Genetic Testing and Counseling

What is telegenetics?

Telegenetics is a service that provides genetic counseling via online video appointments.

Telegenetics (Virtual Visits)

Telegenetics allows for increased access to genetic counseling services. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • Risk assessment based on personal and family history
  • Education of genetics and the association with cancer
  • Review of available genetic testing options
  • Facilitation of informed consent and genetic testing
  • Review management guidelines based on genetic testing results
  • Assist with decision making process regarding healthcare and medical management
  • Provisions of support and counseling

How does telegenetics work?

Site-to-site telegenetics: A genetic counseling appointment is conducted at one of several local hospitals across Indiana. A licensed, certified genetic counselor from Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis will talk to you through an online video call while you are located at one of these sites in Anderson, Evansville or Kokomo. Appointments incorporate risk assessment of personal and family history, pre- and post-test genetic counseling. A local genetic counselor extender will arrange the appointment with a board-certified genetic counselor.

What is the difference between a genetic counselor extender and a genetic counselor?

A genetic counselor extender is usually a nurse navigator working in a breast and/or oncology center at your local hospital. Their duty is to receive referrals, triage and coordinate appointments, perform straightforward cancer risk assessment, and sometimes arrange for some basic genetic testing. Genetic counselor extenders undergo training and work very closely with licensed, board-certified genetic counselors to ensure that you receive high quality care.

A genetic counselor is a Masters and board-certified healthcare professional, trained to assess risk based on personal and family medical history of a genetic predisposition to developing cancer present in a family, explain the risks, benefits and limitations of genetic testing, as well as explain results of genetic testing including a review of evidence-based medical management guidelines, if available. Genetic counselors in the state of Indiana are required to be licensed.

Who do I contact if I am interested in a site-to-site telegenetics visit?

An order for genetic testing from your doctor is required. The genetic counselor extender will work with your physician to be sure we have the appropriate paperwork. The genetic counselor extender will also send you a link to a family history collection tool to help triage you to the best type of appointment (in-person risk assessment with the genetic counselor extender or telegenetics session with the certified genetic counselor). If you have questions, concerns, or are interested in telegenetics, please contact a genetic counselor extender at the contact information below.

Where can I access site-to-site telegenetics? What is the contact information?

Telegenetics is available in the following St. Vincent hospitals locations:

Telegenetics at-home: A genetic counseling appointment is conducted on-line through a secure web-based portal. A licensed, certified genetic counselor from Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis will talk to you through an online video call while you are located at home. To do this, you must have an email address, Internet access (google chrome is the preferred browser) and a google account (free and easy to create). It is preferable to use a home computer with video and audio capabilities for the best virtual genetic counseling experience. If you do not have access to a home computer, a smart phone will work.

Who do I contact if I am interested in an at-home virtual visit?

An order for genetic testing from your doctor is required. Our scheduler will work with your physician to be sure we have the appropriate paperwork. You will receive a link to a family history collection tool and an educational video to watch prior to your appointment. You will also receive a meeting invite that allows you to log in from your personal device with audio and visual capabilities. We will attempt to pre-authorize and bill your insurance. Co-pay amounts may apply to telegenetic services when coverage is available per your payer. If coverage is not available, you agree to assume responsibility for payment. Please see Tips for TH appt.

To schedule an appointment, you can email us at cancergenetics@stvincent.org or call 317-338-7475.

How long does it typically take?

Telegenetic appointments are typically around 45 minutes. If you are using site-to-site telegenetics, a sample for testing can be collected by the genetic counselor extender on the day of the appointment. For those who undergo at-home virtual visits, a genetic testing kit can be sent to your home. Most test results are returned via phone call; a post-test telegenetics appointment can be arranged to review results when needed. This follow-up appointment typically takes 30-60 minutes.

  • Ascension St. Vincent Anderson

    Ascension St. Vincent Anderson is an acute care hospital in Anderson, Indiana, serving patients of all ages in Madison county and surrounding areas.

  • Ascension St. Vincent Evansville

    Ascension St. Vincent Evansville is an acute care hospital serving the residents of Evansville and other communities in Vanderburgh County in Indiana.

  • Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo

    Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo in Kokomo, IN, provides family-centered emergency, primary and specialty care.