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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 18, 2018 10:17 AM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion
To: All Senate 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.

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 Pennsylvania licensure of genetic counselors creates several challenges, most importantly, a delay in the delivery of genetic services.

Specifically, this legislation would allow genetic counselors 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; and is supported by Penn State Health.

In all, 25 states have adopted similar legislation.

This legislation will be similar to SB 1074 and SB 1169 of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB340