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

12VAC35-115-30. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Abuse" means any act or failure to act by an employee or other person responsible for the care of an individual in a facility or program operated, licensed, or funded by the department, excluding those operated by the Department of Corrections, that was performed or was failed to be performed knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally, and that caused or might have caused physical or psychological harm, injury, or death to a person receiving care or treatment for mental illness, intellectual disability, or substance abuse. Examples of abuse include acts such as:

1. Rape, sexual assault, or other criminal sexual behavior;

2. Assault or battery;

3. Use of language that demeans, threatens, intimidates, or humiliates the person;

4. Misuse or misappropriation of the person's assets, goods, or property;

5. Use of excessive force when placing a person in physical or mechanical restraint;

6. Use of physical or mechanical restraints on a person that is not in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and policies; professionally accepted standards of practice; or the person's individualized services plan; and

7. Use of more restrictive or intensive services or denial of services to punish the person or that is not consistent with his individualized services plan. See § 37.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.

"Administrative hearing" means an administrative proceeding held pursuant to Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

"Advance directive" means a document voluntarily executed in accordance with § 54.1-2983 of the Code of Virginia or the laws of another state where executed (§ 54.1-2993 of the Code of Virginia). This may include a wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) or similar document as long as it is executed in accordance with § 54.1-2983 of the Code of Virginia or the laws of another state. A WRAP or similar document may identify the health care agent who is authorized to act as the individual's substitute decision maker.

"Authorization" means a document signed by the individual receiving services or that individual's authorized representative that authorizes the provider to disclose identifying information about the individual. An authorization shall be voluntary. To be voluntary, the authorization shall be given by the individual receiving services or his authorized representative freely and without undue inducement; any element of force, fraud, deceit, or duress; or any form of constraint or coercion.

"Authorized representative" means a person permitted by law or this chapter to authorize the disclosure of information or to consent to treatment and services or participation in human research. The decision-making authority of an authorized representative recognized or designated under this chapter is limited to decisions pertaining to the designating provider. Legal guardians, attorneys-in-fact, or health care agents appointed pursuant to § 54.1-2983 of the Code of Virginia may have decision-making authority beyond such provider.

"Behavior intervention" means those principles and methods employed by a provider to help an individual to achieve a positive outcome and to address challenging behavior in a constructive and safe manner. Behavior management principles and methods must be employed in accordance with the individualized services plan and written policies and procedures governing service expectations, treatment goals, safety, and security.

"Behavioral treatment plan," "functional plan," or "behavioral support plan" means any set of documented procedures that are an integral part of the individualized services plan and are developed on the basis of a systematic data collection, such as a functional assessment, for the purpose of assisting an individual to achieve the following:

1. Improved behavioral functioning and effectiveness;

2. Alleviation of symptoms of psychopathology; or

3. Reduction of challenging behaviors.

"Board" means the Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

"Caregiver" means an employee or contractor who provides care and support services; medical services; or other treatment, rehabilitation, or habilitation services.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

"Community services board" or "CSB" means the public body established pursuant to § 37.2-501 of the Code of Virginia that provides mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services to individuals within each city and county that established it. For the purpose of these regulations, "community services board" also includes a behavioral health authority established pursuant to § 37.2-602 of the Code of Virginia.

"Complaint" means an allegation of a violation of this chapter or a provider's policies and procedures related to this chapter.

"Consent" means the voluntary agreement of an individual or that individual's authorized representative to specific services. Consent shall be given freely and without undue inducement; any element of force, fraud, deceit, or duress; or any form of constraint or coercion. Consent may be expressed through any means appropriate for the individual, including verbally, through physical gestures or behaviors, in Braille or American Sign Language, in writing, or through other methods.

"Department" means the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

"Director" means the chief executive officer of any provider delivering services. In organizations that also include services not covered by this chapter, the director is the chief executive officer of the services or services licensed, funded, or operated by the department.

"Discharge plan" means the written plan that establishes the criteria for an individual's discharge from a service and identifies and coordinates delivery of any services needed after discharge.

"Disclosure" means the release by a provider of information identifying an individual.

"Emergency" means a situation that requires a person to take immediate action to avoid harm, injury, or death to an individual or to others.

