Cost major barrier to NIPT use, say physicians

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Changes to practice guidelines and insurance coverage are needed, the authors say.

Results of a survey published in the September issue of The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine reveal that insurance coverage is considered the biggest barrier to routine use of noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

Researchers designed a questionnaire to assess ob/gyns’ knowledge of and attitudes toward screening options for aneuploidy, with a focus on NIPT. Questions evaluated current practices regarding aneuploidy screening as well as the physicians’ opinions of and experiences with NIPT.

The respondents identified NIPT as clinically superior to traditional screening methods and indicated that they would like ACOG to formally recommend NIPT for any pregnant woman. Of note, nearly 15% misunderstood NIPT as being a diagnostic test for fetal aneuploidy.

More than 81% of the respondents said they would use NIPT as a first-line screening test if patients' insurance offered full coverage.

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