Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 35. Department of Behavioral Health And Developmental Services
Chapter 115. Regulations to Assure the Rights of Individuals Receiving Services from Providers Licensed, Funded, or Operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

12VAC35-115-145. Determination of capacity to give consent or authorization.

If the capacity of an individual to consent to treatment, services, or research or to authorize the disclosure of information is in doubt, the provider shall obtain an evaluation conducted by or under the supervision of a licensed professional who is not directly involved with the individual to determine whether the individual has capacity to consent or to authorize the disclosure of information.

1. Capacity evaluations shall be obtained for all individuals who may lack capacity, even if they request that an authorized representative be designated or agree to submit to a recommended course of treatment.

2. In conducting this evaluation, the professional may seek comments from representatives accompanying the individual pursuant to 12VAC35-115-70 A 4 about the individual's capacity to consent or to authorize disclosure.

3. Providers shall determine the need for an evaluation of an individual's capacity to consent or authorize disclosure of information and the need for a substitute decision maker whenever the individual's condition warrants, the individual requests such a review, at least every six months, and at discharge, except for individuals receiving acute inpatient services.

a. If the individual's record indicates that the individual is not expected to obtain or regain capacity, the provider shall document annually that it has reviewed the individual's capacity to make decisions and whether there has been any change in that capacity.

b. Providers of acute inpatient services shall determine the need for an evaluation of an individual's capacity to consent or authorize disclosure of information whenever the individual's condition warrants or at least at every treatment team meeting. Results of such reviews shall be documented in the treatment team notes and communicated to the individual and his authorized representative.

4. Capacity evaluations shall be conducted in accordance with accepted standards of professional practice and shall indicate the specific type of decision for which the individual's capacity is being evaluated (e.g., medical) and shall indicate what specific type of decision the individual has or does not have the capacity to make. Capacity evaluations shall address the type of supports that might be used to increase the individual's decision-making capabilities.

5. If the individual or his family objects to the results of the licensed professional's determination, the provider shall immediately inform the human rights advocate.

a. If the individual or family member wishes to obtain an independent evaluation of the individual's capacity, he may do so at his own expense and within reasonable timeframes consistent with his circumstances. If the individual or family member cannot pay for an independent evaluation, the individual may request that the LHRC consider the need for an independent evaluation pursuant to 12VAC35-115-200 B. The provider shall take no action for which consent or authorization is required, except in an emergency, pending the results of the independent evaluation. The provider shall take no steps to designate an authorized representative until the independent evaluation is complete.

b. If the independent evaluation is consistent with the provider's evaluation, the provider's evaluation is binding, and the provider shall implement it accordingly.

c. If the independent evaluation is not consistent with the provider's evaluation, the matter shall be referred to the LHRC for review and decision under 12VAC35-115-200.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-203 and 37.2-400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 25, eff. September 19, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 9, 2017.

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