Exagen does it again! Their Lupus AVISE testing will now be considered in-network for 3 medical groups! Yay!

Happy to share the following: 

Exagen is pleased to announce contracts with three large medical groups across California to offer AVISE® testing as a covered in-network benefit for patients suspected of having autoimmune disease. Visit Exagen's website to view the press release, or click here to find out more about the AVISE testing. 

Interestingly, this announcement comes on the heels of my participation in a Lupus Strategy Session for National Quality Forum's Measure Incubator, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson. I was honored to be part of the expert panel whose goal was to explore ideas to improve the quality of healthcare in lupus patients. It was wildly productive!  

During the session, discussion about improving the time to lupus diagnosis as well as monitoring the use of plaquenil came up in discussion. The AVISE testing is relevant in both areas, as Exagen has created blood tests specifically for lupus diagnosis and testing hydroxychloroquine levels. But it's clear that one obstacle in allowing the testing to become readily available is insurance coverage. 

So this is big! Three steps forward for Exagen, and a giant step forward for lupus diagnoses!  


Sam said…
I just learned I have syptoms and recent blood test results ordered by my PC physiciain pointing to the possibility of Lupus. My first Rheumotologist appointment is next week. I am planning to ask for the Avise CTD test and any other test that can help me figure out if my problem IS lupus, or might be something else. My life has fallen apart in a matter of five weeks. I've gone from a super active 64 year old person, to someone who can hardly get up and down from a toilet or make it up stairs. The exhaustion is horrible and I'm in constant pain. ven my stomach and chest muscles hurt. It's a scary time. If anyone has suggestions as to what questions I should ask in this first appointment, please share your thoughts or point me to a trusted source. I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of pain meds or a slow walk of this test/that test. I want an aggressive approach to check off the list of possibilities. All of this during Covid19 is a scary thing.
Sara Gorman said…
Sam - I'm sorry you're physically struggling so. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time! My hope is that your upcoming doctor's appointment brings answers and enlightenment. Fingers crossed for concrete steps to treat your symptoms!
Questions are key for your appointment, and so is preparation. The more specific information you can give your doctor,the better. Take some time to think about the following: When did those symptoms start? How have they gotten worse? On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad are they in the a.m/p.m.? How are you sleeping? How significant is the fatigue, and how disruptive is it? How are your symptoms affecting your daily routine? Be specific, just like you were in your comment! Did you try OTC drugs - if so, how effective were they? Try to get this info down on paper BEFORE the appointment. If you're anything like me, the doctor's office has a tendency to make one tongue tied and overwhelmed. But if it's down on paper, you have something to work from. Also, if you can take someone with you to the appointment, that would be ideal. Another set of ears to listen, process, and recall. As far as questions, there are a few below, but lupus.org has some great resources for talking with your doctor. You can also search on this blog - type in "doctor" in the search bar, and my tips for talking with your doctor will come up. Tip #1 is a great place to start.
What's the plan moving forward?
What can I expect between appointments?
What should I do if symptoms worsen?
What are side effects of any medications prescribed?
How quickly do you expect meds to kick in?
Anything to avoid - foods, sun, stress?

Best of luck, and know that this is a huge step in the right direction. You are that much closer to figuring out what is going on. Keep us posted!! ❤

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