Provides for the licensing of genetic counselors; creates the state committee for genetic counseling.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to licensing of genetic counselors
PURPOSE: This legislation would establish genetic counseling as a licensed profession.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation would establish genetic counseling as a licensed profession in New York State. The bill would provide for licensure, provisional licensure, professional standards, continuing education requirements, conduct and registration of genetic counselors.
JUSTIFICATION: In the last decade, advances in technology and the understanding of human genetics have rapidly expanded the number of tests available to directly test for genetic conditions and genetic susceptibility to common diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. New methods in gene sequencing have made mapping an individual's entire genome a reality. This technology promises to deliver individualized medicine to the public in the very near future.
Interpretation of genetic/genomic test results is complex and requires specialized knowledge and communication skills to: determine whether the patient wants and needs the test; ensure that the patient is taking the most appropriate genetic/genomic test; provide the patient with necessary information to obtain informed consent required by New York State law; facilitate proper medical management based on the patient's genetic/genomic test results; and appropriately disseminate the genetic information to the patient's health care providers and at-risk family members. Genetic counselors who have met the educational requirements and certification standards as established by this legislation are ensured of possessing these requisite skills.
New Yorkers deserve a competent health care workforce that can help to apply genomic information to the public with safety and human rights in mind. The State of New York has a long tradition of protecting the safety and health of individual recipients of professional services by setting high standards for the licensing and conduct of providers of such services. This legislation would ensure the benefits of genetic/genomic information for those who seek it, by ensuring that genetic counselors are licensed and accountable.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013: S. 2904/A.3350; 2011-12 S.3514/A.5641; 2009-10 S.2757/A.5766; 2007-08, S.1858-A/A.3556A; 2005-06, S.4532/A.8065; 2003-04 S.287A/A.10539; 2001-02 S.2471/A.2360; 2000 S.7563/A.9876.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Any fiscal implications related to licensure of the genetic counselors, would be offset through license fees.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately, with provisions.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 2904--A A. 3350--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y January 24, 2013 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. LAVALLE, LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Higher Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. SWEENEY, MILLMAN, PAULIN, GALEF, ROSENTHAL -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. DINOWITZ, HOOPER, MARKEY, WEISENBERG -- read once and referred to the Committee on Higher Educa- tion -- recommitted to the Committee on Higher Education in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to licensing of genetic counselors THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 142 to read as follows: ARTICLE 142 GENETIC COUNSELING SECTION 7050. INTRODUCTION. 7051. DEFINITIONS. 7052. THE PRACTICE OF GENETIC COUNSELING. 7053. STATE COMMITTEE FOR GENETIC COUNSELING. 7054. REQUIREMENTS FOR A PROFESSIONAL LICENSE. 7055. EXEMPT PERSONS. 7056. LIMITED PERMITS. 7057. VISITING GENETIC COUNSELORS. 7058. TELEHEALTH SERVICES.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04709-02-4 S. 2904--A 2 A. 3350--A
