Visiting the Cancer
The Cancer Genetics Clinic provides counseling for all types of cancer including: familial colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cancer of the uterus, prostate cancer, melanoma, thyroid cancer, sarcoma, childhood cancers and other less common tumors. Clues to an inherited predisposition to cancer include multiple family members with the same or related cancer types, cancers being diagnosed at an earlier age than is expected, and individuals being diagnosed with more than one cancer during their lifetime.
We have included in the “About Genetic Conditions” section web links to some of the more common inherited cancer conditions seen in our clinic.
To schedule an appointment, please call (734)763-2532. The Cancer Genetics Clinic is held weekly on Wednesdays.
What Happens During Your Visit?
- Review of your family and medical history information with particular attention to cancers
- Risk assessment, including consideration of inherited, environmental, and lifestyle risks
- Physical examination, as appropriate
- Explanation of relevant inherited cancer predispositions and patterns of inheritance
- Discussion of management including risk reduction strategies and screening options.
- Genetic testing, if indicated
- Provision of information about support groups and other helpful resources
- Consultation with other specialists as needed
- Follow-up care
Appointments are generally 1 1/2 hour consultations. You will be seen by a physician with expertise in cancer genetics and a genetic counselor . As the University of Michigan is a teaching hospital, we may also have genetic counseling, medical students, or other medical trainees with us in clinic.
What is Genetic Counseling?
Genetic counseling is a communication process that translates medical information into understandable terms and addresses the implications of this information for the individual and their family. The goals of genetic counseling are to help individuals and their families:
- understand the genetic condition and how it is inherited
- provide comprehensive information so that informed health-care and life decisions can be made
- address the personal and family issues related to the genetic condition
Information Needed for Your Clinic Visit
Patients are asked to complete and return a personal and family history questionnaire prior to their appointment so that the physicians and genetic counselors are informed about the issues important to the family before the visit.
Family and Medical History Forms. Family and individual medical history forms will be mailed to you. It is very important that these be completed and returned to us prior to your clinic visit so that we can provide you with accurate information, assess the risks to you and other family members, and address your questions and concerns. You may also download the forms from the links below.
Family Medical History Form (PDF)
Individual Medical History Form (PDF)
Medical Records. If you have had a cancer or precancerous condition, pertinent medical records should be sent to our clinic prior to your appointment. We also encourage you to contact relatives with cancers or precancerous conditions but understand that it may not be possible to obtain their medical records. We will provide genetic counseling based on the information that you provide us. Contact us if you have any questions regarding specific records that are needed. Click this link to download the Medical Records Release Form (PDF).
Billing and Insurance Issues
Several insurance plans are accepted, including Medicaid and Medicare. Payment or a referral authorizing insurance coverage for the clinic visit is expected at the time of your appointment. If the University of Michigan is a participating provider with your health plan, your out-of-pocket costs are usually limited to co-payments, co-insurances and/or deductibles. When the University of Michigan is not a participating provider with your health plan, your insurance company will be billed as a courtesy to you but any amounts unpaid by your plan would be your responsibility.
If you have health insurance that requires a referral and/or authorization for services, please have the referral faxed to our clinic at (734) 763-7672. If you are unsure if you need a referral, please contact your primary care physician or health insurance. You may have been referred to our clinic by a specialist, who may have given you a consult form. A consult form is not the same as a referral form and you will likely need to contact your primary care physician for a referral form. For all patients, if you need a referral and do not have one at the time of your clinic visit, you will be asked to pay for services or sign a waiver stating you accept responsibility to pay for all clinic costs. If you are not able to cover the complete fees for the clinic visit, it is usually possible to work out a payment plan.
Click here for general information about University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Center’s billing policies.
For billing questions, please call (800) 914-8561. If the billing office is unable to answer your questions, please call our clinic at (734)
What billing codes are used for clinic visits?
The billing codes used for a clinic visit will depend on the amount of time that we spend with you, the complexity of the visit, the extent of the physical examination and review of medical history information and whether you self-referred or were referred to our clinic.
These are the billing codes that are commonly used:
Consultations: 992430 – 992450
New Patient Visits: 992030 – 992050
Established Patient Visits: 992110 – 992150
The diagnostic codes (ICD9 codes) for a visit will depend on the indication for the clinic visit, including whether you are being seen because you yourself have had cancer or a precancerous condition or because of a family history.
The codes for a genetic test will depend on the type of test and the laboratory that analyzes the sample. If genetic testing is a consideration, generally these codes will be provided during your clinic visit.
Am I at risk for genetic discrimination?
Your visit to the Cancer Genetics Clinic, like other clinic visits, is part of your medical record. Some patients have expressed concern about how their medical information could be used by insurers and employers. In 2000, Michigan passed laws which are intended to protect patients from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment. Bills have also been introduced in Congress to pass national laws on genetic discrimination. While patients express concern about the possibility of genetic discrimination, studies have shown that there have been few documented cases of genetic discrimination.
To download the National Society of Genetic Counselors and FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) brochure, click the following link: “Genetic Information, Privacy & Discrimination: What You Need to Know". (PDF)
Laws/links regarding the use of genetic information
Michigan Genetics Connection – Policy & Law
Genetic Alliance - Resources on Genetic Discrimination
National Society of Genetic Counselors – Genetic Discrimination Resources
Your Medical Records
There will be a University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers medical record of your visit to our clinic. Your medical records are considered confidential. There are specific guidelines, known as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that describe how privacy is maintained with medical information. Click here to learn about HIPAA privacy practices, which also address your insurer’s access to your medical information, your right to see your medical records and other important issues.
How can I request copies of my medical records?
You may request copies of your University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers medical records by contacting the Release of Medical Information Unit. Specific information and written authorization is required to request copies of your medical records. Generally, medical records requested for continuation of care which are less than 30 pages are free of charge.
Click here for more information about obtaining your medical records.
Click here to download the Authorization to Release Medical Records Form. (PDF)
Release of Medical Information Unit
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2435
Phone: (734) 936-5490
Fax: (734) 936-8571
Maps, Directions and Accommodations Links
Our clinic is held on Wednesdays on the first floor of the Cancer Center.
Use the following links for more information:
Cancer Center Floor Plans
If You Need a Place to Stay Overnight
The Med-Inn hotel is directly connected to all U-M Hospitals, and offers affordable accommodations to hospital visitors. For reservations at the Med-Inn, call toll free, 1-800-544-8684 or (734) 936-0100. Click here for more information about Med-Inn.
Click here for information about other overnight accommodations in the Ann Arbor area.
University of Michigan Hospital & Health System
General information about the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health System, directions, what to bring to your appointment are also available by calling the hospital operator at (734) 936-4000. For referrals to other clinics at the University of Michigan, call the Physician Referral Service at (800) 211-8181.
Click here for more helpful information about the University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers.