As genetic testing and genomic data become more and more readily available, the need to educate the healthcare workforce, patients, their family members, and the general public about genetics will continue to grow.
There are currently significant challenges regarding access to clinical geneticists and genetic counselors because of the number of genetic providers and their location typically in academic health centers.
Research demonstrates that the use of telehealth in genetics (telegenetics) can reduce barriers and improve patient access to genetic services with high levels of patient satisfaction. There are numerous existing resources to support telegenetics and telehealth efforts.
NYMAC Telegenetics Resources
In this grant cycle, NYMAC is offering one-on-one "Telegenetics Navigation" for people interested in telegenetics, including in-depth telegenetics program planning support. We are also offering telegenetics training for genetics providers. We will continue the previously established interactive Telegenetics Community of Practice (TCOP) group as well. See details below, and the NYMAC telegenetics resources flyer for a summary of these programs.
NYMAC Telegenetics Navigation
- One-on-one technical assistance, support, and resource identification for people with questions about telegenetics
- Open to NYMAC genetics providers, referring providers, and patients
- Available support for telegenetics program planning, with a detailed planning guide with resources, templates, and a planning checklist
- Collaboration with the regional Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs)
- Email for more information about Telegenetics Navigation and Telegenetics Program Planning
Factsheet on Technology for Telegenetics, including an overview of telegenetics technology models, key terms, technology tips and resources, and a sample telegenetics technology plan.
NYMAC Telegenetics Training
NYMAC sponsors a combined virtual and in-person telegenetics training program. Online training modules include topics such as policy/legal issues, technology, etiquette, and billing. The one-day in-person session includes hands-on technology training, instruction, and role playing. Email for more information.
NYMAC Telegenetics Community of Practice (TCOP)
NYMAC established the Telegenetics Community of Practice (TCOP) in 2016 as a way to support telegenetics in the region by providing a structure to bring together people interested in telegenetics to learn from each other and offer collaboration and mentorship. The TCOP is a group of over 100 providers who are practicing, have experience with, or are interested in telegenetics, who meet periodically via webinar and/or conference calls to discuss their experiences and strategies for successfully using telegenetics. Email notifications on key telehealth topics are sent, and the TCOP also has an interactive online community to share slides and webinar summaries, post resources for telegenetics, and have discussions with other members. Webinar topics have included billing and reimbursement, and technology options, among others. Email for more information.
Links to previous webinars
- Introduction to Telegenetics
- Business planning and reimbursement
- Technical and Administrative Considerations for Telegenetics
- Technology options
- More webinars are available in the Basecamp system
Other Telehealth and Telegenetics Resources
- The Midwest Genetics Network has created a series of videos for patients and families called "An Introduction to Health Care through Telemedicine."
- A growing number of medical providers are using technology to increase access to health care services. One of the ways to reach patients is by use of telemedicine. While there is a lot of information available about telemedicine, much of it is geared toward medical providers. The Midwest Genetics Network created these videos specifically for patients and their families to increase their awareness of the benefits of seeing a health care provider using telemedicine.
- These videos introduce you to telemedicine, describe what to expect, and help you to get the most out of your telemedicine appointment.
- Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) have been established to provide assistance, education and information to organizations and individuals who are actively providing or interested in providing medical care at a distance. Their charter from the Office for Advancement of Telehealth is to assist in expanding the availability of health care to underserved populations. You can locate your regional TRC, and also utilize the TRC’s policy and technology resources available at:
- The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center reviews and summarizes national and state policy issues related to telehealth.
- The National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center (TTAC) reviews and summarizes technology applications and issues in telehealth.
- The National Coordinating Center (NCC) for the Regional Genetic Networks coordinates all 7 regional genetics networks in the country, including NYMAC. They have a telegenetics workgroup and other useful resources.
- The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is a non-profit association based in Washington DC with a membership network of more than 10,000 industry leaders and healthcare professionals. The ATA is a leading telehealth association helping to transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.
- The HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT) promotes the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education, and health information services.
- In New York State Medicaid MCOs can submit updated Telehealth Innovation Plans (TIP) if they wish to qualify for bonus points for their 2018 Quality Incentive award. Information regarding the 2017 Quality Incentive is available.