S 7050. INTRODUCTION. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES TO THE LICENSING OF GENETIC COUNSELORS. THE GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ALL PROFESSIONS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS TITLE APPLY TO THIS ARTICLE. S 7051. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE: 1. THE TERM "GENETIC COUNSELOR" SHALL MEAN A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL WHO IS ACADEMICALLY AND CLINICALLY PREPARED TO PROVIDE GENETIC COUNSELING SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT THE OCCURRENCE, RISK OF OCCURRENCE OR RECURRENCE, OF GENETIC/MEDICAL CONDI- TIONS AND DISEASES. 2. THE TERM "LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELOR" SHALL MEAN A GENETIC COUNSE- LOR LICENSED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE. 3. THE TERM "CERTIFIED GENETIC COUNSELOR" SHALL MEAN A GENETIC COUNSE- LOR WITH A MASTER'S DEGREE IN GENETIC COUNSELING FROM AN AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GENETIC COUNSELING ACCREDITED PROGRAM AND WHO HAS PASSED THE CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF GENETIC COUNSELORS. S 7052. THE PRACTICE OF GENETIC COUNSELING. 1. THE "PRACTICE OF GENET- IC COUNSELING" SHALL MEAN THE COMMUNICATION TO AND EDUCATION OF CLIENTS, THEIR FAMILIES, OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC WITH REGARDS TO GENETIC TESTING, INDIVIDUAL FAMILY HISTORIES, OR OTHER GENETIC, MEDICAL, AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE OCCUR- RENCE, RISK OF OCCURRENCE OR RECURRENCE, OF A GENETIC OR HEREDITARY CONDITION OR BIRTH DEFECT IN A COMPREHENSIVE, UNDERSTANDABLE, ETHICAL MANNER. A PRACTITIONER OF GENETIC COUNSELING SHALL SEEK TO PROMOTE DECISION-MAKING IN AN UNBIASED, NON-COERCIVE MANNER WHICH RESPECTS THE INDIVIDUAL'S CULTURE, LANGUAGE, TRADITION, LIFESTYLE, RELIGION, BELIEFS AND VALUES. GENETIC COUNSELING SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING: (A) OBTAIN AND EVALUATE INDIVIDUAL, FAMILY, AND MEDICAL HISTORIES TO DETERMINE GENETIC RISK FOR GENETIC/MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND DISEASES IN A PATIENT, HIS OR HER OFFSPRING, AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS; (B) DISCUSS THE FEATURES, NATURAL HISTORY, MEANS OF DIAGNOSIS, GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS, AND MANAGEMENT OF RISK FOR GENETIC/MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND DISEASES; (C) IDENTIFY AND COORDINATE GENETIC LABORATORY TESTS AND OTHER DIAG- NOSTIC STUDIES AS APPROPRIATE FOR THE GENETIC ASSESSMENT; (D) INTEGRATE GENETIC LABORATORY TEST RESULTS AND OTHER DIAGNOSTIC STUDIES WITH PERSONAL AND FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY TO ASSESS AND COMMUNI- CATE RISK FACTORS FOR GENETIC/MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND DISEASES; (E) EXPLAIN THE CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GENETIC LABORATORY TESTS AND OTHER DIAGNOSTIC STUDIES AND THEIR RESULTS; (F) EVALUATE THE CLIENT'S OR FAMILY'S RESPONSES TO THE CONDITION OR RISK OF RECURRENCE AND PROVIDE CLIENT-CENTERED COUNSELING AND ANTICIPA- TORY GUIDANCE; (G) IDENTIFY AND UTILIZE COMMUNITY RESOURCES THAT PROVIDE MEDICAL, EDUCATIONAL, FINANCIAL, AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT AND ADVOCACY; AND (H) PROVIDE WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION OF MEDICAL, GENETIC, AND COUNSELING INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS AND HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS IN ACCORDANCE WITH MEDICAL STANDARDS AND PRIVACY LAWS. 2. NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO AUTHORIZE A LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELOR TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT ANY GENETIC DISEASE OR CONDITION. LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELORS ARE REQUIRED TO ENSURE THAT PATIENT/CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY AND INFORMED CONSENT ARE MAINTAINED CONSISTENT WITH EXISTING FEDERAL AND STATE LAW. 3. PRACTICE OF GENETIC COUNSELING, AND USE OF THE TITLES "GENETIC COUNSELOR" AND "LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELOR" AND THE USE OF THE LETTERS "L.G.C." AFTER THE NAME SHALL BE RESERVED EXCLUSIVELY TO PERSONSS. 2904--A 3 A. 3350--A
LICENSED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE. ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR EXEMPT UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE GENETIC COUNSELING OR USE THE TITLE "GENETIC COUNSELOR". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL USE THE TITLE "LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELOR" OR ANY OTHER DESIGNATION TENDING TO IMPLY THAT A PERSON IS LICENSED TO PRACTICE GENETIC COUNSELING. S 7053. STATE COMMITTEE FOR GENETIC COUNSELING. 1. A STATE COMMITTEE FOR GENETIC COUNSELING SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER AND SHALL ASSIST ON MATTERS OF LICENSURE AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT OF THIS TITLE, THE COMMITTEE SHALL ASSIST THE BOARD FOR MEDICINE SOLELY IN GENETIC COUNSELING MATTERS. MEMBERS OF THE FIRST COMMITTEE NEED NOT BE LICENSED PRIOR TO THEIR APPOINTMENT TO SUCH COMMITTEE. THE TERMS OF THE FIRST APPOINTED MEMBERS SHALL BE STAGGERED SO THAT TWO MEMBERS ARE APPOINTED FOR THREE YEARS, THREE MEMBERS ARE APPOINTED FOR FOUR YEARS AND TWO MEMBERS ARE APPOINTED FOR FIVE YEARS. AN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY TO THE COMMITTEE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER. 2. THE COMMITTEE SHALL CONSIST OF SEVEN INDIVIDUALS, TO BE COMPOSED OF THE FOLLOWING: (A) FIVE LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELORS WITH A MINIMUM OF FIVE YEARS EXPERIENCE, INCLUDING AT LEAST THREE YEARS OF FIELD EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH PATIENTS OR THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN THE FIELD OF GENETIC COUNSELING; (B) ONE LICENSED MEDICAL GENETICIST; AND (C) A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PUBLIC AT LARGE. 3. BOARD MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR TERMS OF FIVE YEARS. VACANCIES SHORT OF A FULL TERM SHALL BE FILLED TO COMPLETE THE TIME REMAINING IN THE TERM OF THE MEMBER VACATING. S 7054. REQUIREMENTS FOR A PROFESSIONAL LICENSE. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS A "LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELOR", AN APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS: 1. APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT; 2. EDUCATION: HAVE RECEIVED A MASTER'S OR DOCTORAL DEGREE IN GENETIC COUNSELING FROM A PROGRAM REGISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT, OR DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO BE THE SUBSTANTIAL EQUIVALENT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. APPROPRIATE COURSEWORK SHALL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS ON RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE STATE COMMITTEE FOR GENETIC COUNSELING; 3. EXPERIENCE: HAVE GENETIC COUNSELING EXPERIENCE SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT AS DEFINED IN SECTION SEVEN THOUSAND FIFTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. SUCH EXPERIENCE SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION OF SUPERVISED CASE-WORK AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES DEEMED ACCEPT- ABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT; 4. EXAMINATION: PASS THE AMERICAN BOARD OF GENETIC COUNSELING (ABGC) EXAMINATION FOR CERTIFICATION OR HAVE PASSED A PREVIOUS EXAMINATION ACCEPTED BY THE ABGC FOR CERTIFICATION; 5. AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE; 6. CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART- MENT; 7. FEES: PAY A FEE OF THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE AND TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR EACH SUBSEQUENT RE-REGISTRA- TION OF A LICENSE; AND 8. CONTINUING EDUCATION: AT THE TIME OF RE-REGISTRATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT, EACH APPLICANT SHALL PRESENT SATISFACTORY DOCUMENTATION TO THE STATE COMMITTEE FOR GENETIC COUNSELING THAT SINCE LAST REGISTRATIONS. 2904--A 4 A. 3350--A
THEY ATTENDED THE EDUCATION PROGRAMS CONDUCTED BY THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF GENETIC COUNSELORS IN CONCORDANCE WITH THE AMERICAN BOARD OF GENETIC COUNSELING OR THE EQUIVALENT OF SUCH EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AS APPROVED BY THE STATE COMMITTEE FOR GENETIC COUNSELING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL TRIENNIALLY RE-REGIS- TER A LICENSE UPON RECEIPT OF A RE-REGISTRATION APPLICATION. THE DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE STATE COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED IN SECTION SEVEN THOUSAND FIFTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE, TO ESTABLISH CRITERIA AS A CONDITION OF LICENSURE RE-REGISTRA- TION FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION OF GENETIC COUNSELORS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE NUMBER OF HOURS AND/OR EDUCATION UNITS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS. S 7055. EXEMPT PERSONS. THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROHIBIT THE PRACTICE OF GENETIC COUNSELING BY LICENSED PHYSICIANS OR OTHER LICENSED PROFES- SIONALS PURSUANT TO TITLE EIGHT OF THIS CHAPTER TO OPERATE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THEIR PROFESSION'S LICENSE. SUCH EXEMPT PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING THE TITLE "LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELOR" AS PROVIDED FOR IN THIS ARTICLE. S 7056. LIMITED PERMITS. PERMITS LIMITED AS TO ELIGIBILITY, PRACTICE AND DURATION SHALL BE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS, AS FOLLOWS: 1. THE DEPARTMENT MAY ISSUE A LIMITED PERMIT TO AN APPLICANT WHO MEETS ALL QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AS A GENETIC COUNSELOR, EXCEPT THE EXAMINATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGU- LATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE DEPARTMENT. 2. THE DEPARTMENT MAY ISSUE LIMITED PERMITS TO FOREIGN TRAINED GENETIC COUNSELORS THAT APPLY IF THEY MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE PURSU- ANT TO SECTION SEVEN THOUSAND FIFTY-FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE. 3. LIMITED PERMITS SHALL BE FOR ONE YEAR. LIMITED PERMITS MAY BE RE-REGISTERED, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE DEPARTMENT, FOR ONE ADDITIONAL YEAR. 4. AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A LIMITED PERMIT SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE GENETIC COUNSELING ONLY UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELOR, OR LICENSED PHYSICIAN. SUPERVISION SHALL MEAN THE REVIEW OF GENETIC COUNSELING AS PROVIDED BY SECTION SEVEN THOUSAND FIFTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE AND CASE MANAGEMENT AS APPROPRIATE THAT INCLUDE REGULAR CHART REVIEWS OF CLIENTS WITH THE LIMITED PERMITTEE AND THE SUPERVISOR. 5. THE FEE FOR EACH LIMITED PERMIT AND FOR EACH RE-REGISTRATION SHALL BE TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. S 7057. VISITING GENETIC COUNSELORS. VISITING CERTIFIED OR LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELORS FROM OUTSIDE THE STATE PERFORMING SERVICES FOR A PERIOD OF LESS THAN FIFTEEN DAYS, ANNUALLY, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM NEW YORK STATE LICENSURE. VISITING GENETIC COUNSELORS MUST BE LICENSED IN THEIR HOME STATE IF LICENSURE IS AVAILABLE. VISITING CERTIFIED OR LICENSED GENETIC COUNSELORS, FROM OUTSIDE THE STATE, PERFORMING SERVICES FOR A PERIOD OF FIFTEEN DAYS OR MORE, ANNUALLY, MUST APPLY FOR NEW YORK STATE LICENSURE WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF PROVIDING SERVICES IN NEW YORK STATE. SUCH APPLICANTS MAY CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SERVICES UNTIL NEW YORK STATE LICENSURE IS GRANTED OR DENIED. S 7058. TELEHEALTH SERVICES. GENETIC COUNSELORS PROVIDING TELEHEALTH SERVICES TO NEW YORK STATE RESIDENTS MUST HAVE OR APPLY FOR NEW YORK STATE LICENSURE. AS USED IN THIS SECTION "TELEHEALTH SERVICES" SHALL MEAN THE PROVISION OF GENETIC COUNSELING THROUGH THE USE OF SECURE TELE- COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY. S 2. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction toS. 2904--A 5 A. 3350--A
be invalid and after exhaustion of all further judicial review, the judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, para- graph, section or part of this act directly involved in the controversy in which the judgment shall have been rendered. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that within two years of the effective date of this act, the addition, amend- ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen- tation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date; provided, further, that with respect to those persons who are licensed under arti- cle 142 of the education law on or before the triennial registration period next succeeding the effective date of this act, the continuing education requirements set forth in this act need not be completed until after the second triennial registration period.