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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning
5/25/2022

Chapter 4. Health Care Planning.

Article 1. Medical Care Facilities Certificate of Public Need.

§ 32.1-93. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1982, c. 388.

Article 1.1. Medical Care Facilities Certificate of Public Need.

§ 32.1-102.1. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context indicates otherwise:

"Application" means a prescribed format for the presentation of data and information deemed necessary by the Board to determine a public need for a project.

"Bad debt" means revenue amounts deemed uncollectable as determined after collection efforts based upon sound credit and collection policies.

"Certificate" means a certificate of public need for a project required by this article.

"Charity care" means health care services delivered to a patient who has a family income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and for which it was determined that no payment was expected (i) at the time the service was provided because the patient met the facility's criteria for the provision of care without charge due to the patient's status as an indigent person or (ii) at some time following the time the service was provided because the patient met the facility's criteria for the provision of care without charge due to the patient's status as an indigent person. "Charity care" does not include care provided for a fee subsequently deemed uncollectable as bad debt. For a nursing home as defined in § 32.1-123, "charity care" means care at a reduced rate to indigent persons.

"Clinical health service" means a single diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, preventive or palliative procedure or a series of such procedures that may be separately identified for billing and accounting purposes.

"Health planning region" means a contiguous geographical area of the Commonwealth with a population base of at least 500,000 persons which is characterized by the availability of multiple levels of medical care services, reasonable travel time for tertiary care, and congruence with planning districts.

"Project" means any action described in subsection B of § 32.1-102.1:3.

"Regional health planning agency" means the regional agency, including the regional health planning board, its staff and any component thereof, designated by the Virginia Health Planning Board to perform the health planning activities set forth in this chapter within a health planning region.

"State Health Services Plan" means the planning document adopted by the Board of Health which shall include, but not be limited to, (i) methodologies for projecting need for each type of medical care facility described in subsection A of § 32.1-102.1:3 and each type of project described in subsection B of § 32.1-102.1:3; (ii) statistical information on the availability of each type of medical care facility described in subsection A of § 32.1-102.1:3 and each type of project described in subsection B of § 32.1-102.1:3; and (iii) procedures, criteria, and standards for review of applications for projects for each type of medical care facility described in subsection A of § 32.1-102.1:3 and each type of project described in subsection B of § 32.1-102.1:3.

1982, c. 388; 1983, c. 533; 1984, c. 740; 1985, c. 513; 1989, c. 517; 1991, c. 561; 1992, c. 612; 1993, c. 704; 1995, c. 524; 1996, c. 1050; 1997, c. 600; 1998, c. 289; 1999, cc. 899, 920, 922; 2000, cc. 850, 920; 2004, c. 75; 2007, c. 502; 2008, c. 664; 2009, cc. 67, 175, 813, 840; 2011, cc. 92, 150; 2012, cc. 476, 492, 507, 803, 835; 2015, cc. 541, 542, 651; 2017, cc. 458, 791; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.1:1. Equipment registration required.

Within thirty calendar days of becoming contractually obligated to acquire any medical equipment for the provision of cardiac catheterization, computed tomographic (CT) scanning, stereotactic radiosurgery, lithotripsy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic source imaging (MSI), open heart surgery, positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, proton beam therapy, or other specialized service designated by the Board by regulation, any person shall register such purchase with the Commissioner and the appropriate regional health planning agency.

1999, cc. 899, 922; 2000, c. 931; 2009, c. 175.

§ 32.1-102.1:2. Certificate of public need required; registration of certain equipment and capital projects required.

A. No person shall undertake a project described in subsection B of § 32.1-102.1:3 or regulations of the Board at or on behalf of a medical care facility described in subsection A of § 32.1-102.1:3 without first obtaining a certificate from the Commissioner.

B. No person shall acquire any replacement medical equipment for the provision of cardiac catheterization, computed tomographic (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), open heart surgery, positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy other than radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, proton beam therapy, or other specialized service designated by the Board by regulation without first registering such purchase with the Commissioner and the appropriate regional health planning agency. Such registration shall be made at least 30 calendar days prior to the date on which the person will become contractually obligated to acquire such medical equipment.

C. No general hospital shall make any capital expenditure of $5 million or more and no medical care facility other than a general hospital shall make any capital expenditure between $5 million and the amount established by the Board as the minimum capital expenditure by a medical care facility other than a general hospital for which a certificate is required pursuant to subdivision B 8 of § 32.1-102.1:3 without first registering such capital expenditure with the Commissioner pursuant to regulations of the Board. The amounts specified in this subsection shall be revised annually to reflect inflation using appropriate measures incorporating construction costs and medical inflation.

2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.1:3. Medical care facilities and projects for which a certificate is required.

A. The following medical care facilities shall be subject to the provisions of this article:

1. Any facility licensed as a hospital, as defined in § 32.1-123;

2. Any hospital licensed as a provider by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in accordance with Article 2 (§ 37.2-403 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 37.2;

3. Any facility licensed as a nursing home, as defined in § 32.1-123;

4. Any intermediate care facility established primarily for the medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with substance abuse licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in accordance with Article 2 (§ 37.2-403 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 37.2;

5. Any intermediate care facility for individuals with developmental disabilities other than an intermediate care facility established for individuals with intellectual disability (ICF/IID) that has not more than 12 beds and is in an area identified as in need of residential services for individuals with intellectual disability in any plan of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; and

6. Any specialized center or clinic or that portion of a physician's office developed for the provision of outpatient or ambulatory surgery, cardiac catheterization, computed tomographic (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy other than radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, or proton beam therapy.

B. The following actions undertaken by or on behalf of a medical care facility described in subsection A shall constitute a project for which a certificate of public need is required pursuant to subsection A of § 32.1-102.1:2:

1. Establishment of a medical care facility described in subsection A;

2. An increase in the total number of beds or operating rooms in an existing medical care facility described in subsection A;

3. Relocation of beds from an existing medical care facility described in subsection A to another existing medical care facility described in subsection A;

4. Addition of any new nursing home service at an existing medical care facility described in subsection A;

5. Introduction into an existing medical care facility described in subsection A of any cardiac catheterization, computed tomographic (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), medical rehabilitation, neonatal special care, open heart surgery, positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning, psychiatric, organ or tissue transplant service, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy other than radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, proton beam therapy, or substance abuse treatment when such medical care facility has not provided such service in the previous 12 months;

6. Conversion of beds in an existing medical care facility described in subsection A to medical rehabilitation beds or psychiatric beds;

7. The addition by an existing medical care facility described in subsection A of any new medical equipment for the provision of cardiac catheterization, computed tomographic (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), open heart surgery, positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy other than radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, or proton beam therapy, other than new medical equipment for the provision of such service added to replace existing medical equipment for the provision of such service;

8. Any capital expenditure of $15 million or more, not defined as reviewable in subdivisions 1 through 7, by or on behalf of a medical care facility described in subsection A other than a general hospital. The amounts specified in this subdivision shall be revised annually to reflect inflation using appropriate measures incorporating construction costs and medical inflation. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to modify or eliminate the reviewability of any project described in subdivisions 1 through 7 when undertaken by or on behalf of a general hospital; and

9. Conversion in an existing medical care facility described in subsection A of psychiatric inpatient beds approved pursuant to a Request for Applications (RFA) to nonpsychiatric inpatient beds.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, any nursing home affiliated with a facility that, on January 1, 1982, and thereafter, (i) is operated as a nonprofit institution, (ii) is licensed jointly by the Department as a nursing home and by the Department of Social Services as an assisted living facility, and (iii) restricts admissions such that (a) admissions to the facility are only allowed pursuant to the terms of a "life care contract" guaranteeing that the full complement of services offered by the facility is available to the resident as and when needed, (b) admissions to the assisted living facility unit of the facility are restricted to individuals defined as ambulatory by the Department of Social Services, and (c) admissions to the nursing home unit of the facility are restricted to those individuals who are residents of the assisted living facility unit of the facility shall not be subject to the requirements of this article.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, a certificate of public need shall not be required for the following actions undertaken by or on behalf of a medical care facility described in subsection A:

1. Relocation of up to 10 beds or 10 percent of the beds, whichever is less, (i) from one existing medical care facility described in subsection A to another existing medical care facility described in subsection A at the same site in any two-year period or (ii) in any three-year period, from one existing medical care facility described in subsection A licensed as a nursing home to any other existing medical care facility described in subsection A licensed as a nursing home that is owned or controlled by the same person and located either within the same planning district or within another planning district out of which, during or prior to that three-year period, at least 10 times that number of beds have been authorized by statute to be relocated from one or more medical care facilities described in subsection A located in that other planning district, and at least half of those beds have not been replaced; or

2. Use of up to 10 percent of beds as nursing home beds by a medical care facility described in subsection A licensed as a hospital, as provided in § 32.1-132.

