AMSNY Memorandum in Support A.49 (Rosenthal)—S. 3552 (Breslin)

The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY) supports A.49 (Rosenthal)—S. 3552
(Breslin) which provides for the licensing of genetic counselors and creates the state board for
genetic counseling.

AMSNY is the consortium of the public and private medical schools in New York State and
works in partnership with its membership to advance healthcare through education,
collaboration and advocacy. Our member medical schools employ genetic counselors for both
clinical care and research, and strongly support licensing these providers in New York.
Genetic counselors are integral to the healthcare workforce. Genetic counselors help patients
make medical decisions about how to manage their genetic health risks, select the appropriate
genetic testing and communicate these health realities with their families and loved ones. They
also engage in research through the academic medical centers to advance scientific
knowledge and develop treatments for patients.

There are also economic and legal benefits for genetic counseling; according to a study
published by Associated Regional and University Pathologists (ARUP) Laboratories in 2014,
genetic counselors working at a diagnostic laboratory revised 26% of the test orders over 21
months, leading to healthcare savings of nearly $1.2 million, and this level of appropriate
testing also reduced waste and potentials for fraud.

New York has been at the forefront of genetic counseling education for 45 years, with training
programs at many AMSNY member institutions. However, New York State does not have an
official licensure process for the profession, which is a significant disincentive to those who
might seek employment as genetic counselors in the state. Despite educating a large number
of the country’s genetic counselors, New York faces a shortage of these same providers
working in our state.

Licensure will help ensure that qualified and board-certified genetic counselors are providing
the highest quality care to patients and will lead to better recognition by health care insurers,
including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This helps ensure adequate
reimbursement for essential genetics services and access for historically underserved
populations by enabling the hiring of additional genetic counselors. Licensure creates clear
educational, certification and continuing education standards for all genetic counselors in the

For the reasons above, AMSNY strongly supports licensure for genetic counselors and urges
the Legislature to consider and pass A.49 (Rosenthal)—S. 3552 (Breslin). If you have any
further questions or concerns, please contact me at 212-218-4610 or