Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 112. Board of Physical Therapy
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Physical Therapy

18VAC112-20-170. Confidentiality and practitioner-patient communication.

A. A practitioner shall not willfully or negligently breach the confidentiality between a practitioner and a patient. A breach of confidentiality that is required or permitted by applicable law or beyond the control of the practitioner shall not be considered negligent or willful.

B. Communication with patients.

1. Except as provided in § 32.1-127.1:03 F of the Code of Virginia, a practitioner shall accurately present information to a patient or his legally authorized representative in understandable terms and encourage participation in decisions regarding the patient's care.

2. A practitioner shall not deliberately make a false or misleading statement regarding the practitioner's skill or the efficacy or value of a treatment or procedure provided or directed by the practitioner in the treatment of any disease or condition.

3. Before any invasive procedure is performed, informed consent shall be obtained from the patient and documented in accordance with the policies of the health care entity. Practitioners shall inform patients of the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the recommended invasive procedure that a reasonably prudent practitioner in similar practice in Virginia would tell a patient. In the instance of a minor or a patient who is incapable of making an informed decision on his own behalf or is incapable of communicating such a decision due to a physical or mental disorder, the legally authorized person available to give consent shall be informed and the consent documented.

4. Practitioners shall adhere to requirements of § 32.1-162.18 of the Code of Virginia for obtaining informed consent from patients prior to involving them as subjects in human research with the exception of retrospective chart reviews.

C. Termination of the practitioner/patient relationship.

1. The practitioner or the patient may terminate the relationship. In either case, the practitioner shall make the patient record available, except in situations where denial of access is allowed by law.

2. A practitioner shall not terminate the relationship or make his services unavailable without documented notice to the patient that allows for a reasonable time to obtain the services of another practitioner.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 and Chapter 34.1 (§ 54.1-3473 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 26, eff. September 30, 2009.

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