E. The Department shall regularly review the types of medical care facilities subject to the provisions of this article and projects for which a certificate is required and provide to the Governor and the General Assembly, at least once every five years, a recommendation related to the continued appropriateness of requiring such types of medical care facilities to be subject to the provisions of this article and such types of projects to be subject to the requirement of a certificate. In developing such recommendations, the Department shall consider, for each type of medical care facility and project, the following criteria:

1. The current and projected future availability of the specific type of medical care facility or project;

2. The current and projected future demand for the specific type of medical care facility or project;

3. The current and projected future rate of utilization of the specific type of medical care facility or project;

4. The current and projected future capacity of existing medical care facilities or projects of that specific type;

5. The anticipated impact of changes in population and demographics, reimbursement structures and rates, and technology on demand for and availability, utilization, and capacity of existing medical care facilities or projects of that specific type;

6. Existing quality, utilization, and other controls applicable to the specific type of medical care facility or project; and

7. Any risk to the health or well-being of the public resulting from inclusion of the specific type of medical care facility or project on such list.

2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.2. Regulations.

A. The Board shall promulgate regulations that are consistent with this article and:

1. Shall establish concise procedures for the prompt review of applications for certificates consistent with the provisions of this article which may include a structured batching process which incorporates, but is not limited to, authorization for the Commissioner to request proposals for certain projects. In any structured batching process established by the Board, applications, combined or separate, for computed tomographic (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy other than radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, and proton beam therapy shall be considered in the radiation therapy batch. A single application may be filed for a combination of (i) radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy other than radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, and proton beam therapy and (ii) any or all of the computed tomographic (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning;

2. May classify projects and may eliminate one or more or all of the procedures prescribed in § 32.1-102.6 for different classifications;

3. May provide for exempting from the requirement of a certificate projects determined by the Commissioner, upon application for exemption, to be subject to the economic forces of a competitive market or to have no discernible impact on the cost or quality of health services;

4. May establish a schedule of fees for applications for certificates or registration of a project to be applied to expenses for the administration and operation of the Certificate of Public Need Program;

5. Shall establish an expedited application and review process for any certificate for projects reviewable pursuant to subdivision B 8 of § 32.1-102.1:3. Regulations establishing the expedited application and review procedure shall include provisions for notice and opportunity for public comment on the application for a certificate, and criteria pursuant to which an application that would normally undergo the review process would instead undergo the full certificate of public need review process set forth in § 32.1-102.6;

6. Shall establish an exemption from the requirement for a certificate, for a period of no more than 30 days, for projects involving a temporary increase in the total number of beds in an existing hospital or nursing home when the Commissioner has determined that a natural or man-made disaster has caused the evacuation of a hospital or nursing home and that a public health emergency exists due to a shortage of hospital or nursing home beds; and

7. Shall require every medical care facility subject to the requirements of this article, other than a nursing home, that is not a medical care facility for which a certificate with conditions imposed pursuant to subsection B of § 32.1-102.4 has been issued and that provides charity care, as defined in § 32.1-102.1, to annually report the amount of charity care provided.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations providing for time limitations for schedules for completion and limitations on the exceeding of the maximum capital expenditure amount for all reviewable projects. The Commissioner shall not approve any such extension or excess unless it complies with the Board's regulations. However, the Commissioner may approve a significant change in cost for an approved project that exceeds the authorized capital expenditure by more than 20 percent, provided the applicant has demonstrated that the cost increases are reasonable and necessary under all the circumstances and do not result from any material expansion of the project as approved.

C. The Board shall also promulgate regulations authorizing the Commissioner to condition approval of a certificate on the agreement of the applicant to provide a level of charity care to indigent persons or accept patients requiring specialized care. Such regulations shall include a methodology and formulas for uniform application of, active measuring and monitoring of compliance with, and approval of alternative plans for satisfaction of such conditions. In addition, the Board's licensure regulations shall direct the Commissioner to condition the issuing or renewing of any license for any applicant whose certificate was approved upon such condition on whether such applicant has complied with any agreement to provide a level of charity care to indigent persons or accept patients requiring specialized care. Except in the case of nursing homes, the value of charity care provided to individuals pursuant to this subsection shall be based on the provider reimbursement methodology utilized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for reimbursement under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq.

D. The Board shall also promulgate regulations to require the registration of a project; for introduction into an existing medical care facility of any new lithotripsy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, obstetrical, or nuclear imaging services that the facility has never provided or has not provided in the previous 12 months; and for the addition by an existing medical care facility of any medical equipment for lithotripsy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, or nuclear imaging services. Replacement of existing equipment for lithotripsy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic radiotherapy other than radiotherapy performed using a linear accelerator or other medical equipment that uses concentrated doses of high-energy X-rays to perform external beam radiation therapy, or nuclear imaging services shall not require registration. Such regulations shall include provisions for (i) establishing the agreement of the applicant to provide a level of care in services or funds that matches the average percentage of indigent care provided in the appropriate health planning region and to participate in Medicaid at a reduced rate to indigents, (ii) obtaining accreditation from a nationally recognized accrediting organization approved by the Board for the purpose of quality assurance, and (iii) reporting utilization and other data required by the Board to monitor and evaluate effects on health planning and availability of health care services in the Commonwealth.

1982, c. 388; 1991, c. 561; 1993, c. 704; 1996, c. 1050; 1999, cc. 899, 922, 926; 2003, cc. 61, 72; 2007, c. 502; 2009, c. 175; 2017, c. 791; 2019, cc. 136, 343, 839; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.2:1. State Health Services Plan; Task Force.

A. The Board shall appoint and convene a State Health Services Plan Task Force for the purpose of advising the Board on the content of the State Health Services Plan. The Task Force shall provide recommendations related to (i) periodic revisions to the State Health Services Plan, (ii) specific objective standards of review for each type of medical care facility or project type for which a certificate of public need is required, (iii) project types that are generally noncontested and present limited health planning impacts, (iv) whether certain projects should be subject to expedited review rather than the full review process, and (v) improvements in the certificate of public need process. All such recommendations shall be developed in accordance with an analytical framework established by the Commissioner that includes a specific evaluation of whether State Health Services Plan standards are consistent with the goals of (a) meeting the health care needs of the indigent and uninsured citizens of the Commonwealth, (b) protecting the public health and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth, (c) promoting the teaching missions of academic medical centers and private teaching hospitals, and (d) ensuring the availability of essential health care services in the Commonwealth, and are aligned with the goals and metrics of the Commonwealth's State Health Improvement Plan.

B. The Task Force shall consist of no fewer than 19 individuals appointed by the Commissioner who are broadly representative of the interests of all residents of the Commonwealth and of the various geographic regions, including two representatives of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the Medical Society of Virginia, the Virginia Health Care Association, and physicians or administrators representing teaching hospitals affiliated with a public institution of higher education; one representative each of the Virginia Association of Health Plans, the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, the Virginia Community Healthcare Association, LeadingAge Virginia, a company that is self-insured or full-insured for health coverage, a nonprofit organization located in the Commonwealth that engages in addressing access to health coverage for low-income individuals, and a rural locality recognized as a medically underserved area; one individual with experience in health facilities planning; and such other individuals as the Commissioner determines is appropriate.

C. The powers and duties of the Task Force shall be:

1. To develop, by November 1, 2022, recommendations for a comprehensive State Health Services Plan for adoption by the Board that includes (i) specific formulas for projecting need for medical care facilities and services subject to the requirement to obtain a certificate of public need, (ii) current statistical information on the availability of medical care facilities and services, (iii) objective criteria and standards for review of applications for projects for medical care facilities and services, and (iv) methodologies for integrating the goals and metrics of the State Health Improvement Plan established by the Commissioner into the criteria and standards for review. Criteria and standards for review included in the State Health Services Plan shall take into account current data on drive times, utilization, availability of competing services, and patient choice within and among localities included in the health planning district or region; changes and availability of new technology; and other relevant factors identified by the Task Force. The State Health Services Plan shall also include specific criteria for determining need in rural areas, giving due consideration to distinct and unique geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, transportation, and other barriers to access to care in such areas and providing for weighted calculations of need based on the barriers to health care access in such rural areas in lieu of the determinations of need used for the particular proposed project within the relevant health planning district or region as a whole;

2. To engage the services of private consultants or request the Department to contract with any private organization for professional and technical assistance and advice or other services to assist the Task Force in carrying out its duties and functions pursuant to this section. The Task Force may also solicit the input of experts with professional competence in the subject matter of the State Health Services Plan, including (i) representatives of licensed health care providers or health care provider organizations owning or operating licensed health facilities and (ii) representatives of organizations concerned with health care consumers and the purchasers and payers of health care services; and

3. To review annually and, if necessary, develop recommendations for revisions to each section of the State Health Services Plan on a rotating schedule defined by the Task Force at least every two years following the last date of adoption by the Board.

