By Fine CA, Swope BJ, Gordon ES, Meyers L, Weissman SM, Bailey J, Fan A, Jordan E, LeLuyer B, Rope AF, Shabazz H, and Bleyl SB
Vying for top talent in a tight labor market is difficult for employers as the economy grows and competition increases. Thus, employee packages have started incorporating benefits called “genetic wellness” as a result of an explosion of affordable genetic tests offering medically actionable insights. Employers offering these benefits typically do not partner with genetic clinicians, but rather with a single genetic laboratory offering a specific test. We describe an employee benefit program offering medical genetics services through Genome Medical, a nationwide genomics medical practice, and a proactive genetic screen for cardiac, cancer and other conditions. This program was offered during a three-month timeframe with a registration cap of 200 employees. It included mandatory viewing of an educational webinar of material typically discussed in a genetic counseling session. Employees were required to complete a medical and family history questionnaire which was assessed by a certified genetic counselor (CGC), and had the option of a pre- and/or post-test virtual one-on-one CGC session. Genetic results were interpreted by a CGC in the context of each employee’s reported histories, and a results-based clinical action plan was provided to each participant. 200 employees registered for the program. 189 (95%) individuals watched the webinar. 181 (91%) completed the required questionnaire. Only 25% requested a pre-test CGC session. 170 individuals pursued proactive screening with some of the following motivations: understand a condition in family (42%), help family members (14%), and/or take medical action (12%). 15/75 (20%) individuals were found to have medically actionable genetic variant(s) for hemochromatosis, familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary cancer syndrome, and/or malignant hyperthermia. 74/170 (44%) individuals were found to be a carrier for at least one condition. Only 20% of participants requested a post-test CGC session. Satisfaction data indicated >80% of responding participants did not prefer an in-person pre-test CGC session; 92% did not prefer an in-person post-test CGC session, program expectations were met in 92% of respondents and 91% found the program to be valuable. Almost 100% of respondents would recommend this program to a coworker. Assisting employers in helping their employees obtain personalized actionable genetic insights can be done in a responsible, scalable and efficient manner, with a high rate of satisfaction.