The COVID-19 pandemic and reproductive genetic counseling: Changes in access and service delivery at an academic medical center in the United States.


The COVID-19 pandemic widely disrupted the delivery of healthcare services, including genetic counseling. To ensure continuity of care, the reproductive genetic counselors at a large academic medical center in the United States rapidly transitioned their practice from 90% in-person patient consultations to a predominantly telehealth model. The present study describes this transition in regard to patient access to genetic counseling and genetic screening. A chart review of patients seen by the reproductive genetic counselors from January 2020 to August 2020 was completed. The time frame included the three months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the first five months during COVID-19. Patient demographics and clinical and appointment data were compared between the pre-COVID-19 and during-COVID-19 timeframes. Overall, 88.6% of patients were seen via telehealth during COVID-19 and there was no significant difference based upon patient age (p = .20), indication for appointment (p = .06), or gestational age (p = .06). However, non-English speaking patients were more often seen in-person than by telehealth (p