D. The Task Force shall exercise its powers and carry out its duties to ensure:

1. The availability and accessibility of quality health services at a reasonable cost and within a reasonable geographic proximity for all people in the Commonwealth, competitive markets, and patient choice;

2. Appropriate differential consideration of the health care needs of residents in rural localities in ways that do not compromise the quality and affordability of health care services for those residents;

3. Elimination of barriers to access to care and introduction and availability of new technologies and care delivery models that result in greater integration and coordination of care, reduction in costs, and improvements in quality; and

4. Compliance with the goals of the State Health Services Plan and improvement in population health.

E. The Department shall post on its website information regarding the process by which the State Health Services Plan is created and the process by which the Department determines whether a proposed project complies with the State Health Services Plan on its website.

2008, c. 501; 2009, c. 175; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.3. Demonstration of public need required; criteria for determining need.

A. No certificate may be issued unless the Commissioner has determined that a public need for the project has been demonstrated. If it is determined that a public need exists for only a portion of a project, a certificate may be issued for that portion and any appeal may be limited to the part of the decision with which the appellant disagrees without affecting the remainder of the decision. Any decision to issue or approve the issuance of a certificate shall be consistent with the most recent applicable provisions of the State Health Services Plan; however, if the Commissioner finds, upon presentation of appropriate evidence, that the provisions of such plan are not relevant to a rural locality's needs, inaccurate, outdated, inadequate or otherwise inapplicable, the Commissioner, consistent with such finding, may issue or approve the issuance of a certificate and shall initiate procedures to make appropriate amendments to such plan. In cases in which a provision of the State Health Services Plan has been previously set aside by the Commissioner and relevant amendments to the Plan have not yet taken effect, the Commissioner's decision shall be consistent with the applicable portions of the State Health Services Plan that have not been set aside and the remaining considerations in subsection B.

B. In determining whether a public need for a project has been demonstrated, the Commissioner shall consider:

1. The extent to which the proposed project will provide or increase access to health care services for people in the area to be served and the effects that the proposed project will have on access to health care services in areas having distinct and unique geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, transportation, and other barriers to access to health care;

2. The extent to which the proposed project will meet the needs of people in the area to be served, as demonstrated by each of the following: (i) the level of community support for the proposed project demonstrated by people, businesses, and governmental leaders representing the area to be served; (ii) the availability of reasonable alternatives to the proposed project that would meet the needs of people in the area to be served in a less costly, more efficient, or more effective manner; (iii) any recommendation or report of the regional health planning agency regarding an application for a certificate that is required to be submitted to the Commissioner pursuant to subsection B of § 32.1-102.6; (iv) any costs and benefits of the proposed project; (v) the financial accessibility of the proposed project to people in the area to be served, including indigent people; and (vi) at the discretion of the Commissioner, any other factors as may be relevant to the determination of public need for a proposed project;

3. The extent to which the proposed project is consistent with the State Health Services Plan;

4. The extent to which the proposed project fosters institutional competition that benefits the area to be served while improving access to essential health care services for all people in the area to be served;

5. The relationship of the proposed project to the existing health care system of the area to be served, including the utilization and efficiency of existing services or facilities;

6. The feasibility of the proposed project, including the financial benefits of the proposed project to the applicant, the cost of construction, the availability of financial and human resources, and the cost of capital;

7. The extent to which the proposed project provides improvements or innovations in the financing and delivery of health care services, as demonstrated by (i) the introduction of new technology that promotes quality, cost effectiveness, or both in the delivery of health care services; (ii) the potential for provision of health care services on an outpatient basis; (iii) any cooperative efforts to meet regional health care needs; and (iv) at the discretion of the Commissioner, any other factors as may be appropriate; and

8. In the case of a project proposed by or affecting a teaching hospital associated with a public institution of higher education or a medical school in the area to be served, (i) the unique research, training, and clinical mission of the teaching hospital or medical school and (ii) any contribution the teaching hospital or medical school may provide in the delivery, innovation, and improvement of health care services for citizens of the Commonwealth, including indigent or underserved populations.

1982, c. 388; 1984, c. 740; 1993, c. 704; 1999, c. 926; 2000, c. 931; 2004, cc. 71, 95; 2008, c. 292; 2009, c. 175; 2020, cc. 227, 558, 1271.

§ 32.1-102.3:1. Application for certificate not required of certain nursing facilities or nursing homes.

An application for a certificate that there exists a public need for a proposed project shall not be required for nursing facilities or nursing homes affiliated with facilities which, on January 1, 1982, and thereafter, meet all of the following criteria:

1. A facility which is operated as a nonprofit institution.

2. A facility which is licensed jointly by the Department as a nursing facility or nursing home and by the Department of Social Services as an assisted living facility.

3. A facility which observes the following restrictions on admissions:

a. Admissions are only allowed pursuant to the terms of a "life care contract" guaranteeing that the full complement of services offered by the facility is available to the resident as and when needed;

b. Admissions to the assisted living facility unit are restricted to individuals defined as ambulatory by the Department of Social Services;

c. Admissions to the nursing facility or nursing home unit are restricted to those individuals who are residents of the assisted living facility unit.

1982, c. 659; 1993, cc. 957, 993; 2008, c. 857; 2009, c. 175; 2011, c. 155.

§ 32.1-102.3:1.1. Continuing care retirement communities accessing medical assistance.

A. A nursing facility in Planning District 8 in a continuing care retirement community registered with the State Corporation Commission pursuant to Chapter 49 (§ 38.2-4900 et seq.) of Title 38.2, which is not already certified for participation in the Medical Assistance Program, may be certified for participation in the Medical Assistance Program, without regard to any condition of a certificate of public need, so long as:

1. The nursing facility is no longer operating under an open admissions period;

2. Any residents who qualify and receive medical assistance under the state program must have been residents of the continuing care retirement community for at least three years;

3. Not more than 25 percent of the nursing home beds of the facility, or 15 nursing home beds, whichever is fewer, may be occupied by individuals receiving benefits at any given time; and

4. Any resident who qualifies for and receives medical assistance under the state program in a continuing care retirement community nursing facility must have first exhausted any refundable entrance fee paid on the resident's behalf, as defined in § 38.2-4900, as a result of expenditures for that resident's care in the continuing care retirement community.

B. Nothing in this section shall alter the conditions of a continuing care retirement community's participation in the Medical Assistance Program if that continuing care retirement community was certified for participation prior to July 1, 2010.

For the purposes of this section, "open admissions period" means a time during which a facility may take admissions directly into its nursing home beds without the signing of a standard contract.

2008, c. 857; 2011, c. 155; 2019, cc. 299, 384.

§ 32.1-102.3:2. Certificates of public need; applications to be filed in response to Requests for Applications (RFAs).

A. Except for applications for continuing care retirement community nursing home bed projects filed by continuing care providers registered with the State Corporation Commission pursuant to Chapter 49 (§ 38.2-4900 et seq.) of Title 38.2 which comply with the requirements established in this section, the Commissioner shall approve, authorize or accept applications for the issuance of any certificate of public need pursuant to this article only in response to Requests for Applications (RFAs) for any project which would result in an increase in the number of beds in a planning district in which nursing facility or extended care services are provided, except as provided in § 32.1-102.3:7.

B. The Board shall adopt regulations establishing standards for the approval and issuance of Requests for Applications by the Commissioner. The standards shall include, but shall not be limited to, a requirement that determinations of need take into account any limitations on access to existing nursing home beds in the planning districts. The RFAs, which shall be published at least annually, shall be jointly developed by the Department and the Department of Medical Assistance Services. RFAs shall be based on analyses of the need, or lack thereof, for increases in the nursing home bed supply in each of the Commonwealth's planning districts in accordance with standards adopted by the Board by regulation. The Commissioner shall only accept for review applications in response to such RFAs which conform with the geographic and bed need determinations of the specific RFA.

C. Sixty days prior to the Commissioner's approval and issuance of any RFA, the Board shall publish the proposed RFA in the Virginia Register for public comment together with an explanation of (i) the regulatory basis for the planning district bed needs set forth in the RFA and (ii) the rationale for the RFA's planning district designations. Any person objecting to the contents of the proposed RFA may notify, within 14 days of the publication, the Board and the Commissioner of his objection and the objection's regulatory basis. The Commissioner shall prepare, and deliver by registered mail, a written response to each such objection within two weeks of the date of receiving the objection. The objector may file a rebuttal to the Commissioner's response in writing within five days of receiving the Commissioner's response. If objections are received, the Board may, after considering the provisions of the RFA, any objections, the Commissioner's responses, and if filed, any written rebuttals of the Commissioner's responses, hold a public hearing to receive comments on the specific RFA. Prior to making a decision on the RFA, the Commissioner shall consider any recommendations made by the Board.

D. Except for a continuing care retirement community applying for a certificate of public need pursuant to provisions of subsections A, B, and C, applications for continuing care retirement community nursing home bed projects shall be accepted by the Commissioner only if the following criteria are met: (i) the facility is registered with the State Corporation Commission as a continuing care provider pursuant to Chapter 49 (§ 38.2-4900 et seq.) of Title 38.2, (ii) the number of new nursing home beds requested in the initial application does not exceed the lesser of 20 percent of the continuing care retirement community's total number of beds that are not nursing home beds or 60 beds, (iii) the number of new nursing home beds requested in any subsequent application does not cause the continuing care retirement community's total number of nursing home beds to exceed 20 percent of its total number of beds that are not nursing home beds, and (iv) the continuing care retirement community has established a qualified resident assistance policy.

