Adopted and Filed

Licensure of genetic counselors, ch 20

Untitled document

ARC 4339C

MEDICINE BOARD[653]

Adopted and Filed

Rule making related to genetic counselors

The Board of Medicine hereby adopts new Chapter 20, "Licensure of Genetic Counselors," Iowa Administrative Code.

Legal Authority for Rule Making

This rule making is adopted under the authority provided in Iowa Code section 148H.6 and chapters 147, 148 and 272C.

State or Federal Law Implemented

This rule making implements, in whole or in part, Iowa Code chapters 147, 148, 148H and 272C.

Purpose and Summary

This rule making adopts new Chapter 20, which establishes licensure of genetic counselors.

Public Comment and Changes to Rule Making

Notice of Intended Action for this rule making was published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on October 24, 2018, as ARC 4095C. A public hearing was held on November 20, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the Board's office, Suite C, 400 S.W. Eighth Street, Des Moines, Iowa. No one attended the public hearing.

The Iowa Genetic Counselors Network expressed concerns about the licensure application process, and the Board worked with representatives of the Network to revise the rules to the Network's satisfaction. The Board revised the rules pertaining to the application process to better reflect the profession of genetic counselors. The Board also added greater detail to the grounds for discipline in rule 653—20.20(147,148H,272C).

References to 2018 Iowa Acts, Senate File 2228, have been replaced with references to the appropriate codified sections of Iowa Code chapter 148H.

Adoption of Rule Making

This rule making was adopted by the Board on February 8, 2019.

Fiscal Impact

This rule making has no fiscal impact to the State of Iowa.

Jobs Impact

This rule making will likely increase the pool of genetic counselors and increase access to genetic counseling services in Iowa. It will likely have a positive jobs impact, which is difficult to measure at this time.

Waivers

Any person who believes that the application of the discretionary provisions of this rule making would result in hardship or injustice to that person may petition the Board for a waiver of the discretionary provisions, pursuant to 653—Chapter 3.

Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee

The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rule making by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rule making at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).

Effective Date

This rule making will become effective on April 17, 2019.

The following rule-making action is adopted:

Adopt the following new 653—Chapter 20:

CHAPTER 20

LICENSURE OF GENETIC COUNSELORS

653—20.1(148H) Purpose. The licensure of genetic counselors is established to ensure that practitioners are qualified to provide to Iowans genetic counseling with reasonable skill and safety. The provisions of Iowa Code chapters 147, 148H, and 272C authorize the board of medicine to establish eligibility requirements for licensure, evaluate the credentials of applicants for licensure, issue licenses to qualified applicants, institute continuing education requirements, investigate complaints and reports alleging that licensed genetic counselors have violated statutes and rules governing the practice of genetic counseling, make available participation in the Iowa physician health program, and discipline licensed genetic counselors found guilty of infractions as provided in state law and board rules.

653—20.2(148H) Scope of chapter. This chapter shall not be construed to apply to any of the following:

1.A physician or surgeon or an osteopathic physician or surgeon licensed under Iowa Code chapter 148, a registered nurse or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under Iowa Code chapter 152, a physician assistant licensed under Iowa Code chapter 148C, or other persons licensed under Iowa Code chapter 147 when acting within the scope of the person's profession and doing work of a nature consistent with the person's education and training.

2.A person who is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics as a doctor of philosophy and is not a genetic counselor licensed pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 148H.

3.A person employed as a genetic counselor by the federal government or an agency thereof if the person provides genetic counseling services solely under the direction and control of the entity by which the person is employed.

4.A genetic counseling intern.

653—20.3(148H) Definitions.

"Active candidate status" means a person has met the requirements established by the American Board of Genetic Counseling to take the American Board of Genetic Counseling certification examination in general genetics and genetic counseling and has been granted this designation by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.

"American Board of Genetic Counseling" or "ABGC" means the United States-based commission, or its equivalent or successor organization, that validates entry-level competency in the practice of genetic counseling through professional certification.

"American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics" or "ABMGG" means the United States-based commission, or its equivalent or successor organization, that validates entry-level competency in the practice of genetic counseling through professional certification.

"Board" means the board of medicine.

"Committee" means the licensure committee of the board.

"Genetic counseling" means the provision of services by a person who qualifies for a license under Iowa Code chapter 148H.

"Genetic counseling intern" means a student enrolled in a genetic counseling program accredited by the accreditation council for genetic counseling or the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

"Genetic counselor" means a person who is licensed under Iowa Code chapter 148H to engage in the practice of genetic counseling.

"Qualified supervisor" means any person who is a genetic counselor licensed under Iowa Code chapter 148H, a physician licensed under Iowa Code chapter 148, or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under Iowa Code chapter 152.

"Supervision" means supervision by a qualified supervisor who has the overall responsibility of assessing the work of a provisional licensee, provided that an annual supervision contract signed by the qualified supervisor and the provisional licensee is on file with both parties. "Supervision" does not require the qualified supervisor's presence during the performance of services.

653—20.4(148H) Scope of practice. A person licensed pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 148H may do any of the following:

1.Obtain and evaluate individual, family, and medical histories to determine genetic risk for genetic and medical conditions and diseases in a patient, the patient's offspring, and other family members.

2.Discuss the features, history, means of diagnosis, genetic and environmental factors, and management of risk for genetic and medical conditions and diseases.

3.Identify, order, and coordinate genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies as appropriate for the genetic assessment of a patient.

4.Refer a patient to a specialty or subspecialty department as necessary for the purpose of collaborating on diagnosis and treatment involving multiple body systems and general medical management.

5.Integrate genetic laboratory test results and other diagnostic studies with personal and family medical history to assess and communicate risk factors for genetic and medical conditions and diseases.

6.Explain the clinical implications of genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies and their results.

7.Evaluate the responses of a patient or patient's family to the condition or risk of recurrence and provide patient-centered genetic counseling and anticipatory guidance.

8.Identify and utilize community resources that provide medical, educational, financial, and psychosocial support and advocacy.

9.Provide written documentation of medical, genetic, and counseling information for families and health care professionals.

653—20.5(148H) Titles used. A genetic counselor licensed under Iowa Code chapter 148H may use the words "genetic counselor" or "licensed genetic counselor" or the corresponding abbreviation "LGC" after the person's name. Persons who possess a provisional license shall add the designation "provisional licensed genetic counselor."

653—20.6(148H) Qualifications for licensure.

20.6(1) Each applicant for licensure under Iowa Code chapter 148H shall:

a. Submit an application form and supporting documentation as prescribed by the board.

b. Hold active certification as a genetic counselor by the American Board of Genetic Counseling, as a genetic counselor by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, or as a medical geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, or the successor to any of the aforementioned organizations.

20.6(2) A licensee shall maintain active certification as a genetic counselor by the American Board of Genetic Counseling, as a genetic counselor by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, or as a medical geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, or the successor to any of the aforementioned organizations.

653—20.7(148H) Qualifications for provisional licensure. The board may issue a provisional license to an applicant who meets all of the requirements for licensure except for the certification component and who has been granted active candidate status by the American Board of Genetic Counseling or the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

20.7(1) The applicant shall submit a provisional license application form, proof of active candidate status, and supporting documentation prescribed by the board.

20.7(2) A provisional license shall expire and become inactive upon the earliest of the following:

a. Issuance of a license as a genetic counselor by the board.

b. Loss of active candidate status.

(1)A person holding a provisional license which is inactive due to loss of active candidate status may submit an application for reactivation of the provisional license upon demonstrating that active candidate status has been reestablished.

(2)An application for extension of a provisional license shall be signed by a qualified supervisor.

c. The date printed on the provisional license.

20.7(3) A person with a provisional license shall work at all times under the supervision of a qualified supervisor.

653—20.8(147,148H) Application requirements.

