CS for SB 1770                                   First Engrossed
    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 construction; prohibiting the licensing of a
   14         genetic counselor from being contingent on his or her
   15         participation in counseling that conflicts with his or
   16         her deeply held moral or religious beliefs; providing
   17         genetic counselors with immunity from a claim of
   18         damages or disciplinary action under certain
   19         circumstances; providing exemptions; amending s.
   20         456.001, F.S.; revising the definition of the term
   21         “health care practitioner” to include licensed genetic
   22         counselors; amending s. 20.43, F.S.; correcting a
   23         cross-reference; providing an appropriation; providing
   24         an effective date.
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28         Section 1. Part III of chapter 483, Florida Statutes,
   29  consisting of sections 483.911, 483.912, 483.913, 483.914,
   30  483.915, 483.916, 483.917, 483.918, and 483.919, Florida
   31  Statutes, is created to read:
   33                              PART III                             
   34                         GENETIC COUNSELING                        
   36         483.911Short title.—This part may be cited as the “Genetic
   37  Counseling Workforce Act.”
   38         483.912Legislative findings and intent.—The sole
   39  legislative purpose for enacting this part is to ensure that
   40  every genetic counselor practicing in this state meets minimum
   41  requirements for safe practice. The Legislature finds that the
   42  delivery of genetic counseling services by unskilled and
   43  incompetent persons presents a danger to public health and
   44  safety. Because it is difficult for the public to make informed
   45  choices related to genetic counseling services and since the
   46  consequences of uninformed choices can seriously endanger public
   47  health and safety, it is the intent of the Legislature to
   48  prohibit the delivery of genetic counseling services by persons
   49  who possess less than minimum competencies or who otherwise
   50  present a danger to the public.
   51         483.913Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
   52         (1)“Department” means the Department of Health.
   53         (2)“Genetic counselor” means a person licensed under this
   54  part to practice genetic counseling.
   55         (3)“Scope of practice of genetic counseling” means the
   56  process of advising an individual or a family affected by or at
   57  risk of genetic disorders, including:
   58         (a)Obtaining and evaluating individual, family, and
   59  medical histories to determine genetic risk for genetic or
   60  medical conditions and diseases in a patient, his or her
   61  offspring, and other family members;
   62         (b)Discussing the features, natural history, means of
   63  diagnosis, genetic and environmental factors, and management of
   64  risk for genetic or medical conditions and diseases;
   65         (c)Identifying, ordering, and coordinating genetic
   66  laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies as appropriate for
   67  a genetic assessment;
   68         (d)Integrating genetic laboratory test results and other
   69  diagnostic studies with personal and family medical history to
   70  assess and communicate risk factors for genetic or medical
   71  conditions and diseases;
   72         (e)Explaining the clinical implications of genetic
   73  laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies and their results;
   74         (f)Evaluating the client’s or family’s responses to the
   75  condition or risk of recurrence and providing client-centered
   76  counseling and anticipatory guidance;
   77         (g)Identifying and using community resources that provide
   78  medical, educational, financial, and psychosocial support and
   79  advocacy;
   80         (h)Providing written documentation of medical, genetic,
   81  and counseling information for families and health care
   82  professionals; and
   83         (i)Referring patients to a physician for diagnosis and
   84  treatment.
   85         483.914Licensure requirements.—
   86         (1)Any person desiring to be licensed as a genetic
   87  counselor under this part must apply to the department on a form
   88  approved by department rule.
   89         (2)The department shall issue a license, valid for 2
   90  years, to each applicant who:
   91         (a)Has completed an application.
   92         (b)Is of good moral character.
   93         (c)Provides satisfactory documentation of having earned:
   94         1.A master’s degree from a genetic counseling training
   95  program or its equivalent as determined by the Accreditation
   96  Council of Genetic Counseling or its successor or an equivalent
   97  entity; or
   98         2.A doctoral degree from a medical genetics training
   99  program accredited by the American Board of Medical Genetics and
  100  Genomics or the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists.
  101         (d)Has passed the examination for certification as:
  102         1.A genetic counselor by the American Board of Genetic
  103  Counseling, Inc., the American Board of Medical Genetics and
  104  Genomics, or the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors; or
  105         2.A medical or clinical geneticist by the American Board
  106  of Medical Genetics and Genomics or the Canadian College of
  107  Medical Geneticists.
  108         (3)The department may issue a temporary license for up to
  109  2 years to an applicant who meets all requirements for licensure
  110  except for the certification examination requirement imposed
  111  under paragraph (2)(d) and is eligible to sit for that
  112  certification examination.
  113         483.915Licensure renewal and continuing education
  114  requirements.—
  115         (1)The department shall renew a license upon receipt of a
  116  renewal application.
  117         (2)The department shall adopt by rule continuing education
  118  requirements consistent with nationally accepted standards of
  119  the American Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc.
  120         483.916Prohibitions; penalties.—
  121         (1)A person may not:
  122         (a)Make a false or fraudulent statement in any
  123  application, affidavit, or statement presented to the
  124  department.
  125         (b)Practice genetic counseling or hold himself or herself
  126  out as a genetic counselor or as being able to practice genetic
  127  counseling or to render genetic counseling services without a
  128  license issued under this part unless exempt from licensure
  129  under this part.
  130         (c)Use the title “genetic counselor” or any other title,
  131  designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or device tending to
  132  indicate that the person is authorized to practice genetic
  133  counseling unless that person holds a current license as a
  134  genetic counselor issued under this part or is exempt from
  135  licensure under this part.
  136         (2)A person who violates this section commits a
  137  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
  138  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  139         483.917Grounds for disciplinary action; penalties.—
  140         (1)The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a
  141  license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):
  142         (a)Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license
  143  under this part by fraudulent misrepresentation.
  144         (b)Having a license revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted
  145  against, including the denial of licensure in another
  146  jurisdiction.
  147         (c)Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea
  148  of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in
  149  any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of
  150  genetic counseling, including a violation of federal laws or
  151  regulations regarding genetic counseling.
  152         (d)Making or filing a report or record that the licensee
  153  knows is false, intentionally or negligently failing to file a
  154  report or record required by state or federal law, willfully
  155  impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person
  156  to impede or obstruct such filing. Such reports or records
  157  include only reports or records that are signed in a person’s
  158  capacity as a licensee under this part.
  159         (e)Knowingly advertising services related to genetic
  160  counseling in a fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading
  161  manner.
  162         (f)Violating a previous order of the department entered in
  163  a disciplinary hearing or failing to comply with a subpoena
  164  issued by the department.
  165         (g)Practicing with a revoked, suspended, or inactive
  166  license.
  167         (h)Gross or repeated malpractice or the failure to deliver
  168  genetic counseling services with that level of care and skill
  169  which is recognized by a reasonably prudent licensed genetic
  170  counselor as being acceptable under similar conditions and
  171  circumstances.
  172         (i)Unprofessional conduct, including, but not limited to,
  173  any departure from or failure to conform to the minimal
  174  prevailing standards of acceptable practice under this part and
  175  department rule, including, but not limited to, any of the
  176  following:
  177         1.Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope
  178  permitted by law or accepting and performing genetic counseling
  179  services the licensee knows, or has reason to know, he or she is
  180  not competent to perform.
  181         2.Failing to refer a patient to a health care practitioner
  182  as defined in s. 456.001 if the licensee is unable or unwilling
  183  to provide genetic counseling services to the patient.
  184         3.Failing to maintain the confidentiality of any
  185  information received under this part or failing to maintain the
  186  confidentiality of patient records pursuant to s. 456.057,
  187  unless such information or records are released by the patient
  188  or otherwise authorized or required by law to be released.
  189         4.Exercising influence on the patient or family in such a
  190  manner as to exploit the patient or family for financial gain of
  191  the licensee.
  192         (j)Violating this part or chapter 456, or any rules
  193  adopted pursuant thereto.
  194         (2)The department may enter an order denying licensure to
  195  or imposing penalties against any applicant for licensure or any
  196  licensee who is found guilty of violating subsection (1) or s.
  197  483.916.
  198         483.918 Conscience clause.—This part may not be construed
  199  to require any genetic counselor to participate in counseling
  200  that conflicts with his or her deeply held moral or religious
  201  beliefs. The licensing of a genetic counselor may not be
  202  contingent upon participation in such counseling. A counselor’s
  203  refusal to participate in counseling that conflicts with his or
  204  her deeply held moral or religious beliefs may not form the
  205  basis for any claim of damages or for any disciplinary action
  206  against the genetic counselor, provided the genetic counselor
  207  informs the patient that he or she will not participate in such
  208  counseling and offers to direct the patient to the online health
  209  care practitioner license verification database maintained by
  210  the department.
  211         483.919 Exemptions.—This part does not apply to:
  212         (1)Commissioned medical officers of the United States
  213  Armed Forces or the United States Public Health Service while on
  214  active duty or while acting within the scope of their military
  215  or public health responsibilities.
  216         (2)A health care practitioner as defined in s. 456.001,
  217  other than a genetic counselor licensed under this part, who is
  218  practicing within the scope of his or her training, education,
  219  and licensure and who is doing work of a nature consistent with
  220  such training, education, and licensure.
  221         Section 2. Subsection (4) of section 456.001, Florida
  222  Statutes, is amended to read:
  223         456.001 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  224         (4) “Health care practitioner” means any person licensed
  225  under chapter 457; chapter 458; chapter 459; chapter 460;
  226  chapter 461; chapter 462; chapter 463; chapter 464; chapter 465;
  227  chapter 466; chapter 467; part I, part II, part III, part V,
  228  part X, part XIII, or part XIV of chapter 468; chapter 478;
  229  chapter 480; part I, or part II, or part III of chapter 483;
  230  chapter 484; chapter 486; chapter 490; or chapter 491.
  231         Section 3. Subsection (8) of section 20.43, Florida
  232  Statutes, is amended to read:
  233         20.43 Department of Health.—There is created a Department
  234  of Health.
  235         (8) The department may hold copyrights, trademarks, and
  236  service marks and enforce its rights with respect thereto,
  237  except such authority does not extend to any public records
  238  relating to the department’s responsibilities for health care
  239  practitioners regulated under part II of chapter 456 455.
  240         Section 4. For the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the sums of
  241  $41,535 in recurring funds and $4,429 in nonrecurring funds from
  242  the Medical Quality Assurance Trust Fund are appropriated to the
  243  Department of Health for the purpose of implementing this act.
  244         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.