Viewpoint: Why our nation needs to expand access to genetic counselors

counseling

Recently, our country saw an incredibly rare event — the introduction of a bipartisan bill.

The bill — H.R. 7083 “Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act of 2018” — would allow certified genetic counselors to be recognized as health care providers through Medicare. As we have seen with the recent controversies of genetic testing being used by Elizabeth Warren to confirm her ancestry, and by law enforcement to solve an increasing number of cold cases, genetic testing can be complicated.

This bill could not have come at a better time.

Genetic information and technology are growing so rapidly that many specialists in other fields have difficulty keeping up, much less the public.

Genetic counselors are health care professionals with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling. Genetic counselors are trained to fully explain and explore the concepts of genetic testing and genetic test results with patients, as well as potential psychosocial issues inherent in genetic diagnostic information.

Currently, Medicare patients have difficulty gaining access to the specialized services of genetic counselors and must look to other health care professionals to pursue and interpret genetic testing. If H.R. 7083 becomes law, genetic counselors would be allowed to bill Medicare for their services, increasing access for patients and helping to secure the financial viability of the profession at a time when more genetics and genomic expertise is desperately needed.

Read full, original post: Opinion: Bipartisanship in our genes

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend