Getting Started with AT-GC
A what-to-expect-guide for your telehealth genetic counseling journey with Advanced Tele-Genetic Counseling
Genetic counseling is the process of supporting patients and providers understand and navigate the complex world of personalized genomics.
When an individual meets with an AT-GC certified genetic counselor as a new patient, here is what to expect.
Together with you, the genetic counselor:
- Reviews and compiles your personal and family genetic health history, dating back three generations, if possible.
- Completes and discusses your genetic risk assessment and identifies your personalized genetic risk factors.
- Reviews relevant testing options that may be appropriate for you, or interprets the results of existing genetic testing results, if you have them.
- Explains in detail the benefits and limitations of the genetic testing most applicable for you and supports you in your decision to have or not have genetic testing.
- Works with you and/or your healthcare team to help facilitate and coordinate genetic testing, if warranted. DNA samples can often be mailed in without you needing to leave the house.
- After genetic testing, your provider or your genetic counselor informs you of your specific results. The genetic counselor will meet with you to ensure that genetic testing results are received and fully understood.
- Provides follow-up support for genetic testing results by helping outlay the meaning of specific genetic findings and their potential implications for your health and/or the health of your family members.
- Communicates with your healthcare team to share next-steps information for your wellness, health management, and follow-up, should recommendations exist following genetic testing results.
- Determines who in the family is also at risk for any genetic findings.
- Provides easy-to-understand interpretation of any complex genetics results into meaningful records for your ongoing care.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can genetic counseling help me? How can it help my family?
Meeting with a genetic counselor can help you learn more about the specific genetic risk factors in your family.
Based on your genetic test results, your doctor may want to offer specialized screening or management options to keep you healthy.
You may want to consider ways to reduce the chance of developing symptoms related to specific genetic findings.
You could share information with your relatives so they can determine their own risk of developing certain genetic conditions and stay healthy.
Does your practice accept insurance?
Advanced Tele-Genetic Counseling is out-of-network with all commercial health insurance plans. AT-GC does not accept Medicaid, Medicare, or Tricare, including managed plans.
Will my insurance pay for genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling is a covered service under many commercial health insurance plans and patients with out-of-network coverage may find that the service is a reimbursable expense. We are happy to help provide documentation to pursue this option.
How will you bill me?
Payment for genetic counseling is collected securely via verified credit card or HSA payment through the AT-GC Client Portal.
What are the fees for genetic counseling?
AT-GC is committed to providing exceptional patient care through rapid telehealth availability for people seeking to understand and manage their genomic risks.
Our New Patient Comprehensive Genetic Counseling service is a one-time payment that includes both initial and results counseling, as needed.
Visit the AT-GC Scheduler to view current new patient appointment availability and to learn more.
I hear there is often follow-up involved in genetic counseling. Do I have to pay for this?
Genetic counseling involves an initial consultation that includes review of personal and family histories, personalized risk assessment, review of existing genetic testing, and discussion of any genetic testing that may be appropriate for you.
If you pursue additional testing, your genetic counselor will help coordinate the test with you and/or your local provider.
Results (post-test) genetic counseling — including a review of genetic testing results, medical management recommendations, implications for family members, and follow up with your provider so you can take control of your genetic wellness journey — is included in your initial payment, meaning you pay once and receive comprehensive care tailored to your needs.
Does your practice offer financial assistance?
We are a small, woman-owned practice whose goal is to help make genetic counseling accessible to individuals who need it. AT-GC offers financial assistance via a reduction in fees for patients who meet certain criteria and who are able to provide the required supporting documentation. You may request a copy of AT-GC’s Patient Assistance Application by emailing our AT-GC Care Team Coordinators.
To see if you may qualify, please first consult the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2). Payment for genetic counseling is collected securely via verified credit card or HSA payment through the AT-GC Client Portal.
What is the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act?
The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) is a federal law passed in 2008. It and other state laws help protect most people undergoing genetic testing against health insurance discrimination and employment discrimination.
Is AT-GC affiliated with a particular genetic testing laboratory?
As an independent genetic counseling provider, AT-GC does not support any particular genetic testing laboratory. Instead, genetic counselors use the information discussed during the new patient appointment and references the patient’s unique personal and family health history genetic counseling evaluation when considering which genetic testing is most appropriate.
Do you access and/or store my DNA?
AT-GC does not have access to, nor does it store, biological patient samples.
Samples are submitted by the patient or the patient’s physician directly to the selected genetic testing laboratory.
AT-GC genetic counselors can help guide you regarding the policies laboratories have with regard to preservation and protection of your DNA samples, as not all laboratory policies are equivalent.
