The UTHealth Division of Genetic Counseling offers High-Risk Reproductive Genetic Counseling Services for all families across the state of Texas. This service aims to provide access to reproductive genetic counseling for high risk indications such as abnormal prenatal screening results, abnormal preimplantation genetic testing results, and positive personal/family history. For a full list of indications, please see below.
In-person and telemedicine appointments are available to maximize the patient experience and efficiency. Spanish-speaking services and counseling with interpreters for other languages is available.
If you would like to refer a patient, please call the Division of Genetic Counseling at 713-486-9302 or fax a copy of our referral form along with patient medical records (lab results, ultrasound reports, and patient demographics). Please use these links if you need a maternal fetal medicine consult, ultrasound appointment or referral to our Fetal Center.
What types of indications and conditions are served by this service?
The UTHealth High Risk Reproductive Genetics Service specializes in providing care to those considered “high risk.” Examples of indications that fall into this category include:
-Abnormal non-invasive prenatal screening results (NIPT/NIPS/cfDNA)
-Abnormal CVS or amniocentesis results
-Positive personal or family history, such as having a history of sickle cell anemia, Huntington’s disease, or another genetic condition
-Positive carrier screening
-Abnormal fetal ultrasound findings
-Discussion of preimplantation genetic testing (PGT-A, PGT-M, PGT-SR)
Please call 713-486-9302 to discuss other high-risk patients who may benefit from genetic counseling.
What can my patient expect from the appointment?
Your patient will be scheduled with one of our prenatal genetic counselors, who will perform a risk assessment based on medical and family history, relevant testing results, and ultrasound reports. This information will be discussed with the patient so they understand what risks may exist in their current or future pregnancy. Our genetic counselors will explain all available tests, screenings and procedures to your patient, along with the benefits, limitations, and risks of those options. Decision-making support and emotional guidance will also be provided to your patient.
If genetic testing is pursued, our genetic counselors will disclose results and provide necessary resources and support to patients. These results and follow-up recommendations will be communicated to the referring provider.
How long does it take for a patient to get an appointment?
Patients will be contacted within 1-2 business days to schedule an appointment and are typically scheduled within one week depending upon patients’ preferences for in-person or telemedicine services. Please call 713-486-9302 for urgent referrals.
What kind of phone, tablet, or computer setup is required for a telemedicine appointment?
UTHealth telemedicine appointments can be performed in a using the MyChart app (found in the Google Play store or iTunes) on any Android, iOS phone, or tablet released in the last few years. If your patient does not have the app, we will send a link to them via email and text. We strongly recommend patients use a desktop or laptop and that they reserve 45-60 minutes in a quiet space for the appointment.
Is genetic counseling and genetic testing covered by insurance?
Health insurance usually covers genetic counseling, but the final cost will depend upon the patient’s insurance plan. It is important to know that genetic counseling and genetic testing are billed separately, and coverage of one does not guarantee coverage of the other. Insurance companies have different policies and coverage may depend upon the patients’ indication for testing. As part of the discussion of genetic testing, the genetic counselor will review cost and insurance coverage of the relevant tests with your patients.
Is my patient’s health care information safe if they elect a telemedicine visit?
UTHealth employs encrypted, HIPAA-compliant technology to connect you to one of our genetic counselors. Patients can confidently discuss your health in an environment of secure privacy.