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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 23, 2018 03:49 PM
From: Representative Christopher B. Quinn
To: All House members
Subject: Genetic Counselors Ordering Genetic Testing
I plan to introduce legislation focused on improving current law relating to genetic counselors.

Pennsylvania is currently the only state with genetic counselor licensure to explicitly disallow their ability to order genetic testing. In order to make the necessary changes for genetic counselors to “order” tests, we need to amend both the Osteopathic Medical Practice and Medical Practice acts and have two separate bills as a pair.

Currently, under the Act of Oct. 5, 1978, P.L 1109, No. 261 (Osteopathic Medical Practice Act) and the Act of Dec. 20 1985, P.L. 457, No. 112 (Medical Practice Act), genetic counselors are not permitted to order genetic tests, despite their specialized training. Yet it's precisely this training in the evaluation of family histories and expertise in genetic testing that is sought by the referring provider. This limitation imposed by the current PA licensure of genetic counselors creates several challenges, most importantly, a delay in the delivery of genetic services.

Specifically, this legislation would allow genetic counselor to order genetic testing to enable patients to receive convenient, high-quality genetic services as evidence-based research demonstrates.

This initiative is a priority of the Pennsylvania Association of Genetic Counselors.

In all, 24 states have adopted similar legislation, with an additional 24 states actively engaged in licensure efforts.

Please join me in co-sponsoring these pieces of legislation.

Document #1

Introduced as HB2618

Description: This bill would amend the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act.

Document #2

Introduced as HB2619

Description: This bill would amend the Medical Practice Act.