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GeneDx Commends the States of Arizona and Florida for Adding Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing (rWGS) as a Covered Benefit for Medicaid Pediatric Patients

STAMFORD, Conn., June 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GeneDx (Nasdaq: WGS), a leader in delivering improved health outcomes through genomic and clinical insights, applauds the decisions by the states of Florida and Arizona to provide rWGS for children in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units (NICU and PICU, respectively) who meet clinical criteria. Both states have funded the rWGS benefit in their 2023/2024 budget bills, expected to take effect July 1, 2023.

Florida and Arizona join a growing list of states (California, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon) that recognize the importance of offering rWGS in the NICU and PICU to provide a rapid diagnosis for patients. That number is expected to rise across the U.S. with additional bills pending in three states, including Massachusetts.

“This is a landmark decision for the history books. Making rapid genome sequencing available to our most vulnerable population will help countless babies and families in so many ways,” said Pankaj Agrawal, M.D., MMSc, Chief of Neonatology, University of Miami, and Jackson Health System. “I see the future where we can provide personalized care, develop precise therapies, and help families with future planning.”

Rapid whole genome sequencing as a first-tier test can influence clinical management, reduce overall healthcare costs, and prevent a diagnostic odyssey for one in three babies in the NICU who are likely to have a genetic condition1. In fact, studies show that:

  • 90% of diagnoses made by rWGS would not have been predicted by clinical features2
  • 61% of babies who receive a diagnosis from rWGS had a change in clinical management3
  • Healthcare costs per child can be reduced by $12,041 to $15,7863

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) recommends rWGS as a first-tier test for critically ill babies with one or more congenital anomalies and the International Precision Child Health Partnership (IPCHiP) recommends it for NICU patients with unexplained hypotonia.

GeneDx is committed to ending the diagnostic odyssey with genome and exome sequencing, and supporting additional scientific studies, such as SeqFirst, to demonstrate the benefits of these potentially life-saving tests to patients and their families. SeqFirst is a study at the University of Washington examining the impact on care of broad access to routine whole genome sequencing in critically ill infants at Seattle Children's Hospital.

About GeneDx
GeneDx (Nasdaq: WGS) delivers personalized and actionable health insights to inform diagnosis, direct treatment and improve drug discovery. The company is uniquely positioned to accelerate the use of genomic and large-scale clinical information to enable precision medicine as the standard of care. GeneDx is at the forefront of transforming healthcare through its industry-leading exome and genome testing and interpretation, fueled by one of the world’s largest, rare disease data sets. For more information, please visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Tricia Truehart

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Maurissa Messier

1 NICUSeq Study Group, Krantz ID, Medne L, et al. Effect of whole-genome sequencing on the clinical management of acutely ill infants with suspected genetic disease: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2021 Dec 1;175(12):1218-1226. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.3496
2 French CE, Delon I, Dolling H, et al. Whole genome sequencing reveals that genetic conditions are frequent in intensively ill children. Intensive Care Med. 2019 May;45(5):627-636. doi: 10.1007/s00134-019-05552-x. Epub 2019 Mar 7.
3 Dimmock D, Caylor S, Waldman B, et al. Project Baby Bear: Rapid precision care incorporating rWGS in 5 California children’s hospitals demonstrates improved clinical outcomes and reduced costs of care. Am J Hum Genet. 2021 Jul 1;108(7):1231-1238. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.008. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

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