As a non-profit organization, Genetic Support Foundation recognizes how important it is to review our mission statement often. Each business decision made by our board of directors and senior leadership rely on alignment with our mission and values.
When we break down the mission of Genetic Support Foundation, we focus on 3 key factors:
- Providing up-to-date, objective genetic information to patients, providers, and healthcare organizations
- Supporting those in need of genetic services
- Facilitating the adoption of best genetic practices.
Looking at the second bullet–Supporting those in need of genetic services–we aim to highlight what that part of our mission statement means. Consistent with our founder’s vision, our goal is to become more inclusive of those who may have a more difficult time accessing services–including when due to financial reasons. Our GSF Charity Care program helps ensure that genetic counseling services are available to all.
On top of our existing financial aid policy, which allows financial assistance that’s inline with federal poverty guidelines, and may reduce cost by up to 100 percent for qualifying patients, our Charity Care program includes increasing efforts to reach more of an audience that may benefit from these services, including rural communities and underrepresented populations.
“We feel this is an important program for GSF, and helps to fill an unmet need when individuals do not have insurance coverage for financial means to access genetic counseling services,” says Katie Stoll, executive director of GSF.
Part of the disparities in access is due to Medicare denying coverage for genetic counseling.
GSF fully supports H.R.3235 – Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act of 2019, which if passed into law would also increase access by allowing coverage of genetic counseling by Medicare. And to put that support into action, GSF hopes highlighting the Charity Care program will bring more attention to the needs of a variety of populations that need genetic healthcare services.
“Our Charity Care program will augment any progress made through congress, and act as a safety net for those who need expert genetic care, regardless of ability to pay,” says Stoll.