Florida Governor Signs Bill Requiring Licensure of Genetic Counselors

Monday, August 30, 2021
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On June 21, 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new law into a bill requiring genetic counselors to be licensed by the Florida Department of Health (“FLDOH”). The Florida Department of Health, Genetic Counseling, was established to ensure that every genetic counselor in Florida meets minimum requirements for safe practice.

The law, known as the Genetic Counseling Workforce Act (“GCWA”), became effective on July 1, 2021, and was added to Part III of Chapter 483, Florida Statutes (FLA. STATS §§ 483.11-483.919).


What Exactly is Genetic Counseling?

According to the GCWA, genetic counseling is generally defined as “the process of advising an individual or a family affected by or at risk of genetic disorders” including by:

1.    Obtaining and evaluating individual, family, and medical histories to determine genetic risk for genetic or medical conditions and diseases in a patient, his or her offspring, and other family members;

2.    Discussing the features, natural history, means of diagnosis, genetic and environmental factors, and management of risk for genetic or medical conditions and diseases;

3.    Identifying, ordering, and coordinating genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies as appropriate for a genetic assessment;

4.    Integrating genetic laboratory test results and other diagnostic studies with personal and family medical history to assess and communicate risk factors for genetic or medical conditions and diseases;

5.    Explaining the clinical implications of genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies and their results;
6.    Evaluating the client’s or family’s responses to the condition or risk of recurrence and providing client-centered counseling and anticipatory guidance;

7.    Identifying and using community resources that provide medical, educational, financial, and psychosocial support and advocacy;

8.    Providing written documentation of medical, genetic, and counseling information for families and health care professionals; and

9.    Referring patients to a physician for diagnosis and treatment.

        FLA. STATS. § 483.913(3).


Who is Eligible to Obtain a License?

An eligible applicant must provide documentation of having earned either a master’s degree from a genetic counseling training program or its equivalent.  FLDOH will also accept a doctoral degree from a medical genetics training program accredited by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics or the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists.


How to Get a License.

To obtain a license, the applicant must pass the examination for certification as a genetic counselor. The American Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc., the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, or the Canadian Association of Genetic Counselors gives the exam to hopeful applicants. FLA. STATS. §§ 483.914(2)(c)-(d).

Additionally, applicants who meet the educational criteria for licensure but have not passed a certification examination are eligible for a two-year temporary license. Id. at § 483.914(3).

Applicants will receive standard licenses for a two-year term. Id. at § 483.914(2).


Applying For a License.

At this time, the application process is simple. It appears no application fee is set by rule (this does not mean that a processing fee or some other fee cannot be imposed) and applicants can apply online. FLDOH’s website on genetic counselor licensing, including a link to access the application, can be found at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/genetic-counseling/index.html.

Click to read the 2021 Legislative Update – Genetic Counseling Workforce Act - Part III, Chapter 483, Florida Statutes in full.

For additional information on obtaining a healthcare professional license, click here to read a prior blog.


Contact Health Law Attorneys With Experience Handling Licensing Issues.


If you are applying for a medical license, have had a license suspended or revoked or are facing imminent action against your license, it is imperative that you contact an experienced healthcare attorney to assist you in defending your career.  Remember, your license is your livelihood, it is not recommended that you attempt to pursue these matters without the assistance of an attorney.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents physicians, dentists, nurses, medical groups, clinics, and other healthcare providers in personal and facility licensing issues.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free at (888) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Sources:

Epstein Becker Green. "Florida Joins a Growing Number of States Requiring Licensure of Genetic Counselors." Lexology. (August 6, 2021). Web.

Hearn, Robert. "Florida Joins a Growing Number of States Requiring Licensure of Genetic Counselors." The National Law Review. (August 6, 2021). Web.

"States Issuing Licenses for Genetic Counselors." National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). (July 2021). Web.


About the Author:
George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave. Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620 or Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.



KeyWords: Professional licensure defense attorney, legal representation for obtaining medical license, medical licensure attorney, Board of Medicine legal representation, Medical Board attorney, representation for Department of Health investigations, Florida Department of Health investigation defense, representation for genetic counselors, genetic counselor licensing representation, licenced counselor defense lawyer, representation for license revocation representation, license revocation attorney, license suspension legal representation, license suspension defense lawyer, representation for medical licensure appeal, representation for health care investigations, representation for licensure actions, credentials committee hearing legal representation, credentials committee hearing attorney, credentials committee hearing lawyer, health care professional representation, representation for applying for a medical license, medical license defense counsel, representation for medical licensure matters, legal representation for medical graduates, health care defense attorney, protecting your professional license, The Health Law Firm reviews, reviews of The Health Law Firm, license revocation attorney, license suspension legal representation, license suspension defense lawyer

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2021 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.


8/30/2021

Like this blog? Add your public comments:

Items in bold indicate required information.