Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 37.2. Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Chapter 6. Behavioral Health Authorities

§ 37.2-605. Behavioral health authorities; powers and duties.

Every authority shall be deemed to be a public instrumentality, exercising public and essential governmental functions to provide for the public mental health, welfare, convenience, and prosperity of the residents and such other persons who might be served by the authority and to provide behavioral health services to those residents and persons. An authority shall have the following powers and duties:

1. Review and evaluate public and private community mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services and facilities that receive funds from the authority and advise the governing body of the city or county that established it as to its findings.

2. Pursuant to § 37.2-608, submit to the governing body of the city or county that established the authority an annual performance contract for community mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services for its approval prior to submission of the contract to the Department.

3. Within amounts appropriated for this purpose, provide services authorized under the performance contract.

4. In accordance with its approved performance contract, enter into contracts with other providers for the delivery of services or operation of facilities.

5. Make and enter into all other contracts or agreements as the authority may determine that are necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and to the execution of powers granted by this chapter, including contracts with any federal agency, any subdivision or instrumentality of the Commonwealth, behavioral health providers, insurers, and managed care or health care networks on such terms and conditions as the authority may approve.

6. Make policies or regulations concerning the delivery of services and operation of facilities under its direction or supervision, subject to applicable policies and regulations adopted by the Board.

7. Appoint a chief executive officer of the behavioral health authority, who meets the minimum qualifications established by the Department, and prescribe his duties. The compensation of the chief executive officer shall be fixed by the authority within the amounts made available by appropriation for this purpose. The chief executive officer shall serve at the pleasure of the authority's board of directors and be employed under an annually renewable contract that contains performance objectives and evaluation criteria. The Department shall approve the selection of the chief executive officer for adherence to minimum qualifications established by the Department and the salary range of the chief executive officer.

8. Authorize the chief executive officer to maintain a complement of professional staff to operate the behavioral health authority's service delivery system.

9. Prescribe a reasonable schedule of fees for services provided by personnel or facilities under the jurisdiction or supervision of the authority and establish procedures for the collection of those fees. All fees collected shall be included in the performance contract submitted to the local governing body pursuant to subdivision 2 and § 37.2-608 and shall be used only for community mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services purposes. Every authority shall institute a reimbursement system to maximize the collection of fees from individuals receiving services under the jurisdiction or supervision of the authority, consistent with the provisions of § 37.2-612, and from responsible third party payors. Authorities shall not attempt to bill or collect fees for time spent participating in commitment hearings for involuntary admissions pursuant to Article 5 (§ 37.2-814 et seq.) of Chapter 8.

10. Accept or refuse gifts, donations, bequests, or grants of money or property or other assistance from the federal government, the Commonwealth, any municipality thereof, or any other sources, public or private; utilize them to carry out any of its purposes; and enter into any agreement or contract regarding or relating to the acceptance, use, or repayment of any such grant or assistance.

11. Seek and accept funds through federal grants. In accepting federal grants, the authority shall not bind the governing body of the city or county that established it to any expenditures or conditions of acceptance without the prior approval of that governing body.

12. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, disburse funds appropriated to it in accordance with applicable regulations.

13. Apply for and accept loans in accordance with regulations established by the board of directors.

14. Develop joint written agreements, consistent with policies adopted by the Board, with local school divisions; health departments; local boards of social services; housing agencies, where they exist; courts; sheriffs; area agencies on aging; and regional offices of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The agreements shall specify the services to be provided to individuals. All participating agencies shall develop and implement the agreements and shall review the agreements annually.

15. Take all necessary and appropriate actions to maximize the involvement and participation of individuals receiving services and family members of individuals receiving services in policy formulation and service planning, delivery, and evaluation.

16. Institute, singly or in combination with community services boards or other behavioral health authorities, a dispute resolution mechanism that is approved by the Department and enables individuals receiving services and family members of individuals receiving services to resolve concerns, issues, or disagreements about services without adversely affecting their access to or receipt of appropriate types and amounts of current or future services from the authority.

17. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 37.2-400 and regulations adopted thereunder, release data and information about each individual receiving services to the Department, so long as the Department implements procedures to protect the confidentiality of that data and information.

18. Fulfill all other duties and be subject to applicable provisions specified in the Code of Virginia pertaining to community services boards.

19. Make loans and provide other assistance to corporations, partnerships, associations, joint ventures, or other entities in carrying out any activities authorized by this chapter.

20. Transact its business, locate its offices and control, directly or through stock or nonstock corporations or other entities, facilities that will assist the authority in carrying out the purposes and intent of this chapter, including without limitations the power to own or operate, directly or indirectly, behavioral health facilities in its service area.

21. Acquire property, real or personal, by purchase, gift, or devise on such terms and conditions and in such manner as it may deem proper and such rights, easements, or estates therein as may be necessary for its purposes and sell, lease, and dispose of the same or any portion thereof or interest therein, whenever it shall become expedient to do so.

22. Participate in joint ventures with persons, corporations, partnerships, associations, or other entities for providing behavioral health care or related services or other activities that the authority may undertake to the extent that such undertakings assist the authority in carrying out the purposes and intent of this chapter.

23. Conduct or engage in any lawful business, activity, effort, or project that is necessary or convenient for the purposes of the authority or for the exercise of any of its powers.

24. As a public instrumentality, establish and operate its administrative management infrastructure in whole or in part independent of the local governing body; however, nothing in the chapter precludes behavioral health authorities from acquiring support services through existing governmental entities.

25. Carry out capital improvements and bonding through existing economic or industrial development authorities.

26. Establish retirement, group life insurance, and group accident and sickness insurance plans or systems for its employees in the same manner as cities, counties, and towns are permitted to do under § 51.1-801.

27. Provide an annual report to the Department of the authority's activities.

28. Ensure a continuation of all services for individuals during any transition period.

1995, c. 693, § 15.1-1682; 1996, c. 861; 1997, cc. 587, 743, § 37.1-248; 1998, c. 680; 2002, cc. 585, 619, § 37.1-197.3; 2005, c. 716; 2012, cc. 476, 507, 803, 835; 2022, c. 264; 2023, c. 373.

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.