Two Bills Address Genetic Information Sharing
Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) has introduced two bills that address ownership of genetic material and whether long-term health care providers should be able to access genetic information, the Sacramento Bee reports. The first bill (SB 199) would clarify that genetic material is a patient's personal property. Hospitals currently prohibit sharing genetic information with anyone but the patient and only allow studies on genetic material without patient consent if all personally identifiable information has been removed, Dr. Sandra Hatcher, supervisor of the Molecular and Cytogenetic Laboratory at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, said. The extent to which medical and research practices would change under the bill is unclear, according to the Bee. The second bill (SB 200) would prohibit long-term care insurance providers from requiring genetic testing to make pricing or coverage decisions. Legislators previously decided that life or disability insurers could use genetic information with a patient's written consent but that health insurance providers could not use genetic tests to screen patients or to set premiums (Fletcher, Sacramento Bee, 4/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.