Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 437

February Session, 2014

 

LCO No. 2366

 

*02366_______PH_*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC HEALTH

 

Introduced by:

 

(PH)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING LICENSURE FOR GENETIC COUNSELORS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) As used in this section and sections 2 to 7, inclusive, of this act: (1) "Genetic counselor" means a person who has been licensed as a genetic counselor under the provisions of sections 2 to 7, inclusive, of this act; and (2) "genetic counseling" means the provision of services to individuals, couples, families and organizations by an appropriately trained individual to address the physical and psychological issues associated with the occurrence or risk of occurrence of a genetic disorder, birth defect or genetically-influenced condition or disease in an individual or a family.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) No person may practice genetic counseling unless licensed pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of this act.

(b) No person may use the title "licensed genetic counselor" or the designation "LGC" or make use of any title, words, letters or abbreviations that may reasonably be confused with licensure as a genetic counselor unless such person is licensed pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of this act.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person who (1) is licensed under chapter 370 of the general statutes, (2) provides genetic counseling while acting within the scope of practice of the person's license and training, provided the person does not hold himself or herself out to the public as a genetic counselor, (3) is employed by the federal government to provide genetic counseling while in the discharge of the person's official duties, or (4) is a student enrolled in (A) a genetic counseling educational program, (B) a medical genetics educational program accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling or American Board of Medical Genetics, or (C) a graduate nursing education program in genetics and genetic counseling is an integral part of the student's course of study and is performing such counseling under the direct supervision of a licensed genetic counselor or physician.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) The Commissioner of Public Health shall grant a license as a genetic counselor to any applicant who furnishes evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that such applicant has met the requirements of this section. The commissioner shall develop and provide application forms. The application fee shall be three hundred fifteen dollars.

(b) Licenses issued under this section may be renewed annually pursuant to section 19a-88 of the general statutes. The fee for such renewal shall be one hundred ninety dollars. Each licensed genetic counselor applying for license renewal shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having participated in continuing education programs. The commissioner shall (1) define basic requirements for continuing education programs, which shall include not less than five continuing education units during each renewal period, (2) delineate qualifying programs, (3) establish a system of control and reporting, and (4) provide for a waiver of the continuing education requirement for good cause.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, an applicant for a license as a genetic counselor shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner of Public Health of having earned a certification as a genetic counselor from the American Board of Genetic Counseling or the American Board of Medical Genetics or a certification as a medical geneticist from the American Board of Medical Genetics.

(b) Prior to October 1, 2014, an applicant for a license as a genetic counselor may, in lieu of the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section, submit evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of having: (1) Acquired ten years of experience in the practice of genetic counseling; (2) earned, from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, a master's or doctoral degree in genetics or a related field; and (3) attended a continuing education program approved by the National Society of Genetic Counselors within the five-year period prior to the date of application.

(c) An applicant for licensure by endorsement shall present evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant is licensed or certified as a genetic counselor, or as a person entitled to perform similar services under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are substantially similar to or higher than those of this state and that there are no disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints pending.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) The Department of Public Health may issue a temporary permit to an applicant for licensure as a genetic counselor who (1) is certified as a genetic counselor or medical geneticist by the American Board of Genetic Counseling or American Board of Medical Genetics, or (2) holds a master's degree or higher in genetic counseling or a related field. Such temporary permit shall authorize the holder to practice as a genetic counselor. Such temporary permit shall be valid for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days after the date of attaining such certification or master's degree or higher and shall not be renewable. The fee for a temporary permit shall be fifty dollars.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) The Commissioner of Public Health may take any disciplinary action set forth in section 19a-17 of the general statutes against a genetic counselor for any of the following reasons: (1) Failure to conform to the accepted standards of the profession; (2) conviction of a felony; (3) fraud or deceit in obtaining or seeking reinstatement of a license to practice genetic counseling; (4) fraud or deceit in the practice of genetic counseling; (5) negligent, incompetent or wrongful conduct in professional activities; (6) physical, mental or emotional illness or disorder resulting in an inability to conform to the accepted standards of the profession; (7) alcohol or substance abuse; (8) wilful falsification of entries in any hospital, patient or other record pertaining to genetic counseling; or (9) violation of any provision of sections 20-195aa to 20-195dd, inclusive, of the general statutes or any regulation adopted pursuant to section 20-195ff of the general statutes. The commissioner may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his or her physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. The commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to said section 19a-17. The commissioner shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard on any contemplated action under said section 19a-17.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) The Commissioner of Public Health may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the provisions sections 1 to 6, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 8. Subsection (c) of section 19a-14 of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(c) No board shall exist for the following professions that are licensed or otherwise regulated by the Department of Public Health:

(1) Speech and language pathologist and audiologist;

(2) Hearing instrument specialist;

(3) Nursing home administrator;

(4) Sanitarian;

(5) Subsurface sewage system installer or cleaner;

(6) Marital and family therapist;

(7) Nurse-midwife;

(8) Licensed clinical social worker;

(9) Respiratory care practitioner;

(10) Asbestos contractor and asbestos consultant;

(11) Massage therapist;

(12) Registered nurse's aide;

(13) Radiographer;

(14) Dental hygienist;

(15) Dietitian-Nutritionist;

(16) Asbestos abatement worker;

(17) Asbestos abatement site supervisor;

(18) Licensed or certified alcohol and drug counselor;

(19) Professional counselor;

(20) Acupuncturist;

(21) Occupational therapist and occupational therapist assistant;

(22) Lead abatement contractor, lead consultant contractor, lead consultant, lead abatement supervisor, lead abatement worker, inspector and planner-project designer;

(23) Emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician, emergency medical responder and emergency medical services instructor;

(24) Paramedic;

(25) Athletic trainer;

(26) Perfusionist;

(27) Master social worker subject to the provisions of section 20-195v;

(28) Radiologist assistant, subject to the provisions of section 20-74tt;

(29) Homeopathic physician;

(30) Certified water treatment plant operator, certified distribution system operator, certified small water system operator, certified backflow prevention device tester and certified cross connection survey inspector, including certified limited operators, certified conditional operators and certified operators in training; [and]

(31) Tattoo technician; and

(32) Genetic counselor.

The department shall assume all powers and duties normally vested with a board in administering regulatory jurisdiction over such professions. The uniform provisions of this chapter and chapters 368v, 369 to 381a, inclusive, 383 to 388, inclusive, 393a, 395, 398, 399, 400a and 400c, including, but not limited to, standards for entry and renewal; grounds for professional discipline; receiving and processing complaints; and disciplinary sanctions, shall apply, except as otherwise provided by law, to the professions listed in this subsection.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 4

from passage

New section

Sec. 5

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 6

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 7

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 8

October 1, 2014

19a-14(c)

Statement of Purpose:

To establish licensure requirements for genetic counselors.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]