Question: Our hospital offers genetic screening and counseling to persons with a history of cancer who are self-referred or referred by physicians. We feel the need is documented by the large number of persons requesting the services and the fact that otherwise patients would have to travel a great distance. We do not refer patients to our own services for follow-up. Can the costs for this counseling service be reported as community benefit?
Task Force Recommendation: The task force concluded that genetic counseling is similar to other types of screening/follow-up and therefore recommends reporting the costs of this service as community health improvement. For patients who are at high risk of cancer, the service provides health awareness and prevention benefits. The costs of the service should be reported in A3. Health Support Services. Reporting this service as community benefit would be further be strengthened if efforts are made to reach out to uninsured/low-income people.