20.8(1) Application for licensure. To apply for a license to practice genetic counseling, an applicant shall:

a. Submit the completed application form provided by the board, including required credentials and documents, a completed fingerprint packet and a sworn statement by the applicant attesting to the truth of all information provided by the applicant;

b. Pay the nonrefundable initial application fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"a" and pay the fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"f" for the evaluation of the fingerprint packet and the national criminal history background checks by the Iowa division of criminal investigation (DCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

20.8(2) Contents of the application form. Each applicant shall submit the following information on the application form provided by the board:

a. The applicant's full legal name, date and place of birth, home address, mailing address, principal business address, and personal email address regularly used by the applicant or licensee for correspondence with the board;

b. A photograph of the applicant suitable for positive identification;

c. A chronology accounting for all time periods from the date the applicant entered a genetic counseling training program or educational institution to the date of the application;

d. The other jurisdictions in the United States or other nations or territories in which the applicant is authorized to practice genetic counseling, including license, certificate of registration or certification number and date of issuance;

e. Full disclosure of the applicant's involvement in civil litigation related to the practice of genetic counseling in any jurisdiction of the United States or other nations or territories. Copies of the legal documents may be requested if needed during the review process;

f. A statement disclosing and explaining any informal or nonpublic actions, warnings issued, investigations conducted, or disciplinary actions taken, whether by voluntary agreement or formal action, by a medical, genetic counseling or professional regulatory authority, an educational institution, a training or research program, or a health facility in any jurisdiction;

g. A statement disclosing and explaining any charge of a misdemeanor or felony involving the applicant filed in any jurisdiction, whether or not any appeal or other proceeding is pending to have the conviction or plea set aside;

h. A letter sent directly from the ABGC or ABMGG to the board verifying the applicant holds active certification in genetic counseling by the ABGC or ABMGG for genetic counselor licensure or proof of active candidate status for provisional licensure;

i. A statement of the applicant's physical and mental health, including full disclosure and a written explanation of any dysfunction or impairment which may affect the ability of the applicant to engage in the practice of genetic counseling and provide patients with safe and healthful care; and

j. A completed fingerprint packet to facilitate a national criminal history background check. The fee for evaluation of the fingerprint packet and the DCI and FBI criminal history background checks will be assessed to the applicant.

20.8(3) Application cycle. If the applicant does not submit all materials, including a completed fingerprint packet, within 90 days of the board's initial request for further information, the application shall be considered inactive. The board office shall notify the applicant of this change in status.

a. To reactivate the application, an applicant shall submit a nonrefundable reactivation of application fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"b" and shall update application materials if requested by the board. The period for requesting reactivation is limited to 30 days from the date the applicant is notified that the application is inactive, unless the applicant is granted an extension in writing by the committee or the board.

b. Once the application reactivation period is expired, an applicant must reapply and submit a new, nonrefundable initial application fee and a new application, including required documents and credentials.

20.8(4) Applicant responsibilities. An applicant for licensure to practice genetic counseling bears full responsibility for each of the following:

a. Paying all fees charged by regulatory authorities, national testing or credentialing organizations, health facilities, and educational institutions providing the information specified in subrule 20.8(2);

b. Providing accurate, up-to-date, and truthful information on the application form including, but not limited to, that specified under subrule 20.8(2) related to prior professional experience, education, training, active certification, licensure or registration, and disciplinary history.

20.8(5) Licensure application review process. A process established by the board shall be utilized to review each application. Priority shall be given to processing a licensure application when a written request is received in the board office from an applicant whose practice will primarily involve provision of services to underserved populations, including but not limited to persons who are minorities or low-income or who live in rural areas.

a. An application for initial licensure shall be considered open from the date the application form is received in the board office with the nonrefundable initial application fee.

b. After reviewing each application, staff shall notify the applicant about how to resolve any problems identified by the reviewer. An applicant shall provide additional information when requested by staff or the board.

c. If the final review indicates that the application is complete and that the application does not raise any questions or concerns regarding the applicant's qualifications for licensure, staff may administratively issue the license. Staff may issue the license without having received a report on the applicant from the FBI.

d. If the final review indicates questions or concerns that cannot be remedied by continued communication with the applicant, the executive director, the director of licensure and the director of legal affairs shall determine if the questions or concerns indicate any uncertainty about the applicant's current qualifications for licensure.

(1)If there is no current concern, staff shall administratively issue the license.

(2)If there are questions or concerns, an Iowa-licensed genetic counselor may be consulted.

(3)If any concern exists, staff shall refer the application to the committee.

e. Staff shall refer to the committee for review matters which include, but are not limited to, falsification of information on the application, criminal record, malpractice, substance abuse, competency, physical or mental illness, or professional disciplinary history.

f. If the committee is able to eliminate questions or concerns without dissension from staff or a committee member, the committee may direct staff to issue the license administratively.

g. If the committee is not able to eliminate questions or concerns without dissension from staff or a committee member, the committee shall recommend that the board:

(1)Request an investigation;

(2)Request that the applicant appear for an interview;

(3)If an applicant has not engaged in the field of genetic counseling in the past three years in any jurisdiction of the United States, require an applicant to:

1.Successfully complete board-approved continuing education or remediation;

2.Successfully complete a board-approved employment-based monitoring program developed by the genetic counselor's employer, an Iowa-licensed genetic counselor and the board;

3.Successfully complete any other pathway as agreed upon by the board;

(4)Issue a license;

(5)Issue a license under certain terms and conditions or with certain restrictions;

(6)Request that the applicant withdraw the licensure application; or

(7)Deny a license.

h. The board shall consider applications and recommendations from the committee and shall:

(1)Request an investigation;

(2)Request that the applicant appear for an interview;

(3)If an applicant has not engaged in the field of genetic counseling in the past three years in any jurisdiction of the United States, require an applicant to:

1.Successfully complete board-approved continuing education or remediation;

2.Successfully complete a board-approved employment-based monitoring program developed by the genetic counselor's employer, an Iowa-licensed genetic counselor and the board;

3.Successfully complete any other pathway as agreed upon by the board;

(4)Issue a license;

(5)Issue a license under certain terms and conditions or with certain restrictions;

(6)Request that the applicant withdraw the licensure application; or

(7)Deny a license. The board may deny a license for any grounds on which the board may discipline a license.

20.8(6) Grounds for denial of licensure. The board, on the recommendation of the committee, may deny an application for licensure for any of the following reasons:

a. Failure to meet the requirements for licensure specified in this chapter pursuant to Iowa Code section 148H.3.

b. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 147.4, upon any of the grounds for which licensure may be revoked or suspended as specified in Iowa Code sections 147.55 and 148H.7 or in rule 653—20.20(147,148H,272C).

20.8(7) Preliminary notice of denial. Prior to the denial of licensure to an applicant, the board shall issue a preliminary notice of denial that shall be sent to the applicant by regular, first-class mail at the address provided by the applicant. The preliminary notice of denial is a public record and shall cite the factual and legal basis for denying the application, notify the applicant of the appeal process, and specify the date upon which the denial will become final if it is not appealed.

20.8(8) Appeal procedure. An applicant who has received a preliminary notice of denial may appeal the denial and request a hearing on the issues related to the preliminary notice of denial by serving a request for hearing upon the executive director not more than 30 calendar days following the date when the preliminary notice of denial was mailed. The applicant's current address shall be provided in the request for hearing. The request is deemed filed on the date it is received in the board office. If the request is received with a USPS nonmetered postmark, the board shall consider the postmark date as the date the request is filed. The request shall specify the factual or legal errors and that the applicant desires an evidentiary hearing and may provide additional written information or documents in support of licensure.

20.8(9) Hearing. If an applicant appeals the preliminary notice of denial and requests a hearing, the hearing shall be a contested case and subsequent proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with rule 653—25.30(17A).

a. License denial hearings are contested cases open to the public.

b. Either party may request issuance of a protective order in the event privileged or confidential information is submitted into evidence.

c. Evidence supporting the denial of the license may be presented by an assistant attorney general.

d. While each party shall have the burden of establishing the affirmative of matters asserted, the applicant shall have the ultimate burden of persuasion as to the applicant's qualification for licensure.

e. The board, after a hearing on license denial, may issue or deny the license. The board shall state the reasons for its decision and may issue the license, issue the license with restrictions, or deny the license. The final decision is a public record.

f. Judicial review of a final order of the board denying licensure, or issuing a license with restrictions, may be sought in accordance with the provisions of Iowa Code section 17A.19, which are applicable to judicial review of any agency's final decision in a contested case.

20.8(10) Finality. If an applicant does not appeal a preliminary notice of denial in accordance with subrule 20.8(8), the preliminary notice of denial automatically becomes final. A final denial of an application for licensure is a public record.

20.8(11) Failure to pursue appeal. If an applicant appeals a preliminary notice of denial in accordance with subrule 20.8(8) but the applicant fails to pursue that appeal to a final decision within one year from the date of the preliminary notice of denial, the board may dismiss the appeal. The appeal may be dismissed only after the board sends a written notice by first-class mail to the applicant at the applicant's last-known address. The notice shall state that the appeal will be dismissed and the preliminary notice of denial will become final if the applicant does not contact the board to schedule the appeal hearing within 30 days of the date the letter is mailed from the board office. Upon dismissal of an appeal, the preliminary notice of denial becomes final. A final denial of an application for licensure under this rule is a public record.

20.8(12) Waiver or variance prohibited. Provisions of this rule are not subject to waiver or variance pursuant to 653—Chapter 3 or any other provision of law.

653—20.9(147,148H) Display of license and notification required to change the board's data system.

20.9(1) Display of license. Licensed genetic counselors shall display the license issued by the board in a conspicuous place in their primary place of business.

20.9(2) Change of contact information. Licensees shall notify the board within one month of a change in home address, address of the place of practice, home or practice telephone number, or personal email address regularly used by the applicant or licensee for correspondence with the board.

20.9(3) Change of full legal name. A licensee shall notify the board of any change in the licensee's full legal name within one month of making the name change. Notification requires a notarized copy of a marriage license or a notarized copy of court documents.

20.9(4) Deceased. A licensee's file shall be closed and labeled "deceased" when the board receives a copy of the licensee's death certificate or other reliable information of the licensee's death.

653—20.10(147,148H,272C) Biennial renewal of license required. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 148H.3, a license expires on October 31 of odd-numbered years and can be renewed for the fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"c."

20.10(1) The applicant for renewal shall provide:

a. A renewal application provided by the board.

b. A letter sent directly from the ABGC or ABMGG to the board verifying that the applicant holds active certification in genetic counseling by the ABGC or ABMGG for genetic counselor licensure or proof of active candidate status for provisional licensure.

c. Satisfactory evidence to the board that in the period since the license was issued or last renewed, the applicant has completed 30 hours of National Society of Genetic Counselors or ABMGG continuing education units as approved by the board.

20.10(2) Expiration date. Certificates of licensure to practice genetic counseling shall expire on October 31 in odd years.

20.10(3) Prorated fees. The first renewal fee for a license shall be prorated on a monthly basis according to the date of issue.

20.10(4) Renewal requirements and penalties for late renewal. Each licensee shall be sent a renewal notice at least 60 days prior to the expiration date. The licensee is responsible for renewing the license prior to its expiration. Failure of the licensee to receive the notice does not relieve the licensee of responsibility for renewing that license.

a. When online renewal is used, the licensee must complete the online renewal prior to midnight on December 31 in order to ensure that the license will not become inactive. The license becomes inactive and invalid at 12:01 a.m.on January 1.

b. Upon receipt of the completed renewal application, staff shall administratively issue a license that expires on October 31 of odd-numbered years. In the event the board receives adverse information on the renewal application, the board shall issue the renewal license but may refer the adverse information for further consideration.

c. Every renewal shall be displayed in connection with the original certificate of licensure.

d. If the licensee fails to submit the renewal application and renewal fee prior to the expiration date on the current license, a penalty fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"d" shall be assessed for renewal in the grace period, a period up until January 1 when the license becomes inactive if not renewed.

20.10(5) Inactive license. Failure of a licensee to renew by January 1 will result in invalidation of the license, and the license will become inactive.

a. Licensees are prohibited from engaging in the practice of genetic counseling once the license is inactive.

b. Having a genetic counselor license in inactive status does not preclude the board from taking disciplinary actions authorized in Iowa Code section 147.55 or 148H.7.

653—20.11(147,272C) Reinstatement of an inactive license.

20.11(1) Reinstatement requirements. Licensees who allow their licenses to go inactive by failing to renew may apply for reinstatement of a license. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 147.11, applicants for reinstatement shall:

a. Submit upon forms provided by the board a completed application for reinstatement of a license to practice genetic counseling. The application shall include the following information:

(1)The applicant's full legal name, date and place of birth, home address, mailing address, principal business address, and personal email address regularly used by the applicant or licensee for correspondence with the board.

