The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) endorses the use of multi-gene panel tests when clinically warranted and appropriately applied. These tests can provide a comprehensive and efficient route to identifying the genetic causes of disease. Before ordering a multi-gene panel test, providers should thoroughly evaluate the analytic and clinical validity of the test, as well as its clinical utility. Additional factors to consider include, but are not limited to: clinical and family history information, gene content of the panel, limitations of the sequencing and informatics technologies, and variant interpretation and reporting practices.
Panels magnify the complexities of genetic testing and underscore the value of experts, such as genetic counselors, who can educate stakeholders about appropriate utilization of the technology to mitigate risks of patient harm and unnecessary costs to the healthcare system. NSGC supports straightforward and transparent pricing so that patients, providers, laboratories, and health plans can easily weigh the value of genetic testing in light of its cost.