduled for January 2023 for eligible Blue Care Network members with pharmacy benefits. Blue Care Network will be partnering with OneOme to facilitate this program. Using OneOme’s RightMed® Test, providers will be able to use a patient’s genetic test results to help find the right medication for them. This can be used in various diagnoses including behavioral health, cardiology, cardiovascular and oncology. Here’s how it works:
  • Eligible Blue Care Network members request their test from OneOme, after which a provider reviews the request
  • Once approved, a test kit is mailed to the member
  • Members collect their own DNA sample at home using a cheek swab and mail in their sample
  • The sample is analyzed at the OneOme lab for 27 genes that could affect how a patient would respond to certain medications
  • Results are shared back with only the patient, their provider and a trained pharmacist
  • Patients and physicians receive a clinical action plan prepared by a trained pharmacogenomic pharmacist with actionable steps for a targeted health care plan
The Blue Cross Personalized Medicine program will be provided at no additional cost to eligible members or employer group customers. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are not involved in the process and do not have access to the test results, and the results will not affect a member’s coverage. Any recommendations for changes based on the results are optional and will be determined and agreed upon by the trained pharmacist, the member and their physician. For more information on the program, visit More from MIBluesPerspectives:
Photo credit: Getty Images
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association