Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
10/7/2022

Part III. Practice Standards

18VAC85-130-80. General disclosure requirements.

A licensed midwife shall provide written disclosures to any client seeking midwifery care. The licensed midwife shall review each disclosure item and obtain the client's signature as evidence that the disclosures have been received and explained. Such disclosures shall include:

1. A description of the licensed midwife's qualifications, experience, and training;

2. A written protocol for medical emergencies, including hospital transport, particular to each client;

3. A statement as to whether the licensed midwife has hospital privileges;

4. A statement that a licensed midwife is prohibited from prescribing, possessing or administering controlled substances;

5. A description of the midwife's model of care;

6. A copy of the regulations governing the practice of midwifery;

7. A statement as to whether the licensed midwife carries malpractice or liability insurance coverage and, if so, the extent of that coverage;

8. An explanation of the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Fund and a statement that licensed midwives are currently not covered by the fund; and

9. A description of the right to file a complaint with the Board of Medicine and with NARM and the procedures and contact information for filing such complaint.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013.

18VAC85-130-81. Disclosures on health risks.

A. Upon initiation of care, a midwife shall review the client's medical history in order to identify pre-existing conditions or indicators that require disclosure of risk for home birth. The midwife shall offer standard tests and screenings for evaluating risks and shall document client response to such recommendations. The midwife shall also continually assess the pregnant woman and baby in order to recognize conditions that may arise during the course of care that require disclosure of risk for birth outside of a hospital or birthing center.

B. If any of the following conditions or risk factors are presented, the midwife shall request and review the client's medical history, including records of the current or previous pregnancies; disclose to the client the risks associated with a birth outside of a hospital or birthing center; and provide options for consultation and referral. If the client is under the care of a physician for any of the following medical conditions or risk factors, the midwife shall consult with or request documentation from the physician as part of the risk assessment for birth outside of a hospital or birthing center.

1. Antepartum risks:

Conditions requiring ongoing medical supervision or ongoing use of medications;

Active cancer;

Cardiac disease;

Severe renal disease -- active or chronic;

Severe liver disease -- active or chronic;

HIV positive status with AIDS;

Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism;

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;

Seizure disorder requiring prescriptive medication;

Psychiatric disorders;

Current substance abuse known to cause adverse effects;

Essential chronic hypertension over 140/90;

Significant glucose intolerance;

Genital herpes;

Inappropriate fetal size for gestation;

Significant 2nd or 3rd trimester bleeding;

Incomplete spontaneous abortion;

Abnormal fetal cardiac rate or rhythm;

Uterine anomaly;

Platelet count less than 120,000;

Previous uterine incision and/or myomectomy with review of surgical records and/or subsequent birth history;

Isoimmunization to blood factors;

Body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30;

History of hemoglobinopathies;

Acute or chronic thrombophlebitis;

Anemia (hematocrit less than 30 or hemoglobin less than 10 at term);

Blood coagulation defect;

Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia;

Uterine ablation;

Placental abruption;

Placenta previa at onset of labor;

Persistent severe abnormal quantity of amniotic fluid;

Suspected chorioamnionitis;

Ectopic pregnancy;

Pregnancy lasting longer than 42 completed weeks with an abnormal nonstress test;

Any pregnancy with abnormal fetal surveillance tests;

Rupture of membranes 24 hours before the onset of labor;

Position presentation other than vertex at term or while in labor; or

Multiple gestation.

2. Intrapartum risks:

Current substance abuse;

Documented intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR)/small for gestational age (SGA) at term;

Suspected uterine rupture;

Active herpes lesion in an unprotectable area;

Prolapsed cord or cord presentation;

Suspected complete or partial placental abruption;

Suspected placental previa;

Suspected chorioamnionitis;

Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia;

Thick meconium stained amniotic fluid without reassuring fetal heart tones and birth is not imminent;

Position presentation other than vertex at term or while in labor;

Abnormal auscultated fetal heart rate pattern unresponsive to treatment or inability to auscultate fetal heart tones;

Excessive vomiting, dehydration, or exhaustion unresponsive to treatment;

Blood pressure greater than 140/90 that persists or rises and birth is not imminent;

Maternal fever equal to or greater than 100.4°F; or

Labor or premature rupture of membrane (PROM) less than 37 weeks according to due date.

3. If a risk factor first develops when birth is imminent, the individual midwife must use judgment taking into account the health and condition of the mother and baby in determining whether to proceed with a home birth or arrange transportation to a hospital.

C. If the risks factors or criteria have been identified that may indicate health risks associated with birth of a child outside of a hospital or birthing center, the midwife shall provide evidence-based information on such risks. Such information shall be specified by the board in guidance documents and shall include evidence-based research and clinical expertise from both the medical and midwifery models of care.

D. The midwife shall document in the client record the assessment of all health risks that pose a potential for a high risk pregnancy and, if appropriate, the provision of disclosures and evidence-based information.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013.

18VAC85-130-90. Confidentiality.

A practitioner shall not willfully or negligently breach the confidentiality between a practitioner and a client. 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.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-100. Client records.

A. Practitioners shall comply with provisions of § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia related to the confidentiality and disclosure of client records.

B. Practitioners shall provide client records to another practitioner or to the client or the client's personal representative in a timely manner in accordance with provisions of § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Practitioners shall properly manage client records and shall maintain timely, accurate, legible and complete client records. Practitioners shall clearly document objective findings, decisions and professional actions based on continuous assessment for ongoing midwifery care.

D. Practitioners shall document a client's decisions regarding choices for care, including informed consent or refusal of care. Practitioners shall clearly document when a client's decisions or choices are in conflict with the professional judgment and legal scope of practice of the licensed midwife.

E. Practitioners shall maintain a client record for a minimum of six years following the last client encounter with the following exceptions:

1. Records of a minor child shall be maintained until the child reaches the age of 18 or becomes emancipated, with a minimum time for record retention of six years from the last client encounter regardless of the age of the child;

2. Records that have previously been transferred to another practitioner or health care provider or provided to the client or the client's personal representative do not have to be kept for a minimum of six years following the last client encounter; or

3. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law may need to be maintained for a longer period of time.

F. Practitioners shall in some manner inform all clients concerning the time frame for record retention and destruction. Client records shall only be destroyed in a manner that protects client confidentiality, such as by incineration or shredding.

G. When a practitioner is closing, selling or relocating a practice, the practitioner shall meet the requirements of § 54.1-2405 of the Code of Virginia for giving notice that copies of records can be sent to any like-regulated provider of the client's choice or provided to the client.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-110. Practitioner-client communication; termination of relationship.

A. Communication with clients.

1. Except as provided in § 32.1-127.1:03 F of the Code of Virginia, a practitioner shall accurately inform a client or the client's legally authorized representative of the client's assessment and prescribed plan of care. 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 directed by the practitioner.

2. A practitioner shall present information relating to the client's care to a client or the client's legally authorized representative in understandable terms and encourage participation in the decisions regarding the client's care.

3. Before any invasive procedure is performed, informed consent shall be obtained from the client. Practitioners shall inform clients of the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the recommended procedure that a reasonably prudent licensed midwife practicing in Virginia would tell a client. In the instance of a minor or a client who is incapable of making an informed decision on the client's 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.

B. Termination of the practitioner/client relationship.

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

2. Except as provided in § 54.1-2962.2 of the Code of Virginia, a practitioner shall not terminate the relationship or make services unavailable without documented notice to the client that allows for a reasonable time to obtain the services of another practitioner.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-120. Practitioner responsibility.

A. A practitioner shall:

1. Transfer care immediately in critical situations that are deemed to be unsafe to a client or infant and remain with the client until the transfer is complete;

2. Work collaboratively with other health professionals and refer a client or an infant to appropriate health care professionals when either needs care outside the midwife's scope of practice or expertise; and

3. Base choices of interventions on empirical and/or research evidence that would indicate the probable benefits outweigh the risks.

B. A practitioner shall not:

1. Perform procedures or techniques that are outside the scope of the midwife's practice or for which the midwife is not trained and individually competent;

2. Knowingly allow apprentices or subordinates to jeopardize client safety or provide client care outside of the apprentice's or subordinate's scope of practice or area of responsibility. Practitioners shall delegate client care only to those who are properly trained and supervised; and

3. Exploit the practitioner/client relationship for personal gain.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-130. Advertising ethics.

A. Any statement specifying a fee, whether standard, discounted or free, for professional services that does not include the cost of all related procedures, services and products that, to a substantial likelihood, will be necessary for the completion of the advertised service as it would be understood by an ordinarily prudent person shall be deemed to be deceptive or misleading, or both. Where reasonable disclosure of all relevant variables and considerations is made, a statement of a range of prices for specifically described services shall not be deemed to be deceptive or misleading.

