Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 37.2. Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Chapter 3. Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
5/13/2021

§ 37.2-314.1. Developmental Disabilities Mortality Review Committee; duties; membership; confidentiality; report; penalty.

A. There is hereby created the Developmental Disabilities Mortality Review Committee (the Committee), which shall develop and implement procedures to ensure that deaths of persons with developmental disabilities receiving services from a provider licensed by the Department or in a training center or other state facility are reviewed and analyzed in a systematic way. The Committee shall review each death of a person with a developmental disability who was receiving services from a provider licensed by the Department or in a training center or other state facility at the time of his death. The Committee shall develop and revise as necessary operating procedures for the review of deaths of such persons, including identification of cases to be reviewed and procedures for coordinating among the agencies and professionals involved in such review. Such operating procedures shall be exempt from the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) pursuant to subdivision B 17 of § 2.2-4002.

B. The Committee shall consist of the following persons or their designees: the Chief Clinical Officer appointed by the Commissioner; the Clinical Manager, Program Coordinator and Clinical Reviewer of the Department's Mortality Review Team; the Senior Director of Quality Improvement of the Department; an employee of the Department with experience related to quality improvement; an employee of the Department with relevant programmatic or operational experience; a person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in the Commonwealth; a person licensed to practice as a registered nurse in the Commonwealth; and a person with experience in conducting mortality reviews who is not employed by or otherwise affiliated with the Department. The Chief Clinical Officer and the Clinical Manager of the Department's Mortality Review Team shall serve as co-chairs of the Committee. The co-chairs of the committee or the Commissioner may appoint such additional members of the Committee as may be needed to complete developmental disability mortality reviews pursuant to this section.

Members of the Committee shall serve such terms as may be determined by the Commissioner.

C. Upon the request of the Chief Clinical Officer in his capacity as a co-chair of the Committee, information and records regarding an individual whose death is being reviewed by the Committee, including (i) any report of the circumstances of the death maintained by any state or local law-enforcement agency or the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and (ii) information or records about the person maintained by any facility, hospital, nursing home, or health care provider that provided services to the individual, any social services agency that provided services to the individual, or any court shall be provided to the Chief Clinical Officer or his designee. Any presentence report prepared pursuant to § 19.2-299 for any person convicted of a crime that may have led to the death of the person whose death is the subject of review by the Committee shall be made available to the Chief Clinical Officer or his designee for inspection. In addition, the Chief Clinical Officer or his designee may inspect and copy from any health care provider in the Commonwealth, on behalf of the Committee, any health or mental health record of the individual, without authorization.

D. All information obtained or generated by the Committee or on behalf of the Committee regarding a review shall be confidential and excluded from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) pursuant to subdivision 7 of § 2.2-3705.5. Such information shall not be subject to subpoena or discovery or be admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding. If available from other sources, however, such information and records shall not be immune from subpoena, discovery, or introduction into evidence when obtained through such other sources solely because the information and records were presented to the Committee during a review pursuant to this section. The Committee shall compile all requested information collected for a clinical review. The findings of the Committee may be disclosed or published in statistical or other form but shall not identify any individuals.

The portions of meetings in which individual death cases are discussed by the Committee shall be closed pursuant to subdivision A 21 of § 2.2-3711. In addition to the requirements of § 2.2-3712, all members of the Committee and other persons attending closed meetings of the Committee, including any persons presenting information or records on specific deaths, shall sign an agreement to maintain the confidentiality of the information, records, discussions, and opinions disclosed during meetings at which the Committee reviews a specific death. No member of the Committee or other person who participates in a review shall be required to make any statement regarding the review or any information collected during the review. Violations of this subsection are punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor.

E. Upon notification of the death of a person with a developmental disability who was receiving services from a provider licensed by the Department or in a training center or other state facility, any state or local government agency or facility that provided services to the person or maintained records on the person or the person's family shall retain the records for 12 months after the date of the death.

F. The Committee shall report its activities annually to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1. Such report shall include statistical and other data on the deaths of persons with a developmental disability who were receiving services from a provider licensed by the Department or in a training center or other state facility at the time of their death and recommendations developed by the Committee to address the conditions that led to such deaths. Any statistical compilations prepared by the Committee shall be public record and shall not contain any personally identifying information.

2020, c. 851.

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.