E. The Commissioner may approve an initial certificate of public need for nursing home beds in a continuing care retirement community not to exceed the lesser of 60 beds or 20 percent of the total number of beds that are not nursing home beds which authorizes an initial one-time, three-year open admission period during which the continuing care retirement community may accept direct admissions into its nursing home beds. The Commissioner may approve a certificate of public need for nursing home beds in a continuing care retirement community in addition to those nursing home beds requested for the initial one-time, three-year open admission period if (i) the number of new nursing home beds requested in any subsequent application does not cause the continuing care retirement community's total number of nursing home beds to exceed 20 percent of its total number of beds that are not nursing beds, (ii) the number of licensed nursing home beds within the continuing care retirement community does not and will not exceed 20 percent of the number of occupied beds that are not nursing beds, and (iii) no open-admission period is allowed for these nursing home beds. Upon the expiration of any initial one-time, three-year open admission period, a continuing care retirement community which has obtained a certificate of public need for a nursing facility project pursuant to subsection D may admit into its nursing home beds (a) a standard contract holder who has been a bona fide resident of the non-nursing home portion of the continuing care retirement community for at least 30 days, (b) a person who is a standard contract holder who has lived in the non-nursing home portion of the continuing care retirement community for less than 30 days but who requires nursing home care due to change in health status since admission to the continuing care retirement community, (c) a person who is a family member of a standard contract holder residing in a non-nursing home portion of the continuing care retirement community, (d) a person who is an employee or a member of the board of trustees or board of directors of the continuing care retirement community, (e) a person who is a family member of an employee or a member of the board of trustees or board of directors of the continuing care retirement community, or (f) a person who is an accredited practitioner of the religious organization or denomination with which the continuing care retirement community is affiliated.

F. Any continuing care retirement community applicant for a certificate of public need to increase the number of nursing home beds shall authorize the State Corporation Commission to disclose such information to the Commissioner as may be in the State Corporation Commission's possession concerning such continuing care retirement community in order to allow the Commissioner to enforce the provisions of this section. The State Corporation Commission shall provide the Commissioner with the requested information when so authorized.

G. For the purposes of this section:

"Family member" means spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or cousin by blood, marriage, or adoption.

"One-time, three-year open admission period" means the three years after the initial licensure of nursing home beds during which the continuing care retirement community may take admissions directly into its nursing home beds without the signing of a standard contract. The facility or a related facility on the same campus shall not be granted any open admissions period for any subsequent application or authorization for nursing home beds.

"Qualified resident assistance policy" means a procedure, consistently followed by a facility, pursuant to which the facility endeavors to avoid requiring a resident to leave the facility because of inability to pay regular charges and which complies with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service for maintenance of status as a tax exempt charitable organization under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This policy shall be (i) generally made known to residents through the resident contract and (ii) supported by reasonable and consistent efforts to promote the availability of funds, either through a special fund, separate foundation or access to other available funds, to assist residents who are unable to pay regular charges in whole or in part.

This policy may (a) take into account the sound financial management of the facility, including existing reserves, and the reasonable requirements of lenders and (b) include requirements that residents seeking such assistance provide all requested financial information and abide by reasonable conditions, including seeking to qualify for other assistance and restrictions on the transfer of assets to third parties.

A qualified resident assistance policy shall not constitute the business of insurance as defined in Chapter 1 (§ 38.2-100 et seq.) of Title 38.2.

"Standard contract" means a contract requiring the same entrance fee, terms, and conditions as contracts executed with residents of the non-nursing home portion of the facility, if the entrance fee is no less than the amount defined in § 38.2-4900.

H. This section shall not be construed to prohibit or prevent a continuing care retirement community from discharging a resident (i) for breach of nonfinancial contract provisions, (ii) if medically appropriate care can no longer be provided to the resident, or (iii) if the resident is a danger to himself or others while in the facility.

I. The provisions of subsections D, E, and H shall not affect any certificate of public need issued prior to July 1, 1998; however, any certificate of public need application for additional nursing home beds shall be subject to the provisions of this act.

1989, c. 517; 1990, cc. 191, 478, 753, 845; 1991, c. 561; 1992, cc. 612, 682; 1993, cc. 347, 474, 540, 564, 704, 762, 957, 993; 1994, cc. 57, 680, 711, 726, 797; 1995, cc. 505, 632, 641, 695, 753; 1996, cc. 531, 849, 901; 1998, c. 794; 2009, c. 175; 2012, c. 492; 2013, cc. 433, 515.

§ 32.1-102.3:2.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1998, c. 794.

§ 32.1-102.3:2.2. Expired.

Expired.

§ 32.1-102.3:3. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 612.

§ 32.1-102.3:5. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, c. 301, cl. 1.

§ 32.1-102.3:7. Application for transfer of nursing facility beds.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 32.1-102.3:2, the Commissioner shall accept and may approve applications for the transfer of nursing facility beds from one planning district to another planning district when no Request for Applications has been issued in cases in which the applicant can demonstrate (i) there is a shortage of nursing facility beds in the planning district to which beds are proposed to be transferred, (ii) the number of nursing facility beds in the planning district from which beds are proposed to be moved exceeds the need for such beds, (iii) the proposed transfer of nursing facility beds would not result in creation of a need for additional beds in the planning district from which the beds are proposed to be transferred, and (iv) the nursing facility beds proposed to be transferred will be made available to individuals in need of nursing facility services in the planning district to which they are proposed to be transferred without regard to the source of payment for such services.

B. Applications received pursuant to this section shall be subject to the provisions of this article governing review of applications for certificate of public need.

2013, c. 515.

§ 32.1-102.3:8. Application for an open admission period for a continuing care retirement community.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 32.1-102.3:2, the Commissioner shall accept and may approve applications for a two-year or three-year open admission period for a continuing care retirement community nursing facility approved as part of an initial certificate of public need pursuant to subsection E of § 32.1-102.3:2.

B. Any person seeking an open admission period pursuant to subsection A shall provide written notice of the proposed open admission period to all nursing facilities located within the planning district. The Commissioner shall accept public comment on an application for an open admission period pursuant to subsection A for a period of 14 days following submission of the application.

2013, c. 515.

§ 32.1-102.4. Conditions of certificates; monitoring; revocation of certificates; civil penalties.

A. The Commissioner may, in accordance with regulations of the Board, condition issuance of a certificate on compliance with a schedule for the completion of the proposed project and a maximum capital expenditure amount for the proposed project. The approved schedule and maximum capital expenditure for a proposed project shall be issued together with the certificate. The approved schedule may not be extended and the maximum capital expenditure may not be exceeded without the approval of the Commissioner in accordance with the regulations of the Board. The Commissioner shall not approve an extension for a schedule for completion of any project or the exceeding of the maximum capital expenditure of any project unless such extension or excess complies with the limitations provided in the regulations promulgated by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-102.2.

The Commissioner shall monitor each project to determine its progress and compliance with the approved schedule and with the maximum capital expenditure, and may revoke the certificate for (i) lack of substantial and continuing progress toward completion of the project in accordance with the schedule or (ii) expenditures in excess of the approved maximum capital expenditure for the project.

Any person willfully violating conditions imposed pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $100 per violation per day until the date of completion of the project which shall be collected by the Commissioner and paid into the Literary Fund.

For the purposes of this subsection, "completion" means conclusion of construction activities necessary for the substantial performance of the contract.

B. The Commissioner shall, pursuant to the regulations of the Board, condition the approval of a certificate upon the agreement of the applicant to provide care to individuals who are eligible for benefits under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq.), Title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.), and 10 U.S.C. § 1071 et seq. In addition, the Commissioner shall condition the approval of a certificate upon the agreement of the applicant to (i) provide a specified level of charity care to indigent persons or accept patients requiring specialized care, (ii) facilitate the development and operation of primary and specialty medical care services in designated medically underserved areas of the applicant's service area, or (iii) all of the above. Except in the case of nursing homes, the value of charity care provided to individuals pursuant to this subsection shall be based on the provider reimbursement methodology utilized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for reimbursement under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq.

Every certificate holder shall develop a financial assistance policy that includes specific eligibility criteria and procedures for applying for charity care, which shall be provided to a patient at the time of admission or discharge or at the time services are provided, included with any billing statements sent to uninsured patients, posted conspicuously in public areas of the medical care facility for which the certificate was issued and posted on a website maintained by the certificate holder.

