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Providing Genetic Services at a National Level – Workforce, Telegenetics, Payer Coverage Policies, and Beyond 

15 Mar 2024
Venue: MTCC
Meeting Room: 714/16
Health Services & Implementation
  • Accredited:
    • Accredited
  • Primary Categories:
    • Health services and Implementation
  • Secondary Categories:
    • Health services and Implementation
  • Level of Learner:
    • Basic
Numerous barriers in utilization of genetic services currently exist, and the full potential of genetics and genomics in medicine cannot be realized until such barriers are removed. The degree of access to services in the United States can be highly variable and dependent on many factors, including payer coverage, geography, and federal and state policies. It has been demonstrated that clinical geneticists are largely located in major metropolitan areas or academic medical centers, thus access to genetic services for patients living in rural areas is often limited (Jenkins et al. 2019. Genet. Med). Geographical barriers may be partially alleviated with the use of telegenetics, however its implementation and utilization could be limited by coverage parity, federal/state legislation, patients’ access to technologies (Williams et al. 2022) and patient preferences for virtual care (Scheuner et al., 2022). Moreover, telegenetics does not resolve the underlying genetic healthcare professional workforce shortage or challenges with obtaining payer coverage of genetic services. In the clinical genomics laboratories, technologist workforce shortages are also observed, the consequences of which lead to delays in testing, affecting timely patient care, experience and outcomes (Akkari et al. 2023). In this session, the panel speakers will present 1) the strategies to provide genetic services in rural areas with limited genetic healthcare professionals, 2) the implementation of telegenetics in clinical practice, 3) payer considerations in coverage for genetic testing, and 4) an overview of a recent survey that revealed the possible causes of technologist shortages in the clinical laboratories.

The session will include four speakers followed by Q&A with the panel of speakers. This session is moderated by Marshall Summar, MD, FACMG. The panel will also be joined by Michelle McClure, PhD, to provide additional expertise on policy issues related to access to genetic services.

The panel of speakers presenting is as follows:
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Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the strategies to provide genetic services in rural areas with limited genetic healthcare professionals
  2. Describe the implementation of telegenetics in clinical practice
  3. Explain the payer considerations in coverage for genetic testing
  4. Provide an overview of the landscape of federal policies
  5. Describe how gaps in federal policies lead to a patchwork of state policies

Agenda

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