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

12VAC35-105-925. Standards for the evaluation of new licenses for providers of services to individuals with opioid addiction.

A. Applicants requesting an initial license to provide a service for the treatment of opioid addiction through the use of methadone or any other opioid treatment medication or controlled substance shall supply information to the department that demonstrates the appropriateness of the proposed service in accordance with this section.

B. The proposed site of the service shall comply with § 37.2-406 of the Code of Virginia.

C. In jurisdictions without zoning ordinances, the department shall request that the local governing body advise it as to whether the proposed site is suitable for and compatible with use as an office and the delivery of health care services. The department shall make this request when it notifies the local governing body of a pending application.

D. Applicants shall demonstrate that the building or space to be used to provide the proposed service is suitable for the treatment of opioid addiction by submitting documentation of the following:

1. The proposed site complies with the requirements of the local building regulatory entity;

2. The proposed site complies with local zoning laws or ordinances, including any required business licenses;

3. In the absence of local zoning ordinances, the proposed site is suitable for and compatible with use as offices and the delivery of health care services;

4. In jurisdictions where there are no parking ordinances, the proposed site has sufficient off-street parking to accommodate the needs of the individuals being served and prevent the disruption of traffic flow;

5. The proposed site can accommodate individuals during periods of inclement weather;

6. The proposed site complies with the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code; and

7. The applicant has a written plan to ensure security for storage of methadone at the site, which complies with regulations of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

E. Applicants shall submit information to demonstrate that there are sufficient personnel available to meet the following staffing requirements and qualifications:

1. The program sponsor means the person responsible for the operation of the opioid treatment program and who assumes responsibility for all its employees, including any practitioners, agents, or other persons providing medical, rehabilitative, or counseling at the program at any of its medication units. The program sponsor is responsible for ensuring the program is in continuous compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

2. The program director shall be licensed or certified by the applicable Virginia health regulatory board or registered as eligible for this license or certification with relevant training, experience, or both, in the treatment of individuals with opioid addiction. The program director is responsible for the day-to-day management of the program.

3. The medical director shall be a board-certified addictionologist or have successfully completed or will complete within one year a course of study in opiate addiction that is approved by the department; and:

a. Is responsible for ensuring all medical, psychiatric, nursing, pharmacy, toxicology, and other services offered by the medication assisted opioid treatment provider are conducted in compliance with federal regulations at all times; and

b. Shall be physically present at the program for a sufficient number of hours to ensure regulatory compliance and carry out those duties specifically assigned to the medical director by regulation.

4. A minimum of one pharmacist.

5. Nurses.

6. Counselors shall be licensed or certified by the applicable Virginia health regulatory board or eligible for this license or certification.

7. Personnel to provide support services.

8. Have linkage with or access to psychological, medical, and psychiatric consultation.

9. Have access to emergency medical and psychiatric care through affiliations with more intensive levels of care.

10. Have the ability to conduct or arrange for appropriate laboratory and toxicology tests.

11. Ensure all clinical staff, whether employed by the provider or available through consultation, contract, or other means, are qualified by training and experience and appropriately licensed, certified, or registered by the appropriate health regulatory board to serve individuals admitted to the service.

F. The applicant may provide peer recovery specialists (PRS). Peer recovery specialists shall be professionally qualified by education and experience in accordance with 12VAC35-250. A registered peer recovery specialist shall be a PRS registered with the Board of Counseling in accordance with 18VAC115-70 and provide such services as an employee or independent contractor of DBHDS, a provider licensed by the DBHDS, a practitioner licensed by or holding a permit issued from the Department of Health Professions, or a facility licensed by the Virginia Department of Health.

G. If there is a change in or loss of any staff in the positions listed or any change in the provider's ability to comply with the requirements in subsection E of this section, the provider shall formally notify the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and DBHDS. The provider shall also submit a plan to SAMHSA and DBHDS for immediate coverage within three weeks.

H. Applicants shall submit a description for the proposed service that includes:

1. Proposed mission, philosophy, and goals of the provider;

2. Care, treatment, and services to be provided, including a comprehensive discussion of levels of care provided and alternative treatment strategies offered;

3. Proposed hours and days of operation;

4. Plans for onsite security and services adequate to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and property; and

5. A diversion control plan for dispensed medications, including policies for use of drug screens.

I. Applicants shall, in addition to the requirements of 12VAC35-105-580 C 2, provide documentation of their capability to provide the following services and support directly or by arrangement with other specified providers when such services and supports are (i) requested by an individual being served or (ii) identified as an individual need, based on the assessment conducted in accordance with 12VAC35-105-60 B and included in the individualized services plan:

1. General.

a. Psychological services;

b. Social services;

c. Vocational services;

d. Educational services, including HIV/AIDS education and other health education services; and

e. Employment services.

2. Initial medical examination services.

3. Special services for pregnant patients.

4. Initial and periodic, individualized, patient-centered assessment and treatment services.

5. Counseling services.

6. Drug abuse testing services.

7. Case management services, including medical monitoring and coordination, with onsite and offsite treatment services provided as needed.

J. Applicants shall submit documentation of contact with community services boards or behavioral health authorities in their service areas to discuss their plans for operating in the area and to develop joint agreements, as appropriate.

K. Applicants shall provide policies and procedures that shall address assessment, administration, and regulation of medication and dose levels appropriate to the individual. The policies and procedures shall at a minimum require that each individual served be assessed every six months by the treatment team to determine if that individual is appropriate for safe and voluntary medically supervised withdrawal from opioid analgesics, including methadone or buprenorphine, alternative therapies including other medication assisted treatments, or continued federally approved pharmacotherapy treatment for opioid addiction.

L. Applicants shall submit policies and procedures describing services they will provide to individuals who wish to discontinue medication assisted opioid treatment services.

M. Applicants shall provide assurances that the service will have a community liaison responsible for developing and maintaining cooperative relationships with community organizations, other service providers, local law enforcement, local government officials, and the community at large.

N. The department shall conduct announced and unannounced reviews and complaint investigations in collaboration with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and DEA to determine compliance with the regulations.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 20, eff. July 11, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 5, eff. December 7, 2011; Volume 33, Issue 26, eff. October 6, 2017; Volume 39, Issue 11, eff. February 17, 2023.

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