Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 5. Regulation of Medical Care Facilities and Services

§ 32.1-162.5. Regulations.

A. The Board shall prescribe such regulations governing the activities and services provided by hospices as may be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to, the requirements for: the qualifications and supervision of licensed and nonlicensed personnel; the standards for the care, treatment, health, safety, welfare, and comfort of patients and their families served by the program; the management, operation, staffing and equipping of the hospice program or hospice facility; clinical and business records kept by the hospice or hospice facility; and procedures for the review of utilization and quality of care. To avoid duplication in regulations, the Board shall incorporate regulations applicable to facilities licensed as hospitals or nursing homes under Article 1 (§ 32.1-123 et seq.) and to organizations licensed as home care organizations under Article 7.1 (§ 32.1-162.7 et seq.) that are also applicable to hospice programs in the regulations to govern hospices. A person who seeks a license to establish or operate a hospice and who has a preexisting valid license to operate a hospital, nursing home, or home care organization shall be considered in compliance with those regulations that are applicable to both a hospice and the facility for which it has a license.

B. Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, regulations for hospice facilities shall include minimum standards for design and construction consistent with the Hospice Care section of the current edition of the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities issued by the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Health.

C. Regulations for hospices shall require each hospice facility to establish a protocol to allow each patient to receive visits, consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as directed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Board, during a public health emergency related to COVID-19. Such protocol shall include provisions describing (i) the conditions, including conditions related to the presence of COVID-19 in the hospice facility and community, under which in-person visits will be allowed and under which in-person visits will not be allowed and visits will be required to be virtual; (ii) the requirements with which in-person visitors will be required to comply to protect the health and safety of patients and staff of the hospice facility; (iii) the types of technology, including interactive audio or video technology, and the staff support necessary to ensure visits are provided as required by this subsection; and (iv) the steps the hospice facility will take in the event of a technology failure, service interruption, or documented emergency that prevents visits from occurring as required by this subsection. Such protocol shall also include (a) a statement of the frequency with which visits, including virtual and in-person, where appropriate, will be allowed, which shall be at least once every 10 calendar days for each patient; (b) a provision authorizing a patient or the patient's personal representative to waive or limit visitation, provided that such waiver or limitation is included in the patient's health record; and (c) a requirement that each hospice facility publish on its website or communicate to patients or their personal representatives, in writing or via electronic means, the hospice facility's plan for providing visits to patients as required by this subsection.

D. During a declared public health emergency related to a communicable disease of public health threat, regulations governing hospices shall require each hospice facility to establish a protocol to allow patients to receive visits from a rabbi, priest, minister, or clergy of any religious denomination or sect consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and subject to compliance with any executive order, order of public health, Department guidance, or any other applicable federal or state guidance having the effect of limiting visitation. Such protocol may restrict the frequency and duration of visits and may require visits to be conducted virtually using interactive audio or video technology. Any such protocol may require the person visiting a patient pursuant to this subsection to comply with all reasonable requirements of the hospice adopted to protect the health and safety of the person, patients, and staff of the hospice.

1981, c. 346; 2007, c. 397; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 10, 11; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 525.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.