Genetic Counseling Program Gives Cigna Customers Increased Access to Genetic Counselors July 2013
An innovative genetic counseling program announced today by Cigna (NYSE: CI) will result in more individuals receiving appropriate genetic testing and making informed decisions about their health, said the largest membership organization representing genetic counselors.
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) represents 2,800 health care professionals who have in-depth training in genetics and provide information and counseling to patients who are considering genetic testing.
Cigna’s new Genetic Testing and Counseling Program will require its customers to undergo genetic counseling conducted by an independent board-certified genetic counselor or medical geneticist prior to undergoing testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, and Long QT syndrome, an inherited heart condition. Genetic testing is becoming an increasingly common and important component of personalized disease management, and genetic counselors are able to help individuals and health care professionals make informed decisions on the appropriate course of care.
“We applaud Cigna for recognizing the important role genetic counselors play to help someone make a truly informed decision so the right person receives the right test at the right time,” said Rebecca Nagy, President of NSGC. “Too often the wrong family member is tested or the wrong test is ordered. This policy will help ensure that Cigna customers receive appropriate testing that will lead to better health outcomes.”
The new policy is innovative and is the first of its type by a national payer.
“We are committed to providing Cigna customers with all of the information they need to understand their inherited health risks and make decisions about complex genetic tests. We are working with the NSGC to ensure our customers can easily access genetic counselor services,” said David Finley, MD, National Medical Officer for Enterprise Affordability and Policy, Cigna.
About the National Society of Genetic Counselors
NSGC is the leading voice, authority and advocate for the genetic counseling profession, representing more than 3,000 health professionals. The organization is committed to ensuring that the public has access to genetic counseling and genetic testing. For more information, visit www.nsgc.org.
NSGC Media Contact:
Public Communications Inc.