Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 35. Department of Behavioral Health And Developmental Services
Chapter 105. Rules and Regulations for Licensing Providers by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
4/20/2024

12VAC35-105-1370. Treatment team and staffing plan.

A. ACT services are delivered by interdisciplinary teams.

1. ACT teams shall have sufficient staffing composition to meet the varying needs of individuals served by the team as required by this section. Each ACT team shall meet the following minimum position and staffing requirements:

a. Team leader. There shall be one full-time LMHP with three years of work experience in the provision of mental health services to adults with serious mental illness; a resident who is under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor in accordance with 18VAC115-20-10 and who is registered with the Virginia Board of Counseling with three years of experience in the provision of mental health services to adults with serious mental illness; a resident in psychology who is under supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist and is registered with the Virginia Board of Psychology in accordance with 18VAC125-20-10 and who has three years of experience in the provision of mental health services to adults with serious mental illness; a supervisee, in social work who is under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker and who is registered with the Virginia Board of Social Work in accordance with 18VAC140-20-10 and who has three years of experience in the provision of mental health services to adults with serious mental illness; or one full-time registered QMHP-A with at least three years of experience in the provision of mental health services to adults with serious mental illness who was employed by the provider as a team leader prior to July 1, 2020. The team leader shall oversee all aspects of team operations and shall provide direct services to individuals in the community.

b. Nurses. ACT nurses shall be full-time employees or contractors with the following minimum qualifications: a registered nurse shall have one year of experience in the provision of mental health services to adults with serious mental illness, or a licensed practical nurse shall have three years of experience in the provision of mental health services to adults with serious mental illness.

(1) Small ACT teams shall have at least one full-time nurse, who shall be either an RN or an LPN;

(2) Medium ACT teams shall have at least one full-time RN and at least one additional full-time nurse who shall be an LPN or RN; and

(3) Large ACT teams shall have at least one full-time RN and at least two additional full-time nurses who shall be LPNs or RNs.

c. Vocational specialist. There shall be one or more full-time vocational specialist, who shall be a registered QMHP with demonstrated expertise in vocational services through experience or education.

d. Co-occurring disorder specialist. There shall be one or more full-time co-occurring disorder specialists, who shall be a LMHP; a resident who is under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor in accordance with 18VAC115-20-10 and who is registered with the Virginia Board of Counseling; a resident in psychology who is under supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist and is registered with the Virginia Board of Psychology in accordance with 18VAC125-20-10; a supervisee in social work who is under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker and who is registered with the Virginia Board of Social Work in accordance with 18VAC140-20-10; registered QMHP; or certified substance abuse specialist (CSAC) with training or experience working with adults with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorder.

e. ACT peer specialists. There shall be one full-time equivalent peer recovery specialists who is or has been a recipient of mental health services for severe and persistent mental illness. The peer specialist shall be certified as a peer recovery specialist in accordance with 12VAC35-250, or shall become certified in the first year of employment. The peer specialist shall be a fully integrated team member who provides peer support directly to individuals and provides leadership to other team members in understanding and supporting each individual's recovery goals.

f. Program assistant. There shall be one full-time or two part-time program assistants with skills and abilities in medical records management shall operate and coordinate the management information system, maintain accounts and budget records for individual and program expenditures, and perform administrative support activities.

g. Psychiatric care provider. There shall be one physician who is board certified in psychiatry or who is board eligible in psychiatry and is licensed to practice medicine in Virginia or a psychiatric nurse practitioner practicing within the scope of practice as defined in 18VAC90-30-120. An equivalent ratio of 16 hours of psychiatric time per 50 individuals served must be maintained. The psychiatric care provider shall be a fully integrated team member who attends team meetings and actively participates in developing and implementing each individual ISP.

h. Generalist clinical staff. There shall be additional clinical staff with the knowledge, skill, and ability required, based on the population and age of individuals being served, to carry out rehabilitation and support functions, at least 50% of whom shall be LMHPs, QMHP-As, QMHP-Es, or QPPMHs.

(1) Small ACT teams shall have at least one generalist clinical staff;

(2) Medium ACT teams shall have at least two generalist clinical staff; and

(3) Large ACT teams shall have at least three generalist clinical staff.

2. Staff-to-individual ratios for ACT Teams:

a. Small ACT teams shall maintain a caseload of no more than 50 individuals and shall maintain at least one staff member per eight individuals, in addition to a psychiatric care provider and a program assistant.

b. Medium ACT teams shall maintain a caseload of no more than 74 individuals and shall maintain at least one staff member per nine individuals, in addition to a psychiatric care provider and a program assistant.

c. Large ACT teams shall maintain a caseload of no more than 120 individuals and shall maintain at least one staff member per nine individuals, in addition to a psychiatric care provider and a program assistant.

B. ACT teams shall be available to individuals 24 hours per day and shall operate a minimum of 12 hours each weekday and eight hours each weekend day and each holiday.

C. The ACT team shall make crisis services directly available 24 hours a day but may arrange coverage through another crisis services provider if the team coordinates with the crisis services provider daily.

D. The ACT team shall operate an after-hours on-call system and shall be available to individuals by telephone and in person when needed as determined by the team.

E. ACT teams in development may submit a transition plan to the department for approval that will allow for "start-up" when newly forming teams are not in full compliance with the ACT model relative to staffing patterns and individuals receiving services capacity. Approved transition plans shall be limited to a six-month period.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-302 and 37.2-400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 18, eff. September 19, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 5, eff. December 7, 2011; Volume 35, Issue 19, eff. June 15, 2019; Volume 39, Issue 11, eff. February 17, 2023.

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