The certificate holder shall annually provide documentation to the Department demonstrating that the certificate holder has satisfied the conditions of the certificate, including documentation of the amount of charity care provided to patients. If the certificate holder is unable or fails to satisfy the conditions of a certificate, the Department may approve alternative methods to satisfy the conditions pursuant to a plan of compliance, which shall identify a timeframe within which the certificate holder will satisfy the conditions of the certificate, and identify how the certificate holder will satisfy the conditions of the certificate, which may include (a) making direct payments to an organization authorized under a memorandum of understanding with the Department to receive contributions satisfying conditions of a certificate, (b) making direct payments to a private nonprofit foundation that funds basic insurance coverage for indigents authorized under a memorandum of understanding with the Department to receive contributions satisfying conditions of a certificate, or (c) other documented efforts or initiatives to provide primary or specialized care to underserved populations. In cases in which the certificate holder holds more than one certificate with conditions pursuant to this subsection, and the certificate holder is unable to satisfy the conditions of one certificate, such plan of compliance may provide for satisfaction of the conditions on that certificate by providing care at a reduced rate to indigent individuals in excess of the amount required by another certificate issued to the same holder, in an amount approved by the Department provided such care is offered at the same facility. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall prohibit the satisfaction of conditions of more than one certificate among various affiliated facilities or certificates subject to a system-wide or all-inclusive charity care condition established by the Commissioner. In determining whether the certificate holder has met the conditions of the certificate pursuant to a plan of compliance, only such actions undertaken after issuance of the conditioned certificate shall be counted towards satisfaction of conditions.

Any person refusing, failing, or neglecting to honor such agreement shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $100 per violation per day until the date of compliance which shall be collected by the Commissioner and paid into the Literary Fund. For the purpose of determining the amount of a civil penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection, the date on which the person began providing services in accordance with the original certificate shall be the date from which the period of noncompliance shall be calculated.

C. The Commissioner shall (i) review every certificate of public need upon which conditions were imposed pursuant to subsection B at least once every three years to determine whether such conditions continue to be appropriate or should be revised and (ii) notify each certificate holder of his conclusions regarding (a) the appropriateness of conditions imposed on the certificate and whether such conditions should be revised and (b) the process by which the certificate holder may request amendments to conditions imposed on a certificate in accordance with subsection D.

D. Pursuant to regulations of the Board, the Commissioner may accept requests for and approve amendments to conditions of existing certificates related to the provision of care at reduced rates or to patients requiring specialized care or related to the development and operation of primary medical care services in designated medically underserved areas of the certificate holder's service area.

E. In determining whether conditions imposed on a certificate of public need pursuant to subsection B are appropriate for the purposes of subsection C or should be amended in response to a request submitted pursuant to subsection D, the Commissioner shall consider any changes in the circumstances of the certificate holder resulting from changes in the financing or delivery of health care services, including changes to the Commonwealth's program of medical assistance services, and any other specific circumstances of the certificate holder.

1982, c. 388; 1991, c. 561; 1992, c. 682; 1993, cc. 668, 704; 1998, c. 794; 2009, cc. 175, 711, 796, 877; 2013, c. 460; 2017, cc. 768, 791; 2019, c. 839; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.5. Certificate not transferable.

No certificate issued for a project shall be transferable.

1982, c. 388.

§ 32.1-102.6. Administrative procedures.

A. To obtain a certificate for a project, the applicant shall file a completed application for a certificate with the Department and the appropriate regional health planning agency if a regional health planning agency has been designated for that region. Such application shall be filed in accordance with procedures established by the Department. An application submitted for review shall be considered complete when all relevant sections of the application form have responses. The applicant shall provide sufficient information to prove public need for the requested project exists without the addition of supplemental or supporting material at a later date. The Department shall ensure that only data necessary for review of an application is required to be submitted and that the application reflects statutory requirements. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Department from seeking, at its discretion, additional information from the applicant or other sources.

Within 10 calendar days of the date on which the document is received, the Department and the appropriate regional health planning agency, if a regional health planning agency has been designated, shall determine whether the application is complete or not and the Department shall notify the applicant, if the application is not complete, of the information needed to complete the application. If no regional health planning agency is designated for the health planning region in which the project will be located, no filing with a regional health planning agency is required and the Department shall determine if the application is complete and notify the applicant, if the application is not complete, of the information needed to complete the application.

At least 30 calendar days before any person is contractually obligated to acquire an existing medical care facility, the cost of which is $600,000 or more, that person shall notify the Commissioner and the appropriate regional health planning agency, if a regional health planning agency has been designated, of the intent, the services to be offered in the facility, the bed capacity in the facility and the projected impact that the cost of the acquisition will have upon the charges for services to be provided. If clinical services or beds are proposed to be added as a result of the acquisition, the Commissioner may require the proposed new owner to obtain a certificate prior to the acquisition. If no regional health planning agency is designated for the health planning region in which the acquisition will take place, no notification to a regional health planning agency shall be required.

B. For projects proposed in health planning regions with regional planning agencies, the appropriate regional health planning agency shall (i) review each completed application for a certificate within 60 calendar days of the day that begins the appropriate batch review cycle as established by the Board by regulation pursuant to subdivision A 1 of § 32.1-102.2, such cycle not to exceed 190 days in duration; (ii) within 10 calendar days following the start of the review cycle, solicit public comment on such application by posting notice of such application and a summary of the proposed project on a website maintained by the Department; such notice shall include information about how comments may be submitted to the regional health planning agency and the date on which the public comment period shall expire, which shall be no later than 45 calendar days following the date of the public notice; and (iii) in the case of competing applications or in response to a written request by an elected local government representative, a member of the General Assembly, the Commissioner, the applicant, or a member of the public, hold one public hearing on each application in a location in the county or city in which the project is proposed or a contiguous county or city. Prior to any required public hearing, the regional health planning agency shall notify the local governing bodies in the planning district. At least nine days prior to the public hearing, the regional health planning agency shall cause notice of the public hearing to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city where the project is proposed to be located. The regional health planning agency shall consider the comments of the local governing bodies in the planning district and all other public comments in making its decision. Such comments shall be part of the record. In no case shall a regional health planning agency hold more than two meetings on any application, one of which shall be the public hearing required pursuant to clause (iii), if any, conducted by the board of the regional health planning agency or a subcommittee of the board. The applicant shall be given the opportunity, prior to the vote by the board of the regional health planning agency or a committee of the agency, if acting for the board, on its recommendation, to respond to any comments made about the project by the regional health planning agency staff, any information in a regional health planning agency staff report, or comments by those voting members of the regional health planning agency board; however, such opportunity shall not increase the 60-calendar-day period designated herein for the regional health planning agency's review unless the applicant or applicants request a specific extension of the regional health planning agency's review period.

The regional health planning agency shall submit its recommendations on each application and its reasons therefor to the Department within 10 calendar days after the completion of its 60-calendar-day review or such other period in accordance with the applicant's request for extension.

If the regional health planning agency has not completed its review within the specified 60 calendar days or such other period in accordance with the applicant's request for extension and submitted its recommendations on the application and the reasons therefor within 10 calendar days after the completion of its review, the Department shall, on the eleventh calendar day after the expiration of the regional health planning agency's review period, proceed as though the regional health planning agency has recommended project approval without conditions or revision.

If no regional health planning agency has been designated for a region, the Department shall (a) within 10 calendar days following the start of the review cycle, solicit public comment on such application by posting notice of such application and a summary of the proposed project on a website maintained by the Department; such notice shall include such information about how comments may be submitted to the Department and the date on which the public comment period shall expire, which shall be no later than 45 calendar days following the date of the public notice, and (b) in the case of competing applications or in response to a written request by an elected local government representative, a member of the General Assembly, the Commissioner, the applicant, or a member of the public, hold one hearing on each application in a location in the county or city in which the project is proposed or a contiguous county or city. Prior to any required hearing, the Department shall notify the local governing bodies in the planning district in which the project is proposed. At least nine days prior to the public hearing, the Department shall cause notice of the public hearing to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city where the project is proposed to be located. The Department shall consider the comments of the local governing bodies in the planning district and all other public comments in making its decision. Such comments shall be part of the record.

C. After commencement of any public hearing and before a decision is made there shall be no ex parte contacts concerning the subject certificate or its application between (i) any person acting on behalf of the applicant or holder of a certificate or any person opposed to the issuance or in favor of revocation of a certificate of public need and (ii) any person in the Department who has authority to make a determination respecting the issuance or revocation of a certificate of public need, unless the Department has provided advance notice to all parties referred to in clause (i) of the time and place of such proposed contact.

D. The Department shall commence the review of each completed application upon the day which begins the appropriate batch review cycle and simultaneously with the review conducted by the regional health planning agency, if a regional health planning agency has been designated.

A determination whether a public need exists for a project shall be made by the Commissioner within 190 calendar days of the day which begins the appropriate batch cycle.

The 190-calendar-day review period shall begin on the date upon which the application is determined to be complete within the batching process specified in subdivision A 1 of § 32.1-102.2.

If the application is not determined to be complete within 40 calendar days from submission, the application shall be refiled in the next batch for like projects.

