NSGC comes into the new year with good momentum after providing considerable education and information to the Congressional committees that have jurisdiction over H.R. 3876 and S. 2323. For 2024, NSGC’s top priority is to create a loud echo chamber on Capitol Hill in support of the “Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act.” NSGC currently has a strong coalition of 450 organizations supporting this bill, a remarkable achievement, and the envy of many lobbyists around Capitol Hill. Our Board, Advocacy Coordinating Committee, and members have done tremendous work recruiting these supporters.
Having a strong list of supporters is impressive but will not get us over the finish line to enact this important legislation. Now is the time for our Coalition to lend their strong voices on the Hill in support of H.R. 3876/S.2323. In the coming days, NSGC will request they use their influence on the Hill to help enact the “Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act” this year. NSGC is a great position for success, but we need our partners’ help.
If your organization has signed on as a supporter of the Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act, please encourage your leadership and government relations team to contact members of Congress and request that they cosponsor and support enactment of this legislation in 2024.
We have supporting documents that can be found here. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSGC Draws Attention to H.R. 3876/S. 2323 through Public Comments
NSGC advocacy efforts were very active during the last quarter of 2023.
In October, NSGC submitted comments to the House Budget Committee’s Health Care Task Force, which seeks to modernize and personalize the health care system, support innovation, increase patient access to quality and affordable care, and ensure budget-impact accuracy of Medicare and Medicaid policies. Our comments focused on the need to enact H.R. 3876 and cited genetic testing and counseling as perhaps the most innovative science advancing health care to improve and save lives, as well as reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending.
Also, in October NSGC responded to the House Ways & Means Committee’s request for information to “Improve Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas.” Our comments asserted that while clinical practice guidelines emphasize the use of genetic counselors as best practice, Medicare patients lack access to genetic counseling because the Medicare program does not recognize or directly reimburse for genetic counselors’ services. This lack of recognition places, rural and underserved areas at a higher risk of missing out on this life-saving service.
Most rural providers and others with limited resources cannot justify the added cost of hiring a genetic counselor whose services are not reimbursed by Medicare—very often a rural provider’s top payer. H.R. 3876 would enable more rural health facilities to hire more genetic counselors as well as empower genetic counselors to open practices in underserved areas.
In addition, NSGC submitted comments to the FDA voicing concerns regarding the proposed regulation on lab developed tests.