Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 522–530 | Cite as

Factors Which Impact the Delivery of Genetic Risk Assessment Services Focused on Inherited Cancer Genomics: Expanding the Role and Reach of Certified Genetics Professionals

  • Cristi Radford
  • Anya Prince
  • Karen Lewis
  • Tuya PalEmail author
Next Generation Genetic Counseling


There is tremendous excitement about the promise of new genomic technologies to transform medical practice and improve patient care. Although the full power of genetic diagnosis has not yet been realized, paradigms of clinical decision-making are changing. In fact, recent policy level changes to promote genetic counseling by certified genetics professionals (GP) such as genetic counselors and clinical geneticists, are occurring at both the payer and state level. However, there remain opportunities to develop policies within the United States to: 1) enhance the access to the limited workforce of GPs; 2) revise reimbursement schemes such that costs to deliver these services may be recouped by institutions with GPs; and 3) protect against the potential for discrimination based on genetic information. Although many of these issues predate advances in genomic technologies, they are exacerbated by them, with increasing access and awareness as costs of testing decrease. Consequently, evolving shifts in national policies poise GPs to serve as a hub of information and may be instrumental in facilitating new models to deliver genetics-based care through promoting academic-community partnerships and interfacing with non-GPs. As we acknowledge the potential for genomics to revolutionize medical practice, the expertise of GPs may be leveraged to facilitate incorporation of this information into mainstream medicine.


Genetic services Service delivery Cancer genomics Genetic counselors 



Sincere appreciation is expressed to Debra Duquette, MS, CGC, Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing, MI for her input and guidance. This work was supported in part by an external peer-reviewed research grant through Florida Biomedical (IBG09-34198).

Disclosures of interest

Cristi Radford is a full-time employee of the commercial laboratory Ambry genetics. Karen Lewis is a full-time employee of the Michigan-based health insurer, Priority Health. Anya Prince and Tuya Pal declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristi Radford
    • 1
  • Anya Prince
    • 2
  • Karen Lewis
    • 3
  • Tuya Pal
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Ambry GeneticsAliso ViejoUSA
  2. 2.Cancer Legal Resource Center, Disability Rights Legal CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Priority HealthGrand RapidsUSA
  4. 4.Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Internal MedicineMoffitt Cancer Center, MRC-CANCONTTampaUSA

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