Proactive Wellness and Genetic TestingGenetic counseling is appropriate for all who want to understand more about the influence of their inherited genetic information and associated health risks Genetic counseling is useful for understanding personal or family history of suspected genetic conditions, and for those without access to, or knowledge of, their biological family medical history Genetic counseling is warranted both for those experiencing symptoms and for healthy individuals who seek personalized preventive health information about their genetic risks Genetic counseling is useful in understanding clinician-ordered genetic testing as well as the benefits and limitations of DTC commercial and ancestry test results
1:10 of all cancers are related to geneticsGenetic counseling is currently recommended for personal or family history of certain cancers, such as ovarian and pancreatic in any blood relative
Genetic counseling is often appropriate for personal or family history of hereditary breast, colorectal, cutaneous melanoma, gastric, prostate, renal cell, uterine, and thyroid cancers, among others
Family or personal history of similar or aggressive cancer types, bilateral primary cancers in paired organs, multiple cancer diagnoses, or cancers occurring more frequently or at younger ages than would be expected
Reproduction1:2 cases of infertility may be explained by genetics Knowing genetic risks may help with the fertility journey
Genetic counseling is useful for individuals or couples planning a pregnancy, and for those who are expecting and wish to know more about genetic risks
Genetic counseling is offered for advanced maternal (+35 years) or advanced paternal (+40 years) age, and for all who want to know more
Genetic counseling is useful for carrier testing and screening such as PGT (PGS/PGD) and prenatal diagnostic testing
Genetic counseling for a history of miscarriages, stillbirths, or history of symptoms in the family that may be genetic
Ocular30% of cataract cases are related to genetics
Genetic counseling is important for understanding histories of early-onset vision changes, such as blindness, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal degeneration
Genetic counseling is important for other conditions of the eye that are suspected to be genetic in nature, such as retinal or corneal dystrophies, inherited strabismus, and colorblindness
Pharmacogenomic testing explores how an individual may respond to common drugs and can help prevent adverse reactions and provide efficacy information for dosage and type
Genetic counseling for physician support when considering certain FDA labels recommending pharmacogenomic testing for medication and treatment decisions to prevent severe, adverse drug reactions
Used for physician treatment decisions in oncology, heart and lung diseaseGenetic counseling may be useful for individuals with anxiety, ADHD, autism/ASD, major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, or a personality disorder, or schizophrenia who are under the care of a psychiatrist
30% of cases related to heart disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol run in families
Genetic counseling is important for personal or family history of aortopathies, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathies
Understanding cardiac genetic risks through genetic counseling is important for families with a history of early heart attack, thoracic aneurysm, congenital heart disease, or sudden cardiac death
Genetic counseling for patients undergoing surgery with a suspected or known family or personal history of genetic disease
Genetic counseling support for surgeons requiring assessment of genetic predisposition for pre-surgical and post-surgical decision-making and care
30-40% of epilepsies are inherited15% of ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s disease”) or Parkinson’s disease cases are inherited Genetic counseling is warranted for Huntington disease Some cognitive conditions, such as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, run in families
Genetic counseling is important for neurodevelopmental delay or other conditions, including ataxias, lysosomal storage disorders (such as Gaucher, Niemann-Pick, and Fabry diseases), neuofibromatosis cases, and neuropathies (such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth)
Genetic counseling for family history of similar conditions or symptoms that appear, especially in multiple family members, those on the same side of the family, and sometimes with more frequency, with severity, or at earlier-than-typical ages
Genetic counseling for symptoms that you or your provider are concerned about that appear to be genetic in nature
We Support You
at-gc supports all individuals seeking to know more about their genetic risks
Why Telehealth, Why AT-GC
Our team of certified genetic counseling experts provides comprehensive genetic counseling for the patients we are lucky to serve.
With national coverage, we understand that, like our individual genomes, every patient is unique.
Our practice strives to meet patients and partners where they are, wherever that may be, to provide world-class genetic counseling when and where and for all who need it.
Access to healthcare should not be dependent on where you live. With a long-term, global deficit of genetic counselors among increasing demand for genetics evaluations, AT-GC’s tele-genetic counseling support services are an essential tool for achieving health equity across practices and for all patients. We are passionate about providing a solution by connecting patients and providers to qualified genetics professionals.
Telehealth provides ease of scheduling for patients who may otherwise lack the ability, time, or resources to meet with an in-person genetic counselor. For practices and larger health organizations, partnering with AT-GC means no more unfilled genetic counselor positions, no training and overhead, and no problems with retention. We’re ready to help, anytime, and anywhere.
Patients who complete a genetic counseling appointment with an AT-GC genetic counselor report an accurate perception of their risks and say that the experience exceeded their expectations. There is no difference in patient knowledge or satisfaction compared to in-person genetic counseling. AT-GC’s genetic counselors are board-certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and proudly uphold what it means to be a Certified Genetic Counselor.
It is our goal to help increase access and to today’s high-performing, knowledgeable genetic counselors for all who seek to know more about the influence of heredity on our personal well-being. AT-GC’s scalable platform translates into substantial cost-savings for our patients and partners. AT-GC is dedicated to finding solutions to support patient care across our communities for all who need them.