Chapter 4778: GENETIC COUNSELORS

4778.01 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "American board of genetic counseling" means the organization known by that name, its successor organization, or an equivalent organization recognized by the state medical board.

(B) "American board of medical genetics" means the organization known by that name, its successor organization, or an equivalent organization recognized by the state medical board.

(C) "Certified genetic counselor" means either of the following:

(1) An individual who possesses the certified genetic counselor credential from the American board of genetic counseling;

(2) An individual who is a diplomate of the American board of medical genetics.

(D) "Collaborating physician" means a physician who has entered into a collaborative agreement with a genetic counselor under division (B) of section 4778.11 of the Revised Code.

(E) "Collaborative agreement" means the document that is established under division (B) of section 4778.11 of the Revised Code by a genetic counselor and the genetic counselor's collaborating physician.

(F) "Genetic counselor" means an individual who engages in any of the activities authorized under section 4778.11 of the Revised Code.

(G) "National society of genetic counselors" means the organization known by that name, its successor organization, or an equivalent organization recognized by the state medical board.

(H) "Physician" means an individual authorized under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.02 License required.

(A)

(1) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, no person shall practice as a genetic counselor unless the person holds a current, valid license to practice as a genetic counselor issued under this chapter.

(2) No person shall use the title "genetic counselor," or otherwise hold the person out as a genetic counselor, unless the person holds a current, valid license to practice as a genetic counselor issued under this chapter.

(B) Division (A)(1) of this section does not apply to either of the following:

(1) A student performing an activity as part of a genetic counseling graduate program described in division (B) (1)(b) of section 4778.03 of the Revised Code;

(2) A person who is authorized pursuant to another provision of the Revised Code to perform any of the activities that a genetic counselor is authorized to perform.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2013.

4778.03 Application for license.

(A) An individual seeking a license to practice as a genetic counselor shall file with the state medical board an application in a manner prescribed by the board. The application shall include all the information the board considers necessary to process the application, including evidence satisfactory to the board that the applicant meets the requirements specified in division (B) of this section.

At the time an application is submitted, the applicant shall pay the board an application fee of two hundred dollars. No part of the fee shall be returned to the applicant or transferred for purposes of another application.

(B)

(1) To be eligible to receive a license to practice as a genetic counselor, an applicant shall demonstrate to the board that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:

(a) Is at least eighteen years of age and of good moral character;

(b) Except as provided in division (B)(2) of this section, has attained a master's degree or higher degree from a genetic counseling graduate program accredited by the American board of genetic counseling, inc.;

(c) Is a certified genetic counselor;

(d) Has satisfied any other requirements established by the board in rules adopted under section 4778.12 of the Revised Code.

(2) In the case of an applicant who files an application not later than December 31, 2013, and meets all eligibility requirements other than the requirement specified in division (B)(1)(b) of this section, the applicant is eligible for a license to practice as a genetic counselor if the applicant has attained a master's or higher degree in education or in a field that the state medical board considers to be closely related to genetic counseling.

(C) The board shall review all applications received under this section. Not later than sixty days after receiving an application it considers complete, the board shall determine whether the applicant meets the requirements for a license to practice as a genetic counselor. The affirmative vote of not fewer than six members of the board is required to determine that the applicant meets the requirements for the license.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.04 Criminal records check.

In addition to any other eligibility requirement set forth in this chapter, each applicant for a license to practice as a genetic counselor shall comply with sections 4776.01 to 4776.04 of the Revised Code. The state medical board shall not grant to an applicant a license to practice as a genetic counselor unless the board, in its discretion, decides that the results of the criminal records check do not make the applicant ineligible for a license issued pursuant to section 4778.05 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.05 Issuance, expiration, and renewal of license.

If the state medical board determines under section 4778.03 of the Revised Code that an applicant meets the requirements for a license to practice as a genetic counselor, the secretary of the board shall issue the license to the applicant. The license shall expire biennially and may be renewed in accordance with section 4778.06 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.06 Application for renewal.

(A) An individual seeking to renew a license to practice as a genetic counselor shall, on or before the thirty-first day of January of each even-numbered year, apply for renewal of the license. The state medical board shall send renewal notices at least one month prior to the expiration date.

