Genetics can influence your health and wellness. Gundersen Health System genetic counselors can help you analyze hereditary information and develop personalized treatment plans in the following specialty care areas:
- Prenatal genetic counseling
- Pediatrics genetic counseling
- Cancer genetic counseling
Our genetic counselors offer services in-person in La Crosse and via telemedicine throughout the region. Ask your healthcare provider to be referred to Genetic Counseling for an appointment.
Preparing for your appointment
Your personal and family medical history is important. You can prepare for an appointment with our genetic counselors by:
- Asking relatives about your family's medical history. If possible, get the most detailed account of the condition that has been diagnosed in your family (if applicable), and the ages at which diagnosis occurred.
- Bringing along any genetic testing results that have already been completed in your family.
- Gathering any medical records related to your concerns or diagnosis.
- Preparing a list of questions you would like to ask your genetic counselor.
A typical appointment
The initial meeting with your genetic counselor usually is about an hour. Genetic testing and follow-up appointments may occur. Your initial counseling session may include:
- Review of your personal and family medical history
- A risk assessment for you and other immediate relatives
- Education about your concerns or diagnosis
- Information on genetic testing options
- Genetic testing (such as a blood sample) if indicated after the discussion
- Discussion of the meaning of possible genetic test results
- Information on long-term resources
Frequently asked questions
- Will seeing a genetic counselor cost me a lot of money?
At this time, genetic counseling is available to Gundersen patients at no cost. If you should need genetic testing, most health plans may cover some of the cost. Your genetic counselor will discuss the cost of genetic testing at your appointment.
- What should I bring to my first genetic counseling appointment?
Bring along any genetic testing results that have already been completed in your family. If genetic testing has not been done, bring the name of the condition diagnosed in your family and the ages at which diagnosis occurred.
- Will I face the risk of losing my insurance coverage if I see a genetic counselor?
No. With the passing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, both employers and health insurance companies cannot discriminate against patients because of genetic testing results.
- Is the information discussed in my meeting with a genetic counselor confidential?
As with all other aspects of healthcare, confidentiality of risk assessment and results is important. No information discussed in the meeting will be shared with third parties without consent.
- How long will it take to receive my genetic testing results if I were to partake in testing?
Depending on the type of genetic tests, results can take several weeks. In your appointment, if genetic testing is indicated, your genetic counselor will provide you with a timeline for results.