The Commissioner shall make determinations in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) except for those parts of the determination process for which timelines and specifications are delineated in subsection E. Further, if an informal fact-finding conference is determined to be necessary by the Department or is requested by a person seeking good cause standing, the parties to the case shall include only the applicant, any person showing good cause, any third-party payor providing health care insurance or prepaid coverage to five percent or more of the patients in the applicant's service area, and the relevant health planning agency.

E. Upon entry of each completed application or applications into the appropriate batch review cycle:

1. The Department shall establish, for every application, a date between the eightieth and ninetieth calendar days within the 190-calendar-day review period for holding an informal fact-finding conference, if such conference is necessary.

2. The Department shall review every application at or before the seventy-fifth calendar day within the 190-calendar-day review period to determine whether an informal fact-finding conference is necessary.

3. Any person seeking to be made a party to the case for good cause, no later than four days after the Department has completed its review and submitted its recommendation on an application and has transmitted the same to the applicants and to persons who have, prior to the issuance of the report, requested a copy in writing, shall notify the Commissioner, all applicants, and the regional health planning agency, in writing and under oath, stating the grounds for good cause and providing the factual basis therefor.

4. In any case in which an informal fact-finding conference is held, a date shall be established for the closing of the record which shall not be more than 30 calendar days after the date for holding the informal fact-finding conference.

5. In any case in which an informal fact-finding conference is not held, the record shall be closed on the earlier of (i) the date established for holding the informal fact-finding conference or (ii) the date that the Department determines an informal fact-finding conference is not necessary.

6. The provisions of subsection C of § 2.2-4021 notwithstanding, if a determination whether a public need exists for a project is not made by the Commissioner within 45 calendar days of the closing of the record, the Commissioner shall notify the applicant or applicants and any persons seeking to show good cause, in writing, that the application or the application of each shall be deemed approved 25 calendar days after expiration of such 45-calendar-day period, unless the receipt of recommendations from the person performing the hearing officer functions permits the Commissioner to issue his case decision within that 25-calendar-day period. The validity or timeliness of the aforementioned notice shall not, in any event, prevent, delay or otherwise impact the effectiveness of this section.

7. In any case when a determination whether a public need exists for a project is not made by the Commissioner within 70 calendar days after the closing of the record, the application shall be deemed to be approved and the certificate shall be granted.

8. If a determination whether a public need exists for a project is not made by the Commissioner within 45 calendar days of the closing of the record, any applicant who is competing in the relevant batch or who has filed an application in response to the relevant Request For Applications issued pursuant to § 32.1-102.3:2 may, prior to the application being deemed approved, petition for immediate injunctive relief pursuant to § 2.2-4030, naming as respondents the Commissioner and all parties to the case. During the pendency of the proceeding, no applications shall be deemed to be approved. In such a proceeding, the provisions of § 2.2-4030 shall apply.

F. Deemed approvals shall be construed as the Commissioner's case decision on the application pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and shall be subject to judicial review on appeal as the Commissioner's case decision in accordance with such act.

Any person who has sought to participate in the Department's review of such deemed-to-be-approved application as a person showing good cause who has not received a final determination from the Commissioner concerning such attempt to show good cause shall be deemed to be a person showing good cause for purposes of appeal of the deemed approval of the certificate.

In any appeal of the Commissioner's case decision granting a certificate of public need pursuant to a Request for Applications issued pursuant to § 32.1-102.3:2, the court may require the appellant to file a bond pursuant to § 8.01-676.1, in such sum as shall be fixed by the court for protection of all parties interested in the case decision, conditioned on the payment of all damages and costs incurred in consequence of such appeal.

G. For purposes of this section, "good cause" means that (i) there is significant relevant information not previously presented at and not available at the time of the public hearing, (ii) there have been significant changes in factors or circumstances relating to the application subsequent to the public hearing, or (iii) there is a substantial material mistake of fact or law in the Department staff's report on the application or in the report submitted by the health planning agency.

H. The project review procedures shall provide for separation of the project review manager functions from the hearing officer functions. No person serving in the role of project review manager shall serve as a hearing officer.

I. The applicants, and only the applicants, shall have the authority to extend any of the time periods specified in this section. If all applicants consent to extending any time period in this section, the Commissioner, with the concurrence of the applicants, shall establish a new schedule for the remaining time periods.

J. This section shall not apply to applications for certificates for projects defined in subdivision A 8 of § 32.1-102.1:3. Such projects shall be subject to an expedited application and review process developed by the Board in regulation pursuant to subdivision A 2 of § 32.1-102.2.

1982, c. 388; 1984, c. 740; 1991, c. 561; 1999, cc. 899, 922; 2000, c. 931; 2004, cc. 71, 95; 2005, c. 404; 2009, c. 175; 2010, c. 646; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.6:1. Revocation of a certificate.

The Commissioner shall revoke a certificate of public need for:

1. Failure to comply with the requirements of subsection A of § 32.1-102.4 regarding schedules for completion of a project or maximum capital expenditures for a project; or

2. Willfully or recklessly misrepresented intentions or facts in obtaining a certificate.

2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.7. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 740.

§ 32.1-102.8. Enjoining project undertaken without certificate or registration.

On petition of the Commissioner, the Board or the Attorney General, the circuit court of the county or city where a project is under construction or is intended to be constructed, located, or undertaken shall have jurisdiction to enjoin any project that is constructed, undertaken, or commenced without a certificate or registration required by this article or to enjoin the admission of patients to the project or to enjoin the provision of services through the project.

1982, c. 388; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.9. Designation of judge.

The judge of the court to which any appeal is taken as provided in § 32.1-102.6 and the judge of the court referred to in § 32.1-102.8 shall be designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from a circuit other than the circuit where the project is or will be under construction, located or undertaken.

1982, c. 388; 1984, c. 740.

§ 32.1-102.10. Commencing project without certificate or registration grounds for refusing to issue license.

Commencing any project without a certificate or registration required by this article shall constitute grounds for refusing to issue a license for such project. Persons commencing any project without a certificate or registration as required by this article shall be subject to the penalties set forth in §§ 32.1-27 and 32.1-27.1.

1982, c. 388; 2009, c. 175; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.11. Application of article.

A. Every project of an existing or proposed medical care facility described in subsection A of § 32.1-102.1:3 shall be subject to all provisions of this article unless, with respect to such project, the owner or operator of an existing medical care facility or the developer of a proposed medical care facility (i) has, by February 1, 1992, purchased or leased equipment subject to registration pursuant to former § 32.1-102.3:4, (ii) has, by February 1, 1992, initiated construction requiring a capital expenditure exceeding one million dollars, or (iii) has made or contracted to make or otherwise legally obligated to make, during the three years ending February 1, 1992, preliminary expenditures of $350,000 or more for a formal plan of construction of the specific project, including expenditures for site acquisition, designs, preliminary or working drawings, construction documents, or other items essential to the construction of the specific project.

Any project exempted pursuant to subdivisions (ii) and (iii) of this subsection shall be limited to such construction, services, and equipment as specifically identified in the formal plan of construction which shall have existed and been formally committed to by February 1, 1992. Further, the equipment to be exempted pursuant to subdivisions (ii) and (iii) shall be limited to the number of units and any types of medical equipment, in the case of medical equipment intended to provide any services included in subdivision B 6 of § 32.1-102.1:3, as are specifically identified in such plan and, in the case of all other equipment, such equipment as is appropriate for the construction and services included in such plan.

None of the exemptions provided in this subsection shall be applicable to projects which required a certificate of public need pursuant to this article on January 1, 1992.

B. Any medical care facility or entity claiming to meet one of the conditions set forth in subsection A of this section shall file a completed application for an exemption from the provisions of this article with the Commissioner by August 1, 1992. Forms for such application shall be made available by the Commissioner no later than April 1, 1992. The Commissioner may deny an exemption if the application is not complete on August 1, 1992, and the medical care facility or entity has not filed a completed application within forty-five days after notice of deficiency in the filing of the completed application. After receiving a completed application, the Commissioner shall determine whether the project has met one of the criteria for an exemption and is, therefore, exempt or has not met any of the criteria for an exemption and is, therefore, subject to all provisions of this article and shall notify the medical care facility or entity of his determination within sixty days of the date of filing of the completed application. If it is determined that an exemption exists for only a portion of a project, the Commissioner may approve an exemption for that portion and any appeal may be limited to the part of the decision with which the appellant disagrees without affecting the remainder of the decision. The Commissioner's determination shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), except that parties to the case shall include only those parties specified in § 32.1-102.6.

C. For the purposes of this section:

"Formal plan of construction" means documentary evidence indicating that the facility, the owner or operator of the facility, or the developer of a proposed facility was formally committed to the project by February 1, 1992, and describing the specific project in sufficient detail to reasonably define and confirm the scope of the project including estimated cost, intended location, any clinical health services to be involved and any types of equipment to be purchased. Such documentary evidence shall include designs, preliminary or working drawings, construction documents or other documents which have been used to explicitly define and confirm the scope of the project for the purposes of seeking architectural or construction plans or capital to the extent that such capital was committed or agreed to be provided for such project prior to February 1, 1992.