Renewal applications shall be submitted to the board in a manner prescribed by the board. Each application shall be accompanied by a biennial renewal fee of one hundred fifty dollars.

The applicant shall report any criminal offense to which the applicant has pleaded guilty, of which the applicant has been found guilty, or for which the applicant has been found eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction, since last signing an application for a license to practice as a genetic counselor.

(B) To be eligible for renewal, a genetic counselor shall certify to the board that the counselor has done both of the following:

(1) Maintained the counselor's status as a certified genetic counselor;

(2) Completed at least thirty hours of continuing education in genetic counseling that has been approved by the national society of genetic counselors or American board of genetic counseling.

(C) If an applicant submits a renewal application that the board considers to be complete and qualifies for renewal pursuant to division (B) of this section, the board shall issue to the applicant a renewed license to practice as a genetic counselor.

(D) The board may require a random sample of genetic counselors to submit materials documenting that their status as certified genetic counselors has been maintained and that the number of hours of continuing education required under division (B)(2) of this section has been completed.

If a genetic counselor certifies that the genetic counselor has completed the number of hours and type of continuing education required for renewal of a license, and the board finds through the random sample or any other means that the genetic counselor did not complete the requisite continuing education, the board may impose a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars. The board's finding shall be made pursuant to an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members. A civil penalty imposed under this division may be in addition to or in lieu of any other action the board may take under section 4778.14 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.07 Suspension.

(A) A license to practice as a genetic counselor issued under section 4778.05 of the Revised Code that is not renewed on or before its expiration date is automatically suspended on its expiration date. Continued practice after suspension shall be considered as practicing in violation of section 4778.02 of the Revised Code.

(B) If a license has been suspended pursuant to this section for two years or less, the board shall reinstate the license upon an applicant's submission of a complete renewal application, the biennial renewal fee, and a monetary penalty of twenty-five dollars.

(C)

(1) If a license has been suspended pursuant to this section for more than two years, it may be restored upon an applicant's submission of a complete restoration application, the biennial renewal fee, and a monetary penalty of fifty dollars and compliance with sections 4776.01 to 4776.04 of the Revised Code. The board shall not restore a license unless the board, in its discretion, decides that the results of the criminal records check do not make the applicant ineligible for a license issued pursuant to section 4778.05 of the Revised Code.

(2) The board may impose terms and conditions for the restoration, including the following:

(a) Requiring the applicant to pass an oral or written examination, or both, to determine the applicant's present fitness to resume practice;

(b) Requiring the applicant to obtain additional training and to pass an examination upon completion of such training;

(c) Restricting or limiting the extent, scope, or type of practice of the applicant.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.08 Supervised practice license.

(A) The state medical board may issue to an applicant under section 4778.03 of the Revised Code a license to practice as a genetic counselor, designated as a supervised practice license, if both of the following apply:

(1) The applicant meets the requirements specified in section 4778.03 of the Revised Code other than being a certified genetic counselor;

(2) The applicant is in active candidate status with the American board of genetic counseling.

(B) A supervised practice license authorizes the holder to engage in the activities authorized by section 4778.11 of the Revised Code while the holder is under the general supervision of a genetic counselor licensed under section 4778.05 of the Revised Code or a physician. General supervision does not require the supervising licensed genetic counselor or physician to be present while the holder engages in such activities, but does require the licensed genetic counselor or physician to have professional responsibility for the holder and be readily accessible to the holder for professional consultation and assistance.

A supervised practice license is valid from the date of issuance until the earlier of one year from that date or the date a license is issued under section 4778.05 of the Revised Code. A supervised practice license may not be renewed.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2013.

4778.09 Special activity license.

(A) The state medical board may issue a license to practice as a genetic counselor, designated as a special activity license, to an individual from another state seeking to practice in this state genetic counseling associated with a rare disease.

(B) An applicant for a special activity license shall submit to the board all of the following information:

(1) Evidence that the applicant holds a current, unrestricted license to practice genetic counseling issued by another state or, if the applicant practices genetic counseling in another state that does not license genetic counselors, evidence that the applicant is a certified genetic counselor;

(2) Evidence that the applicant has actively practiced genetic counseling within the two-year period immediately preceding application;

(3) The name of the applicant's sponsoring institution or organization, a statement of need for genetic counseling from the sponsoring institution or organization, and the name of the rare disease for which the applicant will be practicing genetic counseling in this state.

(C) At the time an application is submitted, the applicant shall pay a fee of twenty-five dollars. No part of the fee shall be returned to the applicant or transferred for purposes of another application.

(D) A special activity license is valid for the shorter of thirty days or the duration of the genetic counseling associated with the rare disease for which the license was issued. The license may not be renewed.

(E) The holder of a special activity license may practice genetic counseling only to the extent that it is associated with the rare disease for which the license was issued. The license holder shall not bill a patient or any third party payer for genetic counseling provided in this state.

(F) The board may revoke a special activity license on receiving proof satisfactory to the board that the holder of the license has engaged in practice in this state outside the scope of the license or that there are grounds for action against the license holder under section 4778.14 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.10 Duplicate license.

On application by the holder of a license to practice as a genetic counselor, the state medical board shall issue a duplicate license to replace one that is missing or damaged, to reflect a name change, or for any other reasonable cause. The fee for a duplicate license is thirty-five dollars.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.11 Authorized activities for licensees.

(A) An individual who holds a valid license to practice as a genetic counselor may engage in all of the following activities:

(1) Obtain and evaluate the medical histories of a patient and the patient's family members to determine the risk for genetic or medical conditions and diseases in the patient, the patient's offspring, or the patient's family members;

(2) Discuss with a patient and the patient's family the features, natural history, means of diagnosis, genetic and environmental factors, and management of risk for genetic or medical conditions and diseases;

(3) Identify and coordinate genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic studies as appropriate for genetic assessment;

(4) Integrate the results of genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic tests with individual and family medical histories;

(5) Explain to a patient and the patient's family the clinical implications of the results of genetic laboratory tests and other diagnostic tests;

(6) Evaluate the response of a patient or the patient's family members to one or more genetic conditions or the risk of reoccurrence and provide patient-centered counseling and guidance;

(7) Identify and use community resources that provide medical, educational, financial, and psychosocial support and advocacy;

(8) Provide medical, genetic, and counseling information to patients, their families, and other health care professionals;

(9) Pursuant to a collaborative agreement, perform the activities specified in division (B) of this section.

(B) A genetic counselor may enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician who agrees to work with and provide medical support to the genetic counselor. The agreement shall be established as a written, formal document that memorializes the relationship between the genetic counselor and the physician and establishes the criteria governing the genetic counselor's performance of both of the following:

(1) Order genetic or other tests for the purpose of diagnosing a medical condition or inherited disorder or determining the carrier status of one or more of the patient's family members;

(2) Select the most appropriate, accurate, and cost-effective methods of diagnosis.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.12 Adoption of rules.

The state medical board shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to implement and administer this chapter. The rules shall include the following:

(A) Any standards and procedures not addressed in this chapter that the board considers necessary for issuing and renewing licenses under this chapter;

(B) Any standards and procedures the board considers necessary to govern the practice of genetic counselors, the collaborative agreements between genetic counselors and collaborating physicians, and the supervision of genetic counselors holding supervised practice licenses;

(C) Any other standards and procedures the board considers necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.14 Revocation or denial of license.

(A) The state medical board, by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members, may revoke or may refuse to grant a license to practice as a genetic counselor to an individual found by the board to have committed fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in applying for or securing the license.

(B) The board, by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members, shall, to the extent permitted by law, limit, revoke, or suspend an individual's license to practice as a genetic counselor, refuse to issue a license to an applicant, refuse to reinstate a license, or reprimand or place on probation the holder of a license for any of the following reasons:

(1) Permitting the holder's name or license to be used by another person;

(2) Failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter, Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code, or any rules adopted by the board;

(3) Violating or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisting in or abetting the violation of, or conspiring to violate, any provision of this chapter, Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code, or the rules adopted by the board;

(4) A departure from, or failure to conform to, minimal standards of care of similar practitioners under the same or similar circumstances whether or not actual injury to the patient is established;

(5) Inability to practice according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care by reason of mental illness or physical illness, including physical deterioration that adversely affects cognitive, motor, or perceptive skills;

(6) Impairment of ability to practice according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care because of habitual or excessive use or abuse of drugs, alcohol, or other substances that impair ability to practice;

(7) Willfully betraying a professional confidence;

(8) Making a false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading statement in securing or attempting to secure a license to practice as a genetic counselor.

As used in this division, "false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading statement" means a statement that includes a misrepresentation of fact, is likely to mislead or deceive because of a failure to disclose material facts, is intended or is likely to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results, or includes representations or implications that in reasonable probability will cause an ordinarily prudent person to misunderstand or be deceived.

(9) The obtaining of, or attempting to obtain, money or a thing of value by fraudulent misrepresentations in the course of practice;

(10) A plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for, a felony;

(11) Commission of an act that constitutes a felony in this state, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;

(12) A plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for, a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice;

(13) A plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;

(14) Commission of an act in the course of practice that constitutes a misdemeanor in this state, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;

(15) Commission of an act involving moral turpitude that constitutes a misdemeanor in this state, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;

(16) A plea of guilty to, a judicial finding of guilt of, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for violating any state or federal law regulating the possession, distribution, or use of any drug, including trafficking in drugs;

(17) Any of the following actions taken by an agency responsible for authorizing, certifying, or regulating an individual to practice a health care occupation or provide health care services in this state or in another jurisdiction, for any reason other than the nonpayment of fees: the limitation, revocation, or suspension of an individual's license to practice; acceptance of an individual's license surrender; denial of a license; refusal to renew or reinstate a license; imposition of probation; or issuance of an order of censure or other reprimand;

(18) Violation of the conditions placed by the board on a license to practice as a genetic counselor;

(19) Failure to cooperate in an investigation conducted by the board under section 4778.18 of the Revised Code, including failure to comply with a subpoena or order issued by the board or failure to answer truthfully a question presented by the board at a deposition or in written interrogatories, except that failure to cooperate with an investigation shall not constitute grounds for discipline under this section if a court of competent jurisdiction has issued an order that either quashes a subpoena or permits the individual to withhold the testimony or evidence in issue;

(20) Failure to maintain the individual's status as a certified genetic counselor;

(21) Failure to comply with the code of ethics established by the national society of genetic counselors.

(C) Disciplinary actions taken by the board under divisions (A) and (B) of this section shall be taken pursuant to an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, except that in lieu of an adjudication, the board may enter into a consent agreement with a genetic counselor or applicant to resolve an allegation of a violation of this chapter or any rule adopted under it. A consent agreement, when ratified by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members of the board, shall constitute the findings and order of the board with respect to the matter addressed in the agreement. If the board refuses to ratify a consent agreement, the admissions and findings contained in the consent agreement shall be of no force or effect.

A telephone conference call may be utilized for ratification of a consent agreement that revokes or suspends an individual's license. The telephone conference call shall be considered a special meeting under division (F) of section 121.22 of the Revised Code.

(D) For purposes of divisions (B)(11), (14), and (15) of this section, the commission of the act may be established by a finding by the board, pursuant to an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, that the applicant or license holder committed the act in question. The board shall have no jurisdiction under these divisions in cases where the trial court renders a final judgment in the license holder's favor and that judgment is based upon an adjudication on the merits. The board shall have jurisdiction under these divisions in cases where the trial court issues an order of dismissal on technical or procedural grounds.

(E) The sealing of conviction records by any court shall have no effect on a prior board order entered under the provisions of this section or on the board's jurisdiction to take action under the provisions of this section if, based upon a plea of guilty, a judicial finding of guilt, or a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction, the board issued a notice of opportunity for a hearing or took other formal action under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code prior to the court's order to seal the records. The board shall not be required to seal, destroy, redact, or otherwise modify its records to reflect the court's sealing of conviction records.

(F) For purposes of this division, any individual who holds a license to practice as a genetic counselor, or applies for a license, shall be deemed to have given consent to submit to a mental or physical examination when directed to do so in writing by the board and to have waived all objections to the admissibility of testimony or examination reports that constitute a privileged communication.

(1) In enforcing division (B)(5) of this section, the board, on a showing of a possible violation, may compel any individual who holds a license to practice as a genetic counselor or who has applied for a license to practice as a genetic counselor to submit to a mental or physical examination, or both. A physical examination may include an HIV test. The expense of the examination is the responsibility of the individual compelled to be examined. Failure to submit to a mental or physical examination or consent to an HIV test ordered by the board constitutes an admission of the allegations against the individual unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the individual's control, and a default and final order may be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence. If the board finds a genetic counselor unable to practice because of the reasons set forth in division (B)(5) of this section, the board shall require the genetic counselor to submit to care, counseling, or treatment by physicians approved or designated by the board, as a condition for an initial, continued, reinstated, or renewed license to practice. An individual affected by this division shall be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate to the board the ability to resume practicing in compliance with acceptable and prevailing standards of care.

(2) For purposes of division (B)(6) of this section, if the board has reason to believe that any individual who holds a license to practice as a genetic counselor or any applicant for a license suffers such impairment, the board may compel the individual to submit to a mental or physical examination, or both. The expense of the examination is the responsibility of the individual compelled to be examined. Any mental or physical examination required under this division shall be undertaken by a treatment provider or physician qualified to conduct such examination and chosen by the board.

Failure to submit to a mental or physical examination ordered by the board constitutes an admission of the allegations against the individual unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the individual's control, and a default and final order may be entered without the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence. If the board determines that the individual's ability to practice is impaired, the board shall suspend the individual's license or deny the individual's application and shall require the individual, as a condition for an initial, continued, reinstated, or renewed license, to submit to treatment.

Before being eligible to apply for reinstatement of a license suspended under this division, the genetic counselor shall demonstrate to the board the ability to resume practice in compliance with acceptable and prevailing standards of care. The demonstration shall include the following:

(a) Certification from a treatment provider approved under section 4731.25 of the Revised Code that the individual has successfully completed any required inpatient treatment;

(b) Evidence of continuing full compliance with an aftercare contract or consent agreement;

(c) Two written reports indicating that the individual's ability to practice has been assessed and that the individual has been found capable of practicing according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care. The reports shall be made by individuals or providers approved by the board for making such assessments and shall describe the basis for their determination.

The board may reinstate a license suspended under this division after such demonstration and after the individual has entered into a written consent agreement.

When the impaired genetic counselor resumes practice, the board shall require continued monitoring of the genetic counselor. The monitoring shall include monitoring of compliance with the written consent agreement entered into before reinstatement or with conditions imposed by board order after a hearing, and, on termination of the consent agreement, submission to the board for at least two years of annual written progress reports made under penalty of falsification stating whether the genetic counselor has maintained sobriety.

(G) If the secretary and supervising member determine both of the following, they may recommend that the board suspend an individual's license to practice without a prior hearing:

(1) That there is clear and convincing evidence that a genetic counselor has violated division (B) of this section;

(2) That the individual's continued practice presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public.

Written allegations shall be prepared for consideration by the board. The board, on review of the allegations and by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six of its members, excluding the secretary and supervising member, may suspend a license without a prior hearing. A telephone conference call may be utilized for reviewing the allegations and taking the vote on the summary suspension.

The board shall issue a written order of suspension by certified mail or in person in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code. The order shall not be subject to suspension by the court during pendency of any appeal filed under section 119.12 of the Revised Code. If the genetic counselor requests an adjudicatory hearing by the board, the date set for the hearing shall be within fifteen days, but not earlier than seven days, after the genetic counselor requests the hearing, unless otherwise agreed to by both the board and the genetic counselor.

A summary suspension imposed under this division shall remain in effect, unless reversed on appeal, until a final adjudicative order issued by the board pursuant to this section and Chapter 119. of the Revised Code becomes effective. The board shall issue its final adjudicative order within sixty days after completion of its hearing. Failure to issue the order within sixty days shall result in dissolution of the summary suspension order, but shall not invalidate any subsequent, final adjudicative order.

(H) If the board takes action under division (B)(10), (12), or (13) of this section, and the judicial finding of guilt, guilty plea, or judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction is overturned on appeal, on exhaustion of the criminal appeal, a petition for reconsideration of the order may be filed with the board along with appropriate court documents. On receipt of a petition and supporting court documents, the board shall reinstate the license to practice as a genetic counselor. The board may then hold an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to determine whether the individual committed the act in question. Notice of opportunity for hearing shall be given in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. If the board finds, pursuant to an adjudication held under this division, that the individual committed the act, or if no hearing is requested, it may order any of the sanctions specified in division (B) of this section.

(I) The license to practice as a genetic counselor and the counselor's practice in this state are automatically suspended as of the date the genetic counselor pleads guilty to, is found by a judge or jury to be guilty of, or is subject to a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction in this state or treatment of intervention in lieu of conviction in another jurisdiction for any of the following criminal offenses in this state or a substantially equivalent criminal offense in another jurisdiction: aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault, kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, or aggravated burglary. Continued practice after the suspension shall be considered practicing without a license.

The board shall notify the individual subject to the suspension by certified mail or in person in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code. If an individual whose license is suspended under this division fails to make a timely request for an adjudication under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the board shall enter a final order permanently revoking the individual's license to practice.

(J) In any instance in which the board is required by Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to give notice of opportunity for hearing and the individual subject to the notice does not timely request a hearing in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code, the board is not required to hold a hearing, but may adopt, by an affirmative vote of not fewer than six of its members, a final order that contains the board's findings. In the final order, the board may order any of the sanctions identified under division (A) or (B) of this section.

(K) Any action taken by the board under division (B) of this section resulting in a suspension shall be accompanied by a written statement of the conditions under which the license of the genetic counselor may be reinstated. The board shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code governing conditions to be imposed for reinstatement. Reinstatement of a license suspended pursuant to division (B) of this section requires an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members of the board.

(L) When the board refuses to grant a license to practice as a genetic counselor to an applicant, revokes an individual's license, refuses to renew a license, or refuses to reinstate an individual's license, the board may specify that its action is permanent. An individual subject to a permanent action taken by the board is forever thereafter ineligible to hold a license to practice as a genetic counselor and the board shall not accept an application for reinstatement of the license or for issuance of a new license.

(M) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, all of the following apply:

(1) The surrender of a license to practice as a genetic counselor is not effective unless or until accepted by the board. A telephone conference call may be utilized for acceptance of the surrender of an individual's license. The telephone conference call shall be considered a special meeting under division (F) of section 121.22 of the Revised Code. Reinstatement of a license surrendered to the board requires an affirmative vote of not fewer than six members of the board.

(2) An application made under this chapter for a license to practice may not be withdrawn without approval of the board.

(3) Failure by an individual to renew a license in accordance with section 4778.06 of the Revised Code shall not remove or limit the board's jurisdiction to take disciplinary action under this section against the individual.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.15 Notice of default under child support orders.

On receipt of a notice pursuant to section 3123.43 of the Revised Code, the state medical board shall comply with sections 3123.41 to 3123.50 of the Revised Code and any applicable rules adopted under section 3123.63 of the Revised Code with respect to a license issued under this chapter.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.16 Mentally incompetent licensees.

If the state medical board has reason to believe that any person who has been granted a license to practice as a genetic counselor under this chapter is mentally ill or mentally incompetent, it may file in the probate court of the county in which the person has a legal residence an affidavit in the form prescribed in section 5122.11 of the Revised Code and signed by the board secretary or a member of the board secretary's staff, whereupon the same proceedings shall be had as provided in Chapter 5122. of the Revised Code. The attorney general may represent the board in any proceeding commenced under this section.

If any person who has been granted a license to practice is adjudged by a probate court to be mentally ill or mentally incompetent, the person's license shall be automatically suspended until the person has filed with the state medical board a certified copy of an adjudication by a probate court of the person's subsequent restoration to competency or has submitted to the board proof, satisfactory to the board, that the person has been discharged as having a restoration to competency in the manner and form provided in section 5122.38 of the Revised Code. The judge of the probate court shall forthwith notify the state medical board of an adjudication of mental illness or mental incompetence, and shall note any suspension of a license in the margin of the court's record of such license.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.18 Investigations by state medical board.

(A) The state medical board shall investigate evidence that appears to show that any individual has violated this chapter or the rules adopted under it. Any person may report to the board in a signed writing any information the person has that appears to show a violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it. In the absence of bad faith, a person who reports such information or testifies before the board in an adjudication conducted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code shall not be liable for civil damages as a result of reporting the information or providing testimony. Each complaint or allegation of a violation received by the board shall be assigned a case number and be recorded by the board.

(B) Investigations of alleged violations of this chapter or rules adopted under it shall be supervised by the supervising member elected by the board in accordance with section 4731.02 of the Revised Code and by the board's secretary, pursuant to section 4778.20 of the Revised Code. The board's president may designate another member of the board to supervise the investigation in place of the supervising member. A member of the board who supervises the investigation of a case shall not participate in further adjudication of the case.

(C) In investigating a possible violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under it, the board may administer oaths, order the taking of depositions, inspect and copy any books, accounts, papers, records, or documents, issue subpoenas, and compel the attendance of witnesses and production of books, accounts, papers, records, documents, and testimony, except that a subpoena for patient record information shall not be issued without consultation with the attorney general's office and approval of the secretary and supervising member of the board. Before issuance of a subpoena for patient record information, the secretary and supervising member shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the complaint filed alleges a violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under it and that the records sought are relevant to the alleged violation and material to the investigation. The subpoena may apply only to records that cover a reasonable period of time surrounding the alleged violation.

On failure to comply with any subpoena issued by the board and after reasonable notice to the person being subpoenaed, the board may move for an order compelling the production of persons or records pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure.

A subpoena issued by the board may be served by a sheriff, the sheriff's deputy, or a board employee designated by the board. Service of a subpoena issued by the board may be made by delivering a copy of the subpoena to the person named therein, reading it to the person, or leaving it at the person's usual place of residence. When the person being served is a genetic counselor, service of the subpoena may be made by certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested, and the subpoena shall be deemed served on the date delivery is made or the date the person refuses to accept delivery.

A sheriff's deputy who serves a subpoena shall receive the same fees as a sheriff. Each witness who appears before the board in obedience to a subpoena shall receive the fees and mileage provided for witnesses in civil cases in the courts of common pleas.

(D) All hearings and investigations of the board shall be considered civil actions for the purposes of section 2305.252 of the Revised Code.

(E) Information received by the board pursuant to an investigation is confidential and not subject to discovery in any civil action.

The board shall conduct all investigations and proceedings in a manner that protects the confidentiality of patients and persons who file complaints with the board. The board shall not make public the names or any other identifying information about patients or complainants unless proper consent is given.

The board may share any information it receives pursuant to an investigation, including patient records and patient record information, with law enforcement agencies, other licensing boards, and other governmental agencies that are prosecuting, adjudicating, or investigating alleged violations of statutes or administrative rules. An agency or board that receives the information shall comply with the same requirements regarding confidentiality as those with which the state medical board must comply, notwithstanding any conflicting provision of the Revised Code or procedure of the agency or board that applies when it is dealing with other information in its possession. In a judicial proceeding, the information may be admitted into evidence only in accordance with the Rules of Evidence, but the court shall require that appropriate measures are taken to ensure that confidentiality is maintained with respect to any part of the information that contains names or other identifying information about patients or complainants whose confidentiality was protected by the state medical board when the information was in the board's possession. Measures to ensure confidentiality that may be taken by the court include sealing its records or deleting specific information from its records.

(F) The state medical board shall develop requirements for and provide appropriate initial training and continuing education for investigators employed by the board to carry out its duties under this chapter. The training and continuing education may include enrollment in courses operated or approved by the Ohio peace officer training commission that the board considers appropriate under conditions set forth in section 109.79 of the Revised Code.

(G) On a quarterly basis, the board shall prepare a report that documents the disposition of all cases during the preceding three months. The report shall contain the following information for each case with which the board has completed its activities:

(1) The case number assigned to the complaint or alleged violation;

(2) The type of license, if any, held by the individual against whom the complaint is directed;

(3) A description of the allegations contained in the complaint;

(4) The disposition of the case.

The report shall state how many cases are still pending, and shall be prepared in a manner that protects the identity of each individual involved in each case. The report is a public record for purposes of section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.19 Notice of criminal prosecution.

