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Delivery of clinical genetic consultative services in the Veterans Health Administration.

Scheuner MT, Marshall N, Lanto A, Hamilton AB, Oishi S, Lerner B, Lee M, Yano EM. Delivery of clinical genetic consultative services in the Veterans Health Administration. Genetics in Medicine : Official Journal of The American College of Medical Genetics. 2014 Aug 1; 16(8):609-19.

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OBJECTIVE: To characterize the delivery of genetic consultative services for adults, we examined the prevalence and organizational determinants of genetic consult availability and the organization of these services in the Veterans Health Administration. METHODS: We conducted a Web-based survey of Veterans Health Administration clinical leaders. We summarized facility characteristics using descriptive statistics. Multivariate logistic regression assessed associations between organizational characteristics and consult availability. RESULTS: We received 353 survey responses from key informants representing 141 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Clinicians could obtain genetic consults at 110 (78%) Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Cancer genetic and neurogenetic consults were most common. Academic affiliation (odds ratio = 3.0; 95% confidence interval: 1.1-8.6) and provider education about genetics (odds ratio = 2.9; 95% confidence interval: 1.1-7.8) were significantly associated with consult availability. The traditional model of multidisciplinary specialty clinics or coordinated services between geneticists and other providers was most prevalent, although variability in the organization of these services was described, with consults available on-site, at another Veterans Affairs Medical Center, via telegenetics, or at non-Veterans Health Administration facilities. The emerging model of nongeneticists integrating genetics into their practices was also reported, with considerable variability by specialty. CONCLUSION: Both traditional and emerging models for genetic consultation are available in the Veterans Health Administration; however, there is variability in service organization that could influence quality of care.

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