Genetic counselors are increasingly in demand, especially given the rapid proliferation of genetic testing companies. But unlike doctors, genetic counselors aren’t considered “providers” by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS, despite having a role to play in educating patients about their genes. That means they can’t bill the single-largest payer for health care in the United States.
Erica Ramos, a genetic counselor at Illumina, says she hopes this will change in the coming years, as new legislation moves through the House of Representatives. “We can’t bill Medicare for our services,” she told me yesterday. “That’s a huge gap.”