Ever consider integrating genetic testing and counseling into your practice? You seriously should! Genetic screening is gaining more popularity, but it still hasn’t exploded in growth… YET! Which is why you should consider being at the forefront of offering this service in your practice.
Genetic screening is just that: performing genetic lab analysis for a multitude of genes associated with the development of disease (breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, etc.). Genetic counseling is then reviewing these labs with the patient and discussing lifestyle modification and other recommendations that could reduce the risk of developing diseases that they are more prone to based on the genetic analysis.
These recommendations usually revolve around lifestyle changes but can also be focused on additional diagnostic testing and even the early treatment of borderline diseases, such as elevated lipids, pre-diabetes, etc.
An example would be a female patient testing positive for genetic markers that have been shown to increase her risk of breast cancer. The astute nurse practitioner could then discuss recommendations that reduce the risk of cancer, such as abstaining from alcohol and avoiding processed foods. The nurse practitioner could also recommend regular mammograms and breast exams. This is just one example, but you could use your imagination on how this could apply to cardiovascular disease, renal disease, obesity, and so forth! THIS is the value proposition to the patient and why health-focused patients are more than happy to pay out of pocket for these tests.
Essentially, this service attracts patients focused on their health and well-being. These patients are usually seen more often in cash-based clinics where help optimization services are provided. But this can also be integrated into an insurance-based practice as insurance will cover some genetic testing. The keyword is “some”; therefore, this is mostly a cash-based service which ultimately means an additional revenue stream in your practice.
The margins on genetic screening and counseling are healthy. The typical cost of the genetic test will be in the $250-500 range, and the practice owner can mark this up 2x without issue, which results in a healthy profit for very little work on your end! Imagine doing 2-4 of these a month in an established wellness or primary care clinic, and you just increased your revenue by $1,000-$2,000 a month! Chances are, you could do this on a lot more patients than just a handful, but I wanted to be conservative here. By doing just 2-4 of these a month, you have now increased your practices NET PROFIT by almost $20,000 for the year! That could be your mortgage or car payment!
You could do this as a stand-alone practice if you have the patient population desiring it. Still, your chances would be higher doing it via telemedicine so that you could hit a larger target demographic. Doing this via telemedicine would be a piece of cake! Starting a practice like this would be VERY simple and could be done within a few weeks.
But what about those who have an established practice? Well, I think this makes for a fantastic additional service line to offer. If you see patients interested in optimizing their health and want to know how to improve their health, then this applies to you. Any wellness practice, functional medicine clinic, primary care office, psych practice, and so forth could benefit from this service, and your patients would use it. Imagine doing a comprehensive hormone or functional medicine lab panel and including a $500 genetic screening assay. It would increase the value of the patient’s visit and your bottom line. A win-win!
This will be a fairly short article today as genetic screening is pretty simple to integrate into your practice and doesn’t need a tremendous amount of explanation. Integrating this service into your practice could literally be done in a matter of a few hours after some education (as discussed in our new course). It is simple to learn, easy to integrate into your practice, and practically zero liability. Essentially, it has a very low barrier to entry, and any astute nurse practitioner entrepreneur can implement genetic screening into their practice!
If you are interested in learning the foundational knowledge of clinical genetics and how to integrate it into your practice to build another revenue stream, then check out the newly released Clinical Genetics and Genetic Testing Course, where we cover it all!