Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 391. Regulations for the Licensure of Hospice

12VAC5-391-120. Hospice facilities.

A. Providers seeking to operate a hospice facility shall comply with the appropriate facility licensing regulation as follows:

1. Facilities with 16 or fewer beds shall be licensed as a hospice facility pursuant to this chapter. Such facilities with six or more beds shall obtain a Certificate of Use and Occupancy with a Use Group designation of I-2; or

2. Facilities with more than 16 beds shall be licensed as a hospital pursuant to 12VAC5-410 or as a nursing facility pursuant to 12VAC5-371. Such facilities shall obtain the applicable Certificate of Public Need prior to the development or construction of the facility.

B. Only patients diagnosed terminally ill shall be admitted to a hospice facility. The facility shall admit only those patients whose needs can be met by the accommodations and services provided by the facility.

C. To the maximum extent possible, care shall be provided in the patient's home. Admission to a hospice facility shall be the decision of the patient in consultation with the patient's physician. No patient shall be admitted to a hospice facility at the discretion of, or for the convenience of, the hospice provider, the primary caregiver, or the family.

D. All hospice providers operating a hospice facility shall use its facility to provide, to the extent possible, respite and symptom management services to all patients in the hospice program needing such services.

E. If the Governor has declared a public health emergency related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), all hospice providers operating a hospice facility shall allow a person with a disability who requires assistance as a result of such disability to be accompanied by a designated support person at any time during which health care services are provided.

1. If the duration of health care services in a hospice facility is anticipated to last more than 24 hours, the person with a disability may designate more than one designated support person. However, no hospice facility shall be required to allow more than one designated support person to be present with a person with a disability at any time.

2. A designated support person shall not be subject to any restrictions on visitation adopted by the hospice facility. However, such designated support person may be required to comply with all reasonable requirements of the hospice facility adopted to protect the health and safety of patients and staff of the hospice facility.

3. Every hospice provider operating a hospice facility shall establish policies applicable to designated support persons and shall:

a. Make such policies available to the public on a website maintained by the hospice facility; and

b. Provide such policies in writing to the patient at such time as health care services are provided.

F. No hospice facility shall receive patients for care, palliative treatment, respite, or symptom management services in excess of its licensed bed capacity.

G. No hospice facility provider shall add additional patient beds or renovate facility space without first notifying the OLC. OLC notifications must be in writing to the director of the OLC.

H. The OLC will not accept any requests for variances to this section.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-162.5 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 23, eff. November 1, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2008; Volume 27, Issue 11, eff. March 2, 2011; Volume 37, Issue 15, eff. April 14, 2021.

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