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What to Expect During Genetic Counseling

Genetics Evaluation & Genetic Counseling

  • Starts with a referral from your healthcare provider
  • A genetic counselor will guide you through the process
  • Patients and families have an active role!

Evaluation

  • Either before by telephone or at your clinic visit, we will ask detailed questions about your health and the health of your family members. This helps us consider possible genetic conditions related to your or your child's health concerns.
  • Physical exam (except in genetic counseling only visits)
  • Review of previous genetic test results (if this applies)
  • Come prepared with questions!

Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing is not recommended for all patients. A genetic counselor may help you make the best choice for you and your family.

If you choose testing:

  • Authorization (approval) from your insurance company may be required. In this case, we will submit the insurance authorization request on your behalf. It can take up to 4 weeks for your insurance company to respond to us.
  • If the testing is denied by your insurance company, it may be possible to appeal their decision.
  • Self-pay options may also be available if testing is denied.
  • Once we have insurance authorization, you will be notified to return to one of our sites for sample collection. Most genetic tests are done on DNA from a blood sample.
  • For many genetic tests, results take 4 to 6 weeks.

Results Counseling

Once test results are available, you will receive a call from the genetic counselor or other healthcare provider to review the results by telephone. 

  • If the results are complicated, we will follow up with a clinic visit to review the results in person or via telemedicine.
  • Discuss next steps that may be taken
  • Possibility of testing other at-risk family members

Follow-up

In many cases, evaluation of a possible genetic condition is done in a stepwise process. If initial evaluation and tests do not reveal a diagnosis, additional genetic testing and follow-up evaluations may be recommended.  This could include evaluations with other specialists, and in some cases, clinical research studies.

  • Review results from evaluations and testing
  • If a diagnosis is made, discussion of medical management recommendations and any available treatment options.
  • Follow-up in Genetics may be recommended. Advancements in the field of genetics are ongoing, which may improve our ability to care for patients with genetic conditions over time.