"Initiated construction" means an owner or operator of an existing facility or the developer of a proposed facility can present evidence for a specific project that (i) a construction contract has been executed; (ii) if applicable, short-term financing has been completed; (iii) if applicable, a commitment for long-term financing has been obtained; and (iv) if the project is for construction of a new facility or expansion of an existing facility, predevelopment site work and building foundations have been completed.

"Leased" means that the owner or operator of an existing medical care facility or the developer of a proposed facility has a legally binding commitment to lease the equipment pursuant to an agreement providing for fixed, periodic payments commencing no later than June 30, 1992, including a lease-purchase agreement in which the owner or operator of the facility or developer has an option to purchase the equipment for less than fair market value upon conclusion of the lease or an installment sale agreement with fixed periodic payments commencing no later than June 30, 1992.

"Purchased" means that the equipment has been acquired by the owner or operator of an existing medical care facility or the developer of a proposed medical care facility, or the owner or operator of the facility or the developer can present evidence of a legal obligation to acquire the equipment in the form of an executed contract or appropriately signed order or requisition and payment has been made in full by June 30, 1992.

1982, c. 388; 1986, c. 615; 1992, c. 612; 2020, c. 1271.

§ 32.1-102.12. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, c. 123, cl. 1.

§ 32.1-102.13. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2007, c. 5, cl. 1.

Article 2. Medical Care Facilities Development.

§ 32.1-103. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 424.

Article 2.1. Statewide Emergency Medical Services System and Services.

§ 32.1-111.1. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Advisory Board" means the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board.

"Automated external defibrillator" means a medical device which combines a heart monitor and defibrillator and (i) has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, (ii) is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia, (iii) is capable of determining, without intervention by an operator, whether defibrillation should be performed, and (iv) automatically charges and requests delivery of an electrical impulse to an individual's heart, upon determining that defibrillation should be performed.

"Emergency medical services" or "EMS" means health care, public health, and public safety services used in the medical response to the real or perceived need for immediate medical assessment, care, or transportation and preventive care or transportation in order to prevent loss of life or aggravation of physiological or psychological illness or injury.

"Emergency medical services agency" or "EMS agency" means any person engaged in the business, service, or regular activity, whether for profit or not, of rendering immediate medical care and providing transportation to persons who are sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless and that holds a valid license as an emergency medical services agency issued by the Commissioner in accordance with § 32.1-111.6.

"Emergency medical services personnel" or "EMS personnel" means individuals who are employed by or members of an emergency medical services agency and who provide emergency medical services pursuant to an emergency medical services agency license issued to that agency by the Commissioner and in accordance with the authorization of that agency's operational medical director.

"Emergency medical services physician" or "EMS physician" means a physician who holds a current endorsement from the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and may serve as an EMS agency operational medical director or training program physician course director.

"Emergency medical services provider" or "EMS provider" means any person who holds a valid certificate as an emergency medical services provider issued by the Commissioner.

"Emergency medical services system" or "EMS system" means the system of emergency medical services agencies, vehicles, equipment, and personnel; health care facilities; other health care and emergency services providers; and other components engaged in the planning, coordination, and delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth, including individuals and facilities providing communication and other services necessary to facilitate the delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth.

"Emergency medical services vehicle" means any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft that holds a valid emergency medical services vehicle permit issued by the Office of Emergency Medical Services that is equipped, maintained, or operated to provide emergency medical care or transportation of patients who are sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated or helpless.

"Office of Emergency Medical Services" means the Office of Emergency Medical Services of the Department.

"Operational medical director" or "OMD" means an EMS physician, currently licensed to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine in the Commonwealth, who is formally recognized and responsible for providing medical direction, oversight, and quality improvement to an EMS agency.

1996, c. 899; 1999, c. 1000; 2000, c. 939; 2008, c. 118; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.2. Exemptions from provisions of this article.

The following entities are exempted from the provisions of this article:

1. Emergency medical services agencies based outside the Commonwealth, except that any such agency receiving a person who is sick, injured, wounded, incapacitated, or helpless within the Commonwealth for transportation to a location within the Commonwealth shall comply with the provisions of this article;

2. Emergency medical services agencies operated by the United States government; and

3. Wheelchair interfacility transport services and wheelchair interfacility transport service vehicles that are engaged, whether or not for profit, in the business, service, or regular activity of and exclusively used for transporting wheelchair bound passengers between medical facilities in the Commonwealth when no ancillary medical care or oversight is necessary. However, such services and vehicles shall comply with Department of Medical Assistance Services regulations regarding the transportation of Medicaid recipients to covered services.

1996, c. 899; 2005, c. 778; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.3. Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan; Trauma Triage Plan; Stroke Triage Plan.

A. The Board of Health shall develop a Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan that shall provide for a comprehensive, coordinated, emergency medical services system in the Commonwealth and shall review, update, and publish the Plan triennially, making such revisions as may be necessary to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commonwealth's emergency medical services system. The Plan shall incorporate the regional emergency medical services plans prepared by the regional emergency medical services councils pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:2. Publishing through electronic means and posting on the Department website shall satisfy the publication requirement. The objectives of such Plan and the emergency medical services system shall include the following:

1. Establishing a comprehensive statewide emergency medical services system, incorporating facilities, transportation, manpower, communications, and other components as integral parts of a unified system that will serve to improve the delivery of emergency medical services and thereby decrease morbidity, hospitalization, disability, and mortality;

2. Reducing the time period between the identification of an acutely ill or injured patient and the definitive treatment;

3. Increasing the accessibility of high quality emergency medical services to all citizens of Virginia;

4. Promoting continuing improvement in system components including ground, water, and air transportation; communications; hospital emergency departments and other emergency medical care facilities; health care provider training and health care service delivery; and consumer health information and education;

5. Ensuring performance improvement of the emergency medical services system and emergency medical services and care delivered on scene, in transit, in hospital emergency departments, and within the hospital environment;

6. Working with professional medical organizations, hospitals, and other public and private agencies in developing approaches whereby the many persons who are presently using the existing emergency department for routine, nonurgent, primary medical care will be served more appropriately and economically;

7. Conducting, promoting, and encouraging programs of education and training designed to upgrade the knowledge and skills of emergency medical services personnel, including expanding the availability of paramedic and advanced life support training throughout the Commonwealth with particular emphasis on regions underserved by emergency medical services personnel having such skills and training;

8. Consulting with and reviewing, with agencies and organizations, the development of applications to governmental or other sources for grants or other funding to support emergency medical services programs;

9. Establishing a statewide air medical evacuation system which shall be developed by the Department of Health in coordination with the Department of State Police and other appropriate state agencies;

10. Establishing and maintaining a process for designation of appropriate hospitals as trauma centers, certified stroke centers, and specialty care centers based on an applicable national evaluation system;

11. Maintaining a comprehensive emergency medical services patient care data collection and performance improvement system pursuant to Article 3.1 (§ 32.1-116.1 et seq.);

12. Collecting data and information and preparing reports for the sole purpose of the designation and verification of trauma centers and other specialty care centers pursuant to this section. All data and information collected shall remain confidential and shall be exempt from the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.);

13. Establishing and maintaining a process for crisis intervention and peer support services for emergency medical services personnel and public safety personnel, including statewide availability and accreditation of critical incident stress management or peer support teams and personnel. Such accreditation standards shall include a requirement that a peer support team be headed by a Virginia-licensed clinical psychologist, Virginia-licensed psychiatrist, Virginia-licensed clinical social worker, or Virginia-licensed professional counselor, who has at least five years of experience as a mental health consultant working directly with emergency medical services personnel or public safety personnel;

14. Establishing a statewide program of emergency medical services for children to provide coordination and support for emergency pediatric care, availability of pediatric emergency medical care equipment, and pediatric training of health care providers;

15. Establishing and supporting a statewide system of health and medical emergency response teams, including emergency medical services disaster task forces, coordination teams, disaster medical assistance teams, and other support teams that shall assist local emergency medical services agencies at their request during mass casualty, disaster, or whenever local resources are overwhelmed;

16. Establishing and maintaining a program to improve dispatching of emergency medical services personnel and vehicles, including establishment of and support for emergency medical services dispatch training, accreditation of 911 dispatch centers, and public safety answering points;

17. Identifying and establishing best practices for managing and operating emergency medical services agencies, improving and managing emergency medical services response times, and disseminating such information to the appropriate persons and entities;

18. Ensuring that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event there are victims as defined in § 19.2-11.01, and that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund become the lead coordinating agencies for those individuals determined to be victims; and

19. Maintaining current contact information for both the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

B. The Board of Health shall also develop and maintain as a component of the Emergency Medical Services Plan a statewide prehospital and interhospital Trauma Triage Plan designed to promote rapid access for pediatric and adult trauma patients to appropriate, organized trauma care through the publication and regular updating of information on resources for trauma care and generally accepted criteria for trauma triage and appropriate transfer. The Trauma Triage Plan shall include:

1. A strategy for maintaining the statewide Trauma Triage Plan through development of regional trauma triage plans that take into account the region's geographic variations and trauma care capabilities and resources, including hospitals designated as trauma centers pursuant to subsection A and inclusion of such regional plans in the statewide Trauma Triage Plan. The regional trauma triage plans shall be reviewed triennially. Plans should ensure that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event there are victims as defined in § 19.2-11.01, and that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund become the lead coordinating agencies for those individuals determined to be victims; and maintain current contact information for both the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.

