The first new medical license law in over a
decade to establish licensure for genetic counselors
Florida Senator Shevrin Jones (SD-35) is today happy to announce the signing of SB 1770 into law regarding genetic counseling licensure. The new law, carried in the House by Rep. David Silvers, is the state’s first new medical license in over a decade.
“Genetic counselors, although widely used, were not recognized as licensed health professionals until today in the state of Florida,” said Senator Jones (Democrat – Miami Gardens). “Some individuals were providing genetic counseling without formal training and some patients who needed counseling were unable to assess the competency of individuals who provided care.
“As genetic medicine is transferred from the research laboratory to clinical practice, the state of Florida is leading the way for ensuring the competency of genetic counselors that will be called upon to incorporate the evolving technologies of genetic medicine,” Senator Jones said.
Several provisions in the bill include:
- Creates legislative intent and findings to establish a new profession;
- Creates definitions for:
- Genetic counselor; and the
- Practice of genetic counseling;
- Sets requirements for initial licensure, renewal, and continuing education (CE);
- Sets grounds for disciplinary action and penalties; and
- Creates exemptions from the genetic counseling regulation for:
- Commissioned medical officers of the United States Armed Forces or Public Health Service while on active duty; and
- Healthcare practitioners as defined in s. 456.001, F.S., other than genetic counselors, who are practicing within the scope of their education, training, and licensure.