(A) As used in this section, "prosecutor" has the same meaning as in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) Whenever any individual holding a valid license to practice as a genetic counselor pleads guilty to, is subject to a judicial finding of guilt of, or is subject to a judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for a violation of Chapter 2907., 2925., or 3719. of the Revised Code or of any substantively comparable ordinance of a municipal corporation in connection with the person's practice, the prosecutor in the case, on forms prescribed and provided by the state medical board, shall promptly notify the board of the conviction. Within thirty days of receipt of that information, the board shall initiate action in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to determine whether to suspend or revoke the license under section 4778.16 of the Revised Code.

(C) The prosecutor in any case against any person holding a valid license to practice as a genetic counselor, on forms prescribed and provided by the state medical board, shall notify the board of any of the following:

(1) A plea of guilty to, a finding of guilt by a jury or court of, or judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for a felony, or a case in which the trial court issues an order of dismissal upon technical or procedural grounds of a felony charge;

(2) A plea of guilty to, a finding of guilt by a jury or court of, or judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice, or a case in which the trial court issues an order of dismissal upon technical or procedural grounds of a charge of a misdemeanor, if the alleged act was committed in the course of practice;

(3) A plea of guilty to, a finding of guilt by a jury or court of, or judicial finding of eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or a case in which the trial court issues an order of dismissal upon technical or procedural grounds of a charge of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

The report shall include the name and address of the license holder, the nature of the offense for which the action was taken, and the certified court documents recording the action.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.20 Enforcement.

The secretary of the state medical board shall enforce the laws relating to the practice of genetic counselors. If the secretary has knowledge or notice of a violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under it, the secretary shall investigate the matter, and, upon probable cause appearing, file a complaint and prosecute the offender. When requested by the secretary, the prosecuting attorney of the proper county shall take charge of and conduct the prosecution.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.21 Practice without a license.

The attorney general, the prosecuting attorney of any county in which the offense was committed or the offender resides, the state medical board, or any other person having knowledge of a person engaged either directly or by complicity in practicing as a genetic counselor without having first obtained under this chapter a license to practice as a genetic counselor, may, in accordance with provisions of the Revised Code governing injunctions, maintain an action in the name of the state to enjoin any person from engaging either directly or by complicity in unlawfully practicing as a genetic counselor by applying for an injunction in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Prior to application for an injunction, the secretary of the state medical board shall notify the individual allegedly engaged either directly or by complicity in the unlawful practice by registered mail that the secretary has received information indicating that this individual is so engaged. The individual shall answer the secretary within thirty days showing that the individual is either properly licensed for the stated activity or that the individual is not in violation of this chapter. If the answer is not forthcoming within thirty days after notice by the secretary, the secretary shall request that the attorney general, the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the offense was committed or the offender resides, or the state medical board proceed as authorized in this section.

Upon the filing of a verified petition in court, the court shall conduct a hearing on the petition and shall give the same preference to this proceeding as is given all proceedings under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, irrespective of the position of the proceeding on the calendar of the court.

Injunction proceedings shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, all penalties and other remedies provided in this chapter.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.22 Disposition of funds.

All fees, penalties, and other funds received by the state medical board under this chapter shall be deposited in accordance with section 4731.24 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.24 Liability of board members, employees and agents.

In the absence of fraud or bad faith, the state medical board, a current or former board member, an agent of the board, a person formally requested by the board to be the board's representative, or an employee of the board shall not be held liable in damages to any person as the result of any act, omission, proceeding, conduct, or decision related to official duties undertaken or performed pursuant to this chapter. If any such person asks to be defended by the state against any claim or action arising out of any act, omission, proceeding, conduct, or decision related to the person's official duties, and if the request is made in writing at a reasonable time before trial and the person requesting defense cooperates in good faith in the defense of the claim or action, the state shall provide and pay for the person's defense and shall pay any resulting judgment, compromise, or settlement. At no time shall the state pay any part of a claim or judgment that is for punitive or exemplary damages.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.

4778.25 Compliance with law regarding sanctions for human trafficking.

The state medical board shall comply with section 4776.20 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.169, HB 247, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.

4778.99 Penalties.

Whoever violates section 4778.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.120, HB 292, §1, eff. 9/6/2012.