Florida Senate - 2021                             CS for SB 1770
       By the Committee on Health Policy; and Senator Jones
       588-03325-21                                          20211770c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to genetic counseling; creating part
    3         III of ch. 483, F.S., titled “Genetic Counseling”;
    4         providing a short title; providing legislative
    5         findings and intent; defining terms; providing
    6         licensure, licensure renewal, and continuing education
    7         requirements; requiring the Department of Health to
    8         adopt by rule continuing education requirements;
    9         prohibiting certain acts; providing penalties and
   10         grounds for disciplinary action; authorizing the
   11         department to enter an order denying licensure or
   12         imposing other penalties for certain violations;
   13         providing exemptions; amending s. 456.001, F.S.;
   14         revising the definition of the term “health care
   15         practitioner” to include licensed genetic counselors;
   16         amending s. 20.43, F.S.; correcting a cross-reference;
   17         providing an effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Part III of chapter 483, Florida Statutes,
   22  consisting of sections 483.911, 483.912, 483.913, 483.914,
   23  483.915, 483.916, 483.917, and 483.918, Florida Statutes, is
   24  created to read:
   26                              PART III                             
   27                         GENETIC COUNSELING                        
   29         483.911Short title.—This part may be cited as the “Genetic
   30  Counseling Workforce Act.”
   31         483.912Legislative findings and intent.—The sole
   32  legislative purpose for enacting this part is to ensure that
   33  every genetic counselor practicing in this state meets minimum
   34  requirements for safe practice. The Legislature finds that the
   35  delivery of genetic counseling services by unskilled and
   36  incompetent persons presents a danger to public health and
   37  safety. Because it is difficult for the public to make informed
   38  choices related to genetic counseling services and since the
   39  consequences of uninformed choices can seriously endanger public
   40  health and safety, it is the intent of the Legislature to
   41  prohibit the delivery of genetic counseling services by persons
   42  who possess less than minimum competencies or who otherwise
   43  present a danger to the public.
   44         483.913Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
   45         (1)“Department” means the Department of Health.
   46         (2)“Genetic counselor” means a person licensed under this
   47  part to practice genetic counseling.
   48         (3)“Scope of practice of genetic counseling” means the
   49  process of advising an individual or a family affected by or at
   50  risk of genetic disorders, including:
   51         (a)Obtaining and evaluating individual, family, and
   52  medical histories to determine genetic risk for genetic or
   53  medical conditions and diseases in a patient, his or her
   54  offspring, and other family members;
   55         (b)Discussing the features, natural history, means of
   56  diagnosis, genetic and environmental factors, and management of
   57  risk for genetic or medical conditions and diseases;
   58         (c)Identifying, ordering, and coordinating genetic
   59  laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies as appropriate for
   60  a genetic assessment;
   61         (d)Integrating genetic laboratory test results and other
   62  diagnostic studies with personal and family medical history to
   63  assess and communicate risk factors for genetic or medical
   64  conditions and diseases;
   65         (e)Explaining the clinical implications of genetic
   66  laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies and their results;
   67         (f)Evaluating the client’s or family’s responses to the
   68  condition or risk of recurrence and providing client-centered
   69  counseling and anticipatory guidance;
   70         (g)Identifying and using community resources that provide
   71  medical, educational, financial, and psychosocial support and
   72  advocacy;
   73         (h)Providing written documentation of medical, genetic,
   74  and counseling information for families and health care
   75  professionals; and
   76         (i)Referring patients to a physician for diagnosis and
   77  treatment.
   78         483.914Licensure requirements.—
   79         (1)Any person desiring to be licensed as a genetic
   80  counselor under this part must apply to the department on a form
   81  approved by department rule.
   82         (2)The department shall issue a license, valid for 2
   83  years, to each applicant who:
   84         (a)Has completed an application.
   85         (b)Is of good moral character.
   86         (c)Provides satisfactory documentation of having earned:
   87         1.A master’s degree from a genetic counseling training
   88  program or its equivalent as determined by the Accreditation
   89  Council of Genetic Counseling or its successor or an equivalent
   90  entity; or
   91         2.A doctoral degree from a medical genetics training
   92  program accredited by the American Board of Medical Genetics and
   93  Genomics or the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists.
   94         (d)Has passed the examination for certification as:
   95         1.A genetic counselor by the American Board of Genetic
   96  Counseling, Inc., the American Board of Medical Genetics and
   97  Genomics, or the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors; or
   98         2.A medical or clinical geneticist by the American Board
   99  of Medical Genetics and Genomics or the Canadian College of
  100  Medical Geneticists.
  101         (3)The department may issue a temporary license for up to
  102  2 years to an applicant who meets all requirements for licensure
  103  except for the certification examination requirement imposed
  104  under paragraph (2)(d) and is eligible to sit for that
  105  certification examination.
  106         483.915Licensure renewal and continuing education
  107  requirements.—
  108         (1)The department shall renew a license upon receipt of a
  109  renewal application.