2. A uniform set of proposed criteria for prehospital and interhospital triage and transport of trauma patients developed by the Advisory Board, in consultation with the Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and prehospital care providers. The Advisory Board may revise such criteria from time to time to incorporate accepted changes in medical practice or to respond to needs indicated by analyses of data on patient outcomes. Such criteria shall be used as a guide and resource for health care providers and are not intended to establish, in and of themselves, standards of care or to abrogate the requirements of § 8.01-581.20. A decision by a health care provider to deviate from the criteria shall not constitute negligence per se.

3. A performance improvement program for monitoring the quality of emergency medical services and trauma services, consistent with other components of the Emergency Medical Services Plan. The program shall provide for collection and analysis of data on emergency medical and trauma services from existing validated sources, including the emergency medical services patient care information system, pursuant to Article 3.1 (§ 32.1-116.1 et seq.), the Patient Level Data System, and mortality data. The Advisory Board shall review and analyze such data on a quarterly basis and report its findings to the Commissioner. The Advisory Board may execute these duties through a committee composed of persons having expertise in critical care issues and representatives of emergency medical services providers. The program for monitoring and reporting the results of emergency medical services and trauma services data analysis shall be the sole means of encouraging and promoting compliance with the trauma triage criteria.

The Commissioner shall report aggregate findings of the analysis annually to each regional emergency medical services council. The report shall be available to the public and shall identify, minimally, as defined in the statewide plan, the frequency of (i) incorrect triage in comparison to the total number of trauma patients delivered to a hospital prior to pronouncement of death and (ii) incorrect interfacility transfer for each region.

The Advisory Board or its designee shall ensure that each hospital director or emergency medical services agency chief is informed of any incorrect interfacility transfer or triage, as defined in the statewide Trauma Triage Plan, specific to the hospital or agency and shall give the hospital or agency an opportunity to correct any facts on which such determination is based, if the hospital or agency asserts that such facts are inaccurate. The findings of the report shall be used to improve the Trauma Triage Plan, including triage, and transport and trauma center designation criteria.

The Commissioner shall ensure the confidentiality of patient information, in accordance with § 32.1-116.2. Such data or information in the possession of or transmitted to the Commissioner, the Advisory Board, any committee acting on behalf of the Advisory Board, any hospital or prehospital care provider, any regional emergency medical services council, emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner, or group or committee established to monitor the quality of emergency medical services or trauma services pursuant to this subdivision, or any other person shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed or obtained by legal discovery proceedings, unless a circuit court, after a hearing and for good cause shown arising from extraordinary circumstances, orders disclosure of such data.

C. The Board shall also develop and maintain as a component of the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan a statewide prehospital and interhospital Stroke Triage Plan designed to promote rapid access for stroke patients to appropriate, organized stroke care through the publication and regular updating of information on resources for stroke care and generally accepted criteria for stroke triage and appropriate transfer. The Stroke Triage Plan shall include:

1. A strategy for maintaining the statewide Stroke Triage Plan through development of regional stroke triage plans that take into account the region's geographic variations and stroke care capabilities and resources, including hospitals designated as comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers, primary stroke centers with supplementary levels of stroke care distinction, and acute stroke-ready hospitals through certification by the Joint Commission, DNV Healthcare, the American Heart Association, or a comparable process consistent with the recommendations of the Brain Attack Coalition, and inclusion of such regional plans in the statewide Stroke Triage Plan. The regional stroke triage plans shall be reviewed triennially.

2. A uniform set of proposed criteria for prehospital and interhospital triage and transport of stroke patients developed by the Advisory Board, in consultation with the American Stroke Association, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and prehospital care providers. The Board may revise such criteria from time to time to incorporate accepted changes in medical practice or to respond to needs indicated by analyses of data on patient outcomes. Such criteria shall be used as a guide and resource for health care providers and are not intended to establish, in and of themselves, standards of care or to abrogate the requirements of § 8.01-581.20. A decision by a health care provider to deviate from the criteria shall not constitute negligence per se.

D. Whenever any state-owned aircraft, vehicle, or other form of conveyance is utilized under the provisions of this section, an appropriate amount not to exceed the actual costs of operation may be charged by the agency having administrative control of such aircraft, vehicle, or other form of conveyance.

1996, c. 899; 1997, c. 321; 1998, c. 317; 1999, c. 1000; 2005, cc. 632, 686; 2006, c. 412; 2007, c. 15; 2008, cc. 66, 567; 2009, cc. 222, 269; 2012, c. 418; 2014, c. 320; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2017, c. 609; 2018, cc. 103, 109.

§ 32.1-111.4. Regulations; emergency medical services personnel and vehicles; response times; enforcement provisions; civil penalties.

A. The Board shall prescribe by regulation:

1. Requirements for recordkeeping, supplies, operating procedures, and other emergency medical services agency operations;

2. Requirements for the sanitation and maintenance of emergency medical services vehicles and their medical supplies and equipment;

3. Procedures, including the requirements for forms, to authorize qualified emergency medical services personnel to follow Do Not Resuscitate Orders pursuant to § 54.1-2987.1;

4. Requirements for the composition, administration, duties, and responsibilities of the Advisory Board;

5. Requirements, developed in consultation with the Advisory Board, governing the training, certification, and recertification of emergency medical services personnel;

6. Requirements for written notification to the Advisory Board, the Office of Emergency Medical Services, and the Financial Assistance and Review Committee of the Board's action, and the reasons therefor, on requests and recommendations of the Advisory Board, the Office of Emergency Medical Services, or the Financial Assistance and Review Committee, no later than five business days after reaching its decision, specifying whether the Board has approved, denied, or not acted on such requests and recommendations;

7. Authorization procedures, developed in consultation with the Advisory Board, that allow the possession and administration of epinephrine or a medically accepted equivalent for emergency cases of anaphylactic shock by certain levels of certified emergency medical services personnel as authorized by § 54.1-3408 and authorization procedures that allow the possession and administration of oxygen with the authority of the local operational medical director and an emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner;

8. A uniform definition of "response time" and requirements, developed in consultation with the Advisory Board, for each emergency medical services agency to measure response times starting from the time a call for emergency medical services is received until the time (i) appropriate emergency medical services personnel are responding and (ii) appropriate emergency medical services personnel arrive on the scene, and requirements for emergency medical services agencies to collect and report such data to the Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services, who shall compile such information and make it available to the public, upon request;

9. Enforcement provisions, including, but not limited to, civil penalties that the Commissioner may assess against any emergency medical services agency or other entity found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this article or any regulation promulgated under this article. All amounts paid as civil penalties for violations of this article or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be paid into the state treasury and shall be deposited in the emergency medical services special fund established pursuant to § 46.2-694, to be used only for emergency medical services purposes; and

10. Procedures for when emergency medical services agencies in medically underserved areas as defined by the Board may transport patients to 24-hour urgent care facilities or appropriate medical care facilities other than hospitals. The regulations shall include provisions for what constitutes a medically underserved area, cases appropriate for transferring a patient to a medical facility other than a hospital, and other information deemed relevant by the Board.

B. The Board shall classify emergency medical services agencies and emergency medical services vehicles by type of service rendered and shall specify the medical equipment, the supplies, the vehicle specifications, and the emergency medical services personnel required for each classification.

C. In formulating its regulations, the Board shall consider the current Minimal Equipment List for Ambulances adopted by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons.

1996, c. 899; 1997, c. 248; 1998, cc. 803, 854; 2001, c. 466; 2003, c. 1020; 2005, c. 921; 2006, c. 194; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, c. 930.

§ 32.1-111.4:1. State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board; purpose; membership; duties; reimbursement of expenses; staff support.

A. There is hereby created in the executive branch the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board for the purpose of advising the Board concerning the administration of the statewide emergency medical services system and emergency medical services vehicles maintained and operated to provide transportation to persons requiring emergency medical treatment and for reviewing and making recommendations on the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan. The Advisory Board shall be composed of 28 members appointed by the Governor as follows: one representative each from the Virginia Municipal League, Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and each of the 11 regional emergency medical services councils; one member each from the Medical Society of Virginia, Virginia Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Emergency Nurses Association or the Virginia Nurses' Association, Virginia State Firefighters Association, Virginia Fire Chiefs Association, Virginia Ambulance Association, Virginia Association of Governmental Emergency Medical Services Administrators, and Virginia Association of Public Safety Communications Officials; two representatives of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, Inc.; one Virginia professional firefighter; and one consumer who shall not be involved in or affiliated with emergency medical services in any capacity. Each organization and group shