573 Magazine Nov 2016 - Page 27

The practice of Hereditary Genetics identifies individuals and families that are at high risk of developing ovarian and breast syndromes, colon and other syndromes. Advanced Practice Nurses in Genetics promote early detection of these syndromes through appropriate screening; explain complex genetic information, coordinate genetic testing and guide patients through the decision making process. Many people are afraid to explore if they could benefit from Genetic testing because they think it is too expensive. Risk Assessment, where I take a detailed family history and draw a simple picture (called a pedigree) of this information is considered a preventive health care visit and is often covered by insurance with no co pay. Based on this information I decide if it is appropriate to draw a blood test and submit it for genetic testing. We have a guarantee that the blood test will not be run until the patient knows if there is any cost at all to them. We have submitted over 130 genetic tests this year and most of our patients have had NO cost at all. Patients who had to pay for their genetic testing had an average cost of $90. Initially we tested for mutations in 2 genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. We now have a panel test that is able to look for harmful mutations in 28 genes. When a harmful mutation is identified I work with patients to identify a plan of care to create strategies to prevent the hereditary syndrome. SGCMH is a small jewel in the increasingly large and bureaucratic world of medicine. SGCMH is committed to providing personalized, innovative and leading edge health care. Risk Assessment and Genetic Testing is one piece of this whole approach to health care.