(2)Every jurisdiction in which the applicant is or has been authorized to practice, including license numbers and dates of issuance.

(3)Full disclosure of the applicant's involvement in civil litigation related to the practice of genetic counseling in any jurisdiction of the United States or other nations or territories. Copies of the legal documents may be requested if needed during the review process.

(4)A statement disclosing and explaining any warnings issued, investigations conducted or disciplinary actions taken, whether by voluntary agreement or formal action, by a medical, genetic counseling or professional regulatory authority; an educational institution; a training or research program; or a health facility in any jurisdiction.

(5)A statement of the applicant's physical and mental health, including full disclosure and a written explanation of any dysfunction or impairment which may affect the ability of the applicant to engage in practice and provide patients with safe and healthful care.

(6)Verification of an applicant's hospital and clinical staff privileges and other professional experience for the past five years if requested by the board.

(7)A chronology accounting for all time periods from the date of initial licensure.

(8)A statement disclosing and explaining any charge of a misdemeanor or felony involving the applicant filed in any jurisdiction, whether or not any appeal or other proceeding is pending to have the conviction or plea set aside.

b. Submit a completed fingerprint packet to facilitate a national criminal history background check. The fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"f" for the evaluation of the fingerprint packet and the DCI and FBI criminal history background checks will be assessed to the applicant.

c. Pay the reinstatement fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"g" plus the fee identified in 653—paragraph 8.14(2)"f" for the evaluation of the fingerprint packet and the DCI and FBI criminal history background checks.

d. Provide a certificate which demonstrates that the applicant holds active certification in genetic counseling by ABGC or ABMGG.

e. Meet any new requirements instituted since the license lapsed.

20.11(2) Reinstatement for an applicant who has been out of practice for three years. If an applicant has not engaged in the field of genetic counseling in the past three years in any jurisdiction of the United States, the board may require an applicant to:

a. Successfully complete board-approved continuing education or remediation.

b. Successfully complete a board-approved employment-based monitoring program developed by the genetic counselor's employer, an Iowa-licensed genetic counselor and the board.

c. Successfully complete any other pathway as agreed upon by the board.

653—20.12(272C) Code of ethics. The NSGC Code of Ethics prepared and approved by the National Society of Genetic Counselors shall be utilized by the board as guiding principles in the practice of genetic counseling in this state.

653—20.13(272C) Nonpayment of state debt. 653—Chapter 12 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.14(272C) Standards of practice—office practices. Rule 653—13.7(147,148,272C) shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.15(272C) Iowa physician health committee. 653—Chapter 14 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.16(272C) Child support noncompliance. 653—Chapter 15 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.17(272C) Student loan default or noncompliance. 653—Chapter 16 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.18(272C) Military service and veteran reciprocity. 653—Chapter 18 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.19(272C) Mandatory reporting. 653—Chapter 22 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.20(147,148H,272C) Grounds for discipline of genetic counselors. The board has authority to impose discipline for any violation of Iowa Code chapter 147, 148H, or 272C or the rules promulgated thereunder. These grounds for discipline apply to genetic counselors. This rule is not subject to waiver or variance pursuant to 653—Chapter 3 or any other provision of law. The board may impose any of the disciplinary sanctions set forth in 653—subrule 25.25(1), when the board determines that the licensee is guilty of any of the following acts or offenses:

20.20(1) Violating any of the grounds for revocation or suspension of a license as listed in Iowa Code section 147.55, 148H.7, or 272C.10.

20.20(2) Professional incompetency. Professional incompetency includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

a. Willful or repeated gross malpractice;

b. Willful or gross negligence;

c. A substantial lack of knowledge or ability to discharge professional obligations within the scope of the genetic counselor's practice;

d. A substantial deviation by the genetic counselor from the standards of learning or skill ordinarily possessed and applied by other genetic counselors in the state of Iowa acting in the same or similar circumstances;

e. A failure by a genetic counselor to exercise in a substantial respect that degree of care which is ordinarily exercised by an average genetic counselor in the state of Iowa acting in the same or similar circumstances;

f. A willful or repeated departure from or failure to conform to the minimal standard of acceptable and prevailing practice of genetic counseling in the state of Iowa.

20.20(3) Practice harmful or detrimental to the public. Practice harmful or detrimental to the public includes, but is not limited to, the failure of the genetic counselor to possess and exercise that degree of skill, learning, and care expected of a reasonable, prudent genetic counselor acting in the same or similar circumstances in this state, or when a genetic counselor is unable to practice genetic counseling with reasonable skill and safety as a result of mental or physical impairment, or chemical abuse.

20.20(4) Unprofessional conduct. Engaging in unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the committing by a licensee of an act contrary to honesty, justice, or good morals, whether the act is committed in the scope of the licensee's practice or otherwise, and whether the act is committed in this state or elsewhere; or a violation of the principles of ethics applicable to genetic counselors.

20.20(5) Sexual misconduct. Engaging in sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, a genetic counselor engaging in conduct set forth in 653—subrule 13.7(4) (sexual conduct) or 13.7(6) (sexual harassment) as interpreted by the board.

20.20(6) Substance abuse. Substance abuse includes, but is not limited to, excessive use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or other substances in a manner which may impair a licensee's ability to practice the profession with reasonable skill and safety.

20.20(7) Physical or mental impairment. Physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, any physical, neurological, or mental condition which may impair a genetic counselor's ability to practice the profession with reasonable skill and safety. Being adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction shall automatically suspend a license for the duration of the license unless the board orders otherwise.

20.20(8) Felony criminal conviction. Being convicted of a felony in the courts of this state, another state, the United States, or any country, territory, or jurisdiction, as defined in Iowa Code section 148.6(2)"b."

20.20(9) Violation of the laws or rules governing the practice of genetic counseling in this state, another state, the United States, or any country, territory, or jurisdiction. Violation of the laws or rules governing the practice of genetic counseling includes, but is not limited to, willful or repeated violation of the provisions of these rules or the provisions of Iowa Code chapter 147, 148H, or 272C or any other state or federal laws governing the practice of genetic counseling.

20.20(10) Violation of a lawful order of the board, previously entered by the board in a disciplinary or licensure hearing, or violation of the terms and provisions of a consent agreement or settlement agreement entered into between a licensee and the board.

20.20(11) Violation of an initial agreement or health contract entered into with the Iowa physician health program (IPHP).

20.20(12) Failure to comply with an evaluation order under Iowa Code section 272C.9(1).

20.20(13) Knowingly making misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of genetic counseling. Knowingly making misleading, deceptive, untrue or fraudulent representations in the practice of genetic counseling includes, but is not limited to, an intentional perversion of the truth, either orally or in writing, by a genetic counselor in the practice of genetic counseling.

20.20(14) Fraud in procuring a license. Fraud in procuring a license includes, but is not limited to, an intentional perversion of the truth in making application for a license to practice genetic counseling in this state, and includes false representations of material fact, either by word or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed when making application for a license in this state, or attempting to file or filing with the board any false or forged document submitted with an application for license in this state.

20.20(15) Fraud in representations as to skill or ability. Fraud in representations as to skill or ability includes, but is not limited to, a licensee's having made misleading, deceptive, or untrue representations as to the genetic counselor's competency to perform professional services for which the licensee is not qualified to perform by education, training, or experience.

20.20(16) Use of untruthful or improbable statements in advertisements. Use of untruthful or improbable statements in advertisements includes, but is not limited to, an action by a licensee in making known to the public information which is false, deceptive, misleading, or promoted through fraud or misrepresentation and includes statements which may consist of, but are not limited to:

a. Inflated or unjustified claims which lead to expectations of favorable results;

b. Self-laudatory claims that imply that the licensee is skilled in a field or specialty for which the licensee is not qualified;

c. Representations that are likely to cause an average person to misunderstand; or

d. Extravagant claims or claims of extraordinary skill not recognized by the profession of genetic counseling.

20.20(17) Obtaining any fee by fraud or misrepresentation.

20.20(18) Acceptance of remuneration for referral of a patient to other health professions in violation of the law or National Society of Genetic Counselors Code of Ethics.

20.20(19) Knowingly submitting a false report of continuing education or failure to submit the required reports of continuing education.