"Exploitation" means the misuse or misappropriation of the individual's assets, goods, or property. Exploitation is a type of abuse. (See § 37.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.) Exploitation also includes the use of a position of authority to extract personal gain from an individual. Exploitation includes violations of 12VAC35-115-120 and 12VAC35-115-130. Exploitation does not include the billing of an individual's third party payer for services. Exploitation also does not include instances of use or appropriation of an individual's assets, goods, or property when permission is given by the individual or his authorized representative:

1. With full knowledge of the consequences;

2. With no inducements; and

3. Without force, misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, duress of any form, constraint, or coercion.

"Governing body of the provider" means the person or group of persons with final authority to establish policy.

"Habilitation" means the provision of individualized services conforming to current acceptable professional practice that enhance the strengths of, teach functional skills to, or reduce or eliminate challenging behaviors of an individual. These services occur in an environment that suits the individual's needs, responds to his preferences, and promotes social interaction and adaptive behaviors.

"Health care operations" means any activities of the provider to the extent that the activities are related to its provision of health care services. Examples include:

1. Conducting quality assessment and improvement activities, case management and care coordination, contacting of health care providers and patients with information about treatment alternatives, and related functions that do not include treatment;

2. Reviewing the competence or qualifications of health care professionals, evaluating practitioner and provider performance, and training, licensing, or credentialing activities;

3. Conducting or arranging for medical review, legal services, and auditing functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs; and

4. Other activities contained within the definition of health care operations in 45 CFR 164.501.

"Health plan" means an individual or group plan that provides or pays the cost of medical care, including any entity that meets the definition of "health plan" in 45 CFR 160.103.

"Historical research" means the review of information that identifies individuals receiving services for the purpose of evaluating or otherwise collecting data of general historical significance.

"Human research" means any systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, utilizing human subjects that is designed to develop or contribute to generalized knowledge. Human research shall not include research exempt from federal research regulations pursuant to 45 CFR 46.101(b).

"Human rights advocate" means a person employed by the commissioner upon recommendation of the State Human Rights Director to help individuals receiving services exercise their rights under this chapter. See 12VAC35-115-260 C.

"Independent review committee" means a committee appointed or accessed by a provider to review and approve the clinical efficacy of the provider's behavioral treatment plans and associated data collection procedures. An independent review committee shall be composed of professionals with training and experience in behavior analysis and interventions who are not involved in the development of the plan or directly providing services to the individual.

"Individual" means a person who is receiving services. This term includes the terms "consumer," "patient," "resident," "recipient," and "client."

"Individualized services plan" or "ISP" means a comprehensive and regularly updated written plan that describes the individual's needs, the measurable goals and objectives to address those needs, and strategies to reach the individual's goals. An ISP is person-centered, empowers the individual, and is designed to meet the needs and preferences of the individual. The ISP is developed through a partnership between the individual and the provider and includes an individual's treatment plan, habilitation plan, person-centered plan, or plan of care.

"Informed consent" means the voluntary written agreement of an individual, or that individual's authorized representative, to surgery, electroconvulsive treatment, use of psychotropic medications, or any other treatment or service that poses a risk of harm greater than that ordinarily encountered in daily life or for participation in human research. To be voluntary, informed consent must be given freely and without undue inducement; any element of force, fraud, deceit, or duress; or any form of constraint or coercion.

"Investigating authority" means any person or entity that is approved by the provider to conduct investigations of abuse and neglect.

"Licensed professional" means a licensed physician, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical social worker, licensed or certified substance abuse treatment practitioner, or licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner.

"Local human rights committee" or "LHRC" means a group of at least five people appointed by the State Human Rights Committee. See 12VAC35-115-270 A for membership and duties.

"Neglect" means failure by a person, program, or facility operated, licensed, or funded by the department, excluding those operated by the Department of Corrections, responsible for providing services to do so, including nourishment, treatment, care, goods, or services necessary to the health, safety, or welfare of an individual receiving care or treatment for mental illness, intellectual disability, or substance abuse. See § 37.2-100 of the Code of Virginia.

"Next friend" means a person designated in accordance with 12VAC35-115-146 B to serve as the authorized representative of an individual who has been determined to lack capacity to consent or authorize the disclosure of identifying information, when required under this chapter.

"Peer-on-peer aggression" means a physical act, verbal threat, or demeaning expression by an individual against or to another individual that causes physical or emotional harm to that individual. Examples include hitting, kicking, scratching, and other threatening behavior. Such instances may constitute potential neglect.

"Person centered" means focusing on the needs and preferences of the individual, empowering and supporting the individual in defining the direction for his life, and promoting self-determination, community involvement, and recovery.