  110         (2)The department shall adopt by rule continuing education
  111  requirements consistent with nationally accepted standards of
  112  the American Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc.
  113         483.916Prohibitions; penalties.—
  114         (1)A person may not:
  115         (a)Make a false or fraudulent statement in any
  116  application, affidavit, or statement presented to the
  117  department.
  118         (b)Practice genetic counseling or hold himself or herself
  119  out as a genetic counselor or as being able to practice genetic
  120  counseling or to render genetic counseling services without a
  121  license issued under this part unless exempt from licensure
  122  under this part.
  123         (c)Use the title “genetic counselor” or any other title,
  124  designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or device tending to
  125  indicate that the person is authorized to practice genetic
  126  counseling unless that person holds a current license as a
  127  genetic counselor issued under this part or is exempt from
  128  licensure under this part.
  129         (2)A person who violates this section commits a
  130  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
  131  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  132         483.917Grounds for disciplinary action; penalties.—
  133         (1)The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a
  134  license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):
  135         (a)Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license
  136  under this part by fraudulent misrepresentation.
  137         (b)Having a license revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted
  138  against, including the denial of licensure in another
  139  jurisdiction.
  140         (c)Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea
  141  of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in
  142  any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of
  143  genetic counseling, including a violation of federal laws or
  144  regulations regarding genetic counseling.
  145         (d)Making or filing a report or record that the licensee
  146  knows is false, intentionally or negligently failing to file a
  147  report or record required by state or federal law, willfully
  148  impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person
  149  to impede or obstruct such filing. Such reports or records
  150  include only reports or records that are signed in a person’s
  151  capacity as a licensee under this part.
  152         (e)Knowingly advertising services related to genetic
  153  counseling in a fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading
  154  manner.
  155         (f)Violating a previous order of the department entered in
  156  a disciplinary hearing or failing to comply with a subpoena
  157  issued by the department.
  158         (g)Practicing with a revoked, suspended, or inactive
  159  license.
  160         (h)Gross or repeated malpractice or the failure to deliver
  161  genetic counseling services with that level of care and skill
  162  which is recognized by a reasonably prudent licensed genetic
  163  counselor as being acceptable under similar conditions and
  164  circumstances.
  165         (i)Unprofessional conduct, including, but not limited to,
  166  any departure from or failure to conform to the minimal
  167  prevailing standards of acceptable practice under this part and
  168  department rule, including, but not limited to, any of the
  169  following:
  170         1.Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope
  171  permitted by law or accepting and performing genetic counseling
  172  services the licensee knows, or has reason to know, he or she is
  173  not competent to perform.
  174         2.Failing to refer a patient to a health care practitioner
  175  as defined in s. 456.001 if the licensee is unable or unwilling
  176  to provide genetic counseling services to the patient.
  177         3.Failing to maintain the confidentiality of any
  178  information received under this part or failing to maintain the
  179  confidentiality of patient records pursuant to s. 456.057,
  180  unless such information or records are released by the patient
  181  or otherwise authorized or required by law to be released.
  182         4.Exercising influence on the patient or family in such a
  183  manner as to exploit the patient or family for financial gain of
  184  the licensee.
  185         (j)Violating this part or chapter 456, or any rules
  186  adopted pursuant thereto.
  187         (2)The department may enter an order denying licensure to
  188  or imposing penalties against any applicant for licensure or any
  189  licensee who is found guilty of violating subsection (1) or s.
  190  483.916.
  191         483.918Exemptions.—This part does not apply to:
  192         (1)Commissioned medical officers of the United States
  193  Armed Forces or the United States Public Health Service while on
  194  active duty or while acting within the scope of their military
  195  or public health responsibilities.
  196         (2)A health care practitioner as defined in s. 456.001,
  197  other than a genetic counselor licensed under this part, who is
  198  practicing within the scope of his or her training, education,
  199  and licensure and who is doing work of a nature consistent with
  200  such training, education, and licensure.
  201         Section 2. Subsection (4) of section 456.001, Florida
  202  Statutes, is amended to read:
  203         456.001 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  204         (4) “Health care practitioner” means any person licensed
  205  under chapter 457; chapter 458; chapter 459; chapter 460;
  206  chapter 461; chapter 462; chapter 463; chapter 464; chapter 465;
  207  chapter 466; chapter 467; part I, part II, part III, part V,
  208  part X, part XIII, or part XIV of chapter 468; chapter 478;
  209  chapter 480; part I, or part II, or part III of chapter 483;
  210  chapter 484; chapter 486; chapter 490; or chapter 491.
  211         Section 3. Subsection (8) of section 20.43, Florida
  212  Statutes, is amended to read:
  213         20.43 Department of Health.—There is created a Department
  214  of Health.
  215         (8) The department may hold copyrights, trademarks, and
  216  service marks and enforce its rights with respect thereto,
  217  except such authority does not extend to any public records
  218  relating to the department’s responsibilities for health care
  219  practitioners regulated under part II of chapter 456 455.
  220         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.