B. Advertising a discounted or free service, examination, or treatment and charging for any additional service, examination, or treatment that is performed as a result of and within 72 hours of the initial office visit in response to such advertisement is unprofessional conduct unless such professional services rendered are as a result of a bona fide emergency. This provision may not be waived by agreement of the client and the practitioner.

C. Advertisements of discounts shall disclose the full fee that has been discounted. The practitioner shall maintain documented evidence to substantiate the discounted fees and shall make such information available to a consumer upon request.

D. A licensee shall disclose the complete name of the board that conferred the certification when using or authorizing the use of the term "board certified" or any similar words or phrase calculated to convey the same meaning in any advertising for the licensee's practice.

E. A licensee of the board shall not advertise information that is false, misleading, or deceptive. For an advertisement for a single practitioner, it shall be presumed that the practitioner is responsible and accountable for the validity and truthfulness of its content. For an advertisement for a practice in which there is more than one practitioner, the name of the practitioner or practitioners responsible and accountable for the content of the advertisement shall be documented and maintained by the practice for at least two years.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-140. Vitamins, minerals and food supplements.

A. The recommendation or direction for the use of vitamins, minerals or food supplements and the rationale for that recommendation shall be documented by the practitioner. The recommendation or direction shall be based upon a reasonable expectation that such use will result in a favorable client outcome, including preventive practices, and that a greater benefit will be achieved than that which can be expected without such use.

B. Vitamins, minerals, or food supplements, or a combination of the three, shall not be sold, dispensed, recommended, prescribed, or suggested in doses that would be contraindicated based on the individual client's overall medical condition and medications.

C. The practitioner shall conform to the standards of the practitioner's particular branch of the healing arts in the therapeutic application of vitamins, minerals or food supplement therapy.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-150. Solicitation or remuneration in exchange for referral.

A practitioner shall not knowingly and willfully solicit or receive any remuneration, directly or indirectly, in return for referring an individual to a facility as defined in § 37.2-100 of the Code of Virginia, or hospital as defined in § 32.1-123 of the Code of Virginia.

Remuneration shall be defined as compensation, received in cash or in kind, but shall not include any payments, business arrangements, or payment practices allowed by 42 USC § 1320a-7b(b), as amended, or any regulations promulgated thereto.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-160. Sexual contact.

A. For purposes of § 54.1-2915 A 12 and A 19 of the Code of Virginia and this section, sexual contact includes, but is not limited to, sexual behavior or verbal or physical behavior that:

1. May reasonably be interpreted as intended for the sexual arousal or gratification of the practitioner, the client, or both; or

2. May reasonably be interpreted as romantic involvement with a client regardless of whether such involvement occurs in the professional setting or outside of it.

B. Sexual contact with a client.

1. The determination of when a person is a client for purposes of § 54.1-2915 A 19 of the Code of Virginia is made on a case-by-case basis with consideration given to the nature, extent, and context of the professional relationship between the practitioner and the person. The fact that a person is not actively receiving treatment or professional services from a practitioner is not determinative of this issue. A person is presumed to remain a client until the client-practitioner relationship is terminated.

2. The consent to, initiation of, or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a practitioner by a client does not change the nature of the conduct nor negate the statutory prohibition.

C. Sexual contact between a practitioner and a former client after termination of the practitioner-client relationship may still constitute unprofessional conduct if the sexual contact is a result of the exploitation of trust, knowledge, or influence of emotions derived from the professional relationship.

D. Sexual contact between a practitioner and a key third party shall constitute unprofessional conduct if the sexual contact is a result of the exploitation of trust, knowledge or influence derived from the professional relationship or if the contact has had or is likely to have an adverse effect on client care. For purposes of this section, key third party of a client shall mean: spouse or partner, parent or child, guardian, or legal representative of the client.

E. Sexual contact between a supervisor and a trainee or apprentice shall constitute unprofessional conduct if the sexual contact is a result of the exploitation of trust, knowledge or influence derived from the professional relationship or if the contact has had or is likely to have an adverse effect on client care.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

18VAC85-130-170. Refusal to provide information.

A practitioner shall not willfully refuse to provide information or records as requested or required by the board or its representative pursuant to an investigation or to the enforcement of a statute or regulation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2957.9 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 10, eff. February 21, 2007.

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