"Program rules" means the operational rules and expectations that providers establish to promote the general safety and well-being of all individuals in the program and to set standards for how individuals will interact with one another in the program. Program rules include any expectation that produces a consequence for the individual within the program. Program rules may be included in a handbook or policies and shall be available to the individual.

"Protection and advocacy agency" means the state agency designated under the federal Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI) and the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD). The protection and advocacy agency is the disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV).

"Provider" means any person, entity, or organization offering services that is licensed, funded, or operated by the department.

"Psychotherapy notes" means comments, recorded in any medium by a health care provider who is a mental health professional, documenting and analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session with an individual or a group, joint, or family counseling session that are separated from the rest of the individual's health record. "Psychotherapy notes" shall not include annotations relating to medication and prescription monitoring, counseling session start and stop times, treatment modalities and frequencies, clinical test results, or any summary of any symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, functional status, treatment plan, or the individual's progress to date.

"Research review committee" or "institutional review board" means a committee of professionals that provides complete and adequate review of research activities. The committee shall be sufficiently qualified through maturity, experience, and diversity of its members, including consideration of race, gender, and cultural background, to promote respect for its advice and counsel in safeguarding the rights and welfare of participants in human research. (See § 37.2-402 of the Code of Virginia and 12VAC35-180.)

"Restraint" means the use of a mechanical device, medication, physical intervention, or hands-on hold to prevent an individual from moving his body to engage in a behavior that places him or others at imminent risk. There are three kinds of restraints:

1. Mechanical restraint means the use of a mechanical device that cannot be removed by the individual to restrict the freedom of movement or functioning of a limb or a portion of an individual's body when that behavior places him or others at imminent risk.

2. Pharmacological restraint means the use of a medication that is administered involuntarily for the emergency control of an individual's behavior when that individual's behavior places him or others at imminent risk and the administered medication is not a standard treatment for the individual's medical or psychiatric condition.

3. Physical restraint, also referred to as manual hold, means the use of a physical intervention or hands-on hold to prevent an individual from moving his body when that individual's behavior places him or others at imminent risk.

"Restraints for behavioral purposes" means using a physical hold, medication, or a mechanical device to control behavior or involuntarily restrict the freedom of movement of an individual in an instance when all of the following conditions are met: (i) there is an emergency, (ii) nonphysical interventions are not viable, and (iii) safety issues require an immediate response.

"Restraints for medical purposes" means using a physical hold, medication, or mechanical device to limit the mobility of an individual for medical, diagnostic, or surgical purposes, such as routine dental care or radiological procedures and related postprocedure care processes, when use of the restraint is not the accepted clinical practice for treating the individual's condition.

"Restraints for protective purposes" means using a mechanical device to compensate for a physical or cognitive deficit when the individual does not have the option to remove the device. The device may limit an individual's movement, for example, bed rails or a gerichair, and prevent possible harm to the individual or it may create a passive barrier, such as a helmet to protect the individual.

"Restriction" means anything that limits or prevents an individual from freely exercising his rights and privileges.

"SCC" means a specially constituted committee serving an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities as described in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (42 CFR 483.440(f)(3)).

"Seclusion" means the involuntary placement of an individual alone in an area secured by a door that is locked or held shut by a staff person, by physically blocking the door, or by any other physical or verbal means, so that the individual cannot leave it.

"Serious injury" means any injury resulting in bodily hurt, damage, harm, or loss that requires medical attention by a licensed physician.

"Services" means care, treatment, training, habilitation, interventions, or other supports, including medical care, delivered by a provider licensed, operated or funded by the department.

"Services record" means all written and electronic information that a provider keeps about an individual who receives services.

"State Human Rights Committee" or "SHRC" means a committee of nine members appointed by the board that is accountable for the duties prescribed in 12VAC35-115-270 C.

"State human rights director" means the person employed by and reporting to the commissioner who is responsible for carrying out the functions prescribed for the position in 12VAC35-115-260 D.

"Time out" means the involuntary removal of an individual by a staff person from a source of reinforcement to a different, open location for a specified period of time or until the problem behavior has subsided to discontinue or reduce the frequency of problematic behavior.

"Treatment" means the individually planned, sound, and therapeutic interventions that are intended to improve or maintain functioning of an individual receiving services delivered by providers licensed, funded, or operated by the department. In order to be considered sound and therapeutic, the treatment shall conform to current acceptable professional practice.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 3, eff. November 21, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 25, eff. September 19, 2007; Volume 29, Issue 4, eff. November 21, 2012; Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 9, 2017; Volume 35, Issue 2, eff. November 1, 2018.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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