Precision Medicine & Genetic Services

Common Questions

Who are Genetic Counselors?

You may be referred to a genetic counselor by a doctor (such as an primary care provider, obstetrician, or oncologist) to discuss your family history and genetic risks, before or after having genetic testing. A genetic counselor is a healthcare professional with an advanced degree in genetics as well as experience in counseling and education. In the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, genetic counselors must be Licensed and Board Certified to practice. To learn more about genetic counselors, click here.

 


What Happens at a Genetic Counseling Appointment?

Risk Assessment: The genetic counselor will take a complete family history and medical history. During the risk assessment the patient will learn more about genetic causes of conditions.

Education: Includes learning about the genetics of hereditary conditions, genetic testing options, and other screening, management and treatment options.

Testing: If indicated, genetic testing is offered after a discussion of the benefits, risks, and limitations of testing. Deciding whether or not to have genetic testing is a personal choice. The genetic test may include either a blood draw or collection of saliva (buccal sample).

Results: Individuals receive their test result from the genetic counselor. A discussion follows regarding how the result affects screenings, treatments, and medical management, as well as recommendations for other relatives.

How can I prepare for my genetic counseling appointment?

Write down the medical history for you, your family, and extended relatives. If you have limited or no family history information, that is okay! A genetic counseling appointment can still be very useful even without this. Please bring the following information about you and your family to your appointment:

  • Current ages
  • Diagnoses related to your visit, including age of onset
  • Ages and causes of death (if applicable)
  • Genetic testing results for you or family members

For more information on medical records most helpful to your appointment, please reference the dedicated service page you are seeking counseling for (cardiovascular, cancer, neurology, prenatal).

What is the Cost of Genetic Counseling and Testing?

Many insurance companies cover the cost of your genetic counseling appointment. The cost of genetic testing depends on the test ordered and the lab that is performing the test. Your genetic counselor will discuss the cost of testing with you during your appointment and financial assistance options. Most testing labs also offer a self-pay option for those who do not have insurance or do not meet their insurance plan’s coverage criteria. In most cases, you do not need to call your insurance carrier before the genetic testing appointment.

*Please note that there may be two costs associated with your visit: the cost of the genetic counseling appointment and the cost of genetic testing.*

Can the Results of Testing Affect my Insurance?

Some people are concerned that their genetic information may be used against them or will label them as having a “pre-existing condition”. The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA, 2008) is a federal law stating that health insurance companies and employers cannot discriminate against you based on genetic testing results. If you work for a company with less than 15 employees or are employed by the US military or the federal government, these protective laws may not apply to you. GINA does not cover life, long-term care, or disability insurance. These companies can ask about genetic information and use it to make pricing/coverage decisions. To learn about laws protecting individuals from genetic discrimination, click here.

When will I get my test results?

Most tests will return results in 2-4 weeks after sample collection. A genetic counselor will call you to review your results in detail. These phone calls include a discussion of:

  • A personalized health care plan specific to you and your genetics
  • How your results could impact your family members
  • Option of scheduling a follow-up appointment to discuss in more detail

Test results are available online through your MyChart account and you can request a paper copy of your results. Your doctors at TriHealth will also have access to your test results.

Precision Medicine
Fax 513 852 8508
Precision Medicine Phone
513 853 4363