20.20(20) Knowingly aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising a person in the unlawful practice of genetic counseling.

20.20(21) Failure to report disciplinary action. Failure to report a license revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action taken against a licensee by a professional licensing authority of another state, an agency of the United States government, or any country, territory, or other jurisdiction, within 30 days of final action by such licensing authority. A stay by an appellate court shall not negate this requirement; however, if such disciplinary action is overturned or reversed by a court of last resort, the report shall be expunged from the records of the board.

20.20(22) Failure to report voluntary agreements. Failure to report any voluntary agreement to restrict the practice of genetic counseling entered into with this state, another state, the United States, an agency of the federal government, or any country, territory or other jurisdiction.

20.20(23) Failure to notify the board within 30 days after occurrence of any settlement or adverse judgment of a malpractice claim or action.

20.20(24) Failure to comply with a valid subpoena issued by the board pursuant to Iowa Code sections 17A.13 and 272C.6.

20.20(25) Failure to submit to a board-ordered mental, physical, clinical competency, or substance abuse evaluation or a drug or alcohol screening.

20.20(26) Noncompliance with a support order or with a written agreement for payment of support as evidenced by a certificate of noncompliance issued pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 252J. Disciplinary proceedings under this rule shall follow the procedures set forth in Iowa Code chapter 252J and 653—Chapter 15.

20.20(27) Student loan default or noncompliance with an agreement for payment of a student loan obligation as evidenced by a certificate of noncompliance issued pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 261 and rule 653—16.2(261).

20.20(28) Improper management of medical records. Improper management of medical records includes, but is not limited to, failure to maintain timely, accurate, and complete medical records.

20.20(29) Failure to respond to or comply with a board investigation initiated pursuant to Iowa Code section 272C.3 and rule 653—24.2(17A,147,148,272C).

20.20(30) Failure to submit an additional completed fingerprint card and applicable fee, within 30 days of a request made by board staff, when a previous fingerprint submission has been determined to be unacceptable.

20.20(31) Failure to respond to the board or submit continuing education materials during a board audit, within 30 days of a request made by board staff or within the extension of time if one has been granted.

20.20(32) Failure to respond to the board or submit requested mandatory training for identifying and reporting abuse materials during a board audit, within 30 days of a request made by the board staff or within the extension of time if one has been granted.

20.20(33) Nonpayment of state debt as evidenced by a certificate of noncompliance issued pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 272D and 653—Chapter 12.

20.20(34) Failure to file with the board a written report and a copy of the hospital disciplinary action within 30 days of any hospital disciplinary action or the licensee's voluntary action to avoid a hospital disciplinary action, as required by rule 653—22.5(272C).

653—20.21(272C) Complaints and investigations. 653—Chapter 24 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.22(272C) Contested case proceedings. 653—Chapter 25 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.23(272C) Reinstatement after disciplinary action. 653—Chapter 26 shall apply to licensed genetic counselors.

653—20.24(148H,272C) Surrender of license to the board.

20.24(1) A genetic counselor whose license is suspended or revoked or whose surrender of license with or without prejudice has been accepted by the board shall promptly surrender the original license to the board.

20.24(2) A genetic counselor whose ABGC certification has lapsed or whose certification has been revoked by the ABGC shall surrender the genetic counselor's license to the board.

20.24(3) A provisional licensee who loses active candidate status with the ABGC must immediately cease the practice of genetic counseling until the provisional licensee obtains an extension of the provisional license or obtains a new provisional license.

653—20.25(147,148H,272C) Waiver or variance prohibited. Fees in this chapter are not subject to waiver or variance pursuant to 653—Chapter 3 or any other provision of law.

These rules are intended to implement Iowa Code chapters 147, 148, 148H, and 272C.

[Filed 2/14/19, effective 4/17/19]

[Published 3/13/19]

Editor's Note: For replacement pages for IAC, see IAC Supplement 3/13/19.

Medicine Board


This Organization is a part of the Public Health Department

Official Document

  • Licensure of genetic counselors, ch 20
  • Published on 3/13/2019
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  • Adopted and Filed

The official published PDF of this document is available from the Iowa General Assembly’s Administrative Rules page.

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View the Iowa Administrative Bulletin for 3/13/2019.

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