Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1134
       By Senator Harrell
       25-01461A-20                                          20201134__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to genetic counseling; creating part
    3         IV 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         relating to the department’s responsibilities for
   18         regulating health care practitioners; providing an
   19         effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Part IV of chapter 483, Florida Statutes,
   24  consisting of sections 483.911, 483.912, 483.913, 483.914,
   25  483.915, 483.916, 483.917, and 483.918, Florida Statutes, is
   26  created to read:
   28                               PART IV                             
   29                         GENETIC COUNSELING                        
   31         483.911Short title.—This part may be cited as the “Genetic
   32  Counseling Patient Protection Act.”
   33         483.912Legislative findings and intent.—The sole
   34  legislative purpose for enacting this part is to ensure that
   35  every genetic counselor practicing in this state meets minimum
   36  requirements for safe practice. The Legislature finds that the
   37  delivery of genetic counseling services by unskilled and
   38  incompetent persons presents a danger to public health and
   39  safety. Because it is difficult for the public to make informed
   40  choices related to genetic counseling services and since the
   41  consequences of uninformed choices can seriously endanger public
   42  health and safety, it is the intent of the Legislature to
   43  prohibit the delivery of genetic counseling services by persons
   44  who are determined to possess less than minimum competencies or
   45  who otherwise present a danger to the public.
   46         483.913Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
   47         (1)“Department” means the Department of Health.
   48         (2)“Genetic counselor” means a person licensed under this
   49  part to practice genetic counseling.
   50         (3)“Practice of genetic counseling” means the process of
   51  advising an individual or family affected by or at risk of
   52  genetic disorders, including services to help an individual or
   53  family:
   54         (a)Understand a diagnosis, the probable cause, and
   55  available options for treatment and management of a genetic
   56  disorder.
   57         (b)Understand how heredity contributes to a genetic
   58  disorder and the risk of its occurrence.
   59         (c)Consider alternatives to genetic counseling for
   60  addressing the risk of occurrence of a genetic disorder.
   61         (d)Choose a course of action appropriate to the individual
   62  or family, taking into consideration their risks, their family
   63  goals, and their ethical and religious standards, and to act in
   64  accordance with that decision.
   65         (e)Adjust to a diagnosis and the risk of occurrence of a
   66  genetic disorder.
   67         483.914Licensure requirements.—
   68         (1)Any person desiring to be licensed as a genetic
   69  counselor under this part must apply to the department on a form
   70  approved by the department by rule.
   71         (2)The department shall issue a license to each applicant
   72  who:
   73         (a)Has completed an application.
   74         (b)Is of good moral character.
   75         (c)Provides satisfactory documentation of having earned:
   76         1.A master’s degree from a genetic counseling training
   77  program or an equivalent program as determined by the American
   78  Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc., or the Canadian Association
   79  of Genetic Counsellors; or
   80         2.A doctoral degree from a medical genetics training
   81  program accredited by the American Board of Medical Genetics and
   82  Genomics or the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists.
   83         (d)Has passed the examination for certification as:
   84         1.A genetic counselor by the American Board of Genetic
   85  Counseling, Inc., the American Board of Medical Genetics and
   86  Genomics, or the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors; or
   87         2.A medical or clinical geneticist by the American Board
   88  of Medical Genetics and Genomics or the Canadian College of
   89  Medical Geneticists.
   90         (3)The department may issue a temporary license for up to
   91  2 years to an applicant who meets all requirements for licensure
   92  except for the examination requirement in this section and is
   93  eligible to sit for the next available certification examination
   94  administered by the American Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc.
   95         483.915Licensure renewal and continuing education
   96  requirements.—
   97         (1)The department shall renew a license upon receipt of a
   98  renewal application.
   99         (2)The department shall adopt by rule continuing education
  100  requirements consistent with nationally accepted standards of
  101  the American Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc.
  102         483.916Prohibitions; penalties.—
  103         (1)A person may not:
  104         (a)Make a false or fraudulent statement in any
  105  application, affidavit, or statement presented to the
  106  department.
  107         (b)Practice genetic counseling or hold himself or herself
  108  out as a genetic counselor or as being able to practice genetic
  109  counseling or to render genetic counseling services without a
  110  license issued under this part unless exempt from licensure
  111  under this part.
  112         (c)Use the title “genetic counselor” or any other title,
  113  designation, words, letters, abbreviations, or device tending to
  114  indicate that the person is authorized to practice genetic
  115  counseling unless that person holds a current license as a
  116  genetic counselor issued under this part or is exempt from
  117  licensure under this part.
  118         (2)A person who violates this section commits a
  119  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
  120  775.082 or s. 775.083.
  121         483.917Grounds for disciplinary action; penalties.—
  122         (1)The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a
  123  license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):
  124         (a)Attempting to obtain, obtaining, or renewing a license
  125  under this part by fraudulent misrepresentation.
  126         (b)Having a license revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted
  127  against, including the denial of licensure in another
  128  jurisdiction.
  129         (c)Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea
  130  of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in
  131  any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of
  132  genetic counseling, including a violation of federal laws or
  133  regulations regarding genetic counseling.
  134         (d)Making or filing a report or record that the licensee
  135  knows is false, intentionally or negligently failing to file a
  136  report or record required by state or federal law, willfully
  137  impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person
  138  to impede or obstruct such filing. Such reports or records
  139  include only reports or records that are signed in a person’s
  140  capacity as a licensee under this part.
  141         (e)Knowingly advertising services related to genetic
  142  counseling in a fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading
  143  manner.
  144         (f)Violating a previous order of the department entered in
  145  a disciplinary hearing or failing to comply with a subpoena
  146  issued by the department.
  147         (g)Practicing with a revoked, suspended, or inactive
  148  license.
  149         (h)Gross or repeated malpractice or the failure to deliver
  150  genetic counseling services with that level of care and skill
  151  which is recognized by a reasonably prudent licensed genetic
  152  counselor as being acceptable under similar conditions and
  153  circumstances.
  154         (i)Unprofessional conduct, including, but not limited to,
  155  any departure from or failure to conform to the minimal
  156  prevailing standards of acceptable practice under this part and
  157  department rule, including:
  158         1.Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope
  159  permitted by law or accepting and performing genetic counseling
  160  services the licensee knows, or has reason to know, he or she is
  161  not competent to perform.
  162         2.Failing to refer a patient to a health care practitioner
  163  as defined in s. 456.001 if the licensee is unable or unwilling
  164  to provide genetic counseling services to the patient.
  165         3.Failing to maintain the confidentiality of any
  166  information received under this part or failing to maintain the
  167  confidentiality of patient records pursuant to s. 456.057,
  168  unless such information or records are released by the patient
  169  or otherwise authorized or required by law to be released.
  170         4.Exercising influence on the patient or family in such a
  171  manner as to exploit the patient or family for financial gain of
  172  the licensee.
  173         (j)Violating this part or chapter 456, or any rules
  174  adopted pursuant thereto.
  175         (2)The department may enter an order denying licensure to
  176  or imposing penalties against any applicant for licensure or any
  177  licensee who is found guilty of violating subsection (1) or s.
  178  483.916.
  179         483.918Exemptions.—This part does not apply to:
  180         (1)Commissioned medical officers of the United States
  181  Armed Forces or the United States Public Health Service while on
  182  active duty or while acting within the scope of their military
  183  or public health responsibilities.
  184         (2)A health care practitioner as defined in s. 456.001,
  185  other than a genetic counselor licensed under this part, who is
  186  practicing within the scope of his or her training, education,
  187  and licensure and who is doing work of a nature consistent with
  188  such training, education, and licensure.
  189         Section 2. Subsection (4) of section 456.001, Florida
  190  Statutes, is amended to read:
  191         456.001 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
  192         (4) “Health care practitioner” means any person licensed
  193  under chapter 457; chapter 458; chapter 459; chapter 460;
  194  chapter 461; chapter 462; chapter 463; chapter 464; chapter 465;
  195  chapter 466; chapter 467; part I, part II, part III, part V,
  196  part X, part XIII, or part XIV of chapter 468; chapter 478;
  197  chapter 480; part II, or part III, or part IV of chapter 483;
  198  chapter 484; chapter 486; chapter 490; or chapter 491.
  199         Section 3. Subsection (8) of section 20.43, Florida
  200  Statutes, is amended to read:
  201         20.43 Department of Health.—There is created a Department
  202  of Health.
  203         (8) The department may hold copyrights, trademarks, and
  204  service marks and enforce its rights with respect thereto,
  205  except such authority does not extend to any public records
  206  relating to the department’s responsibilities for health care
  207  practitioners regulated under part II of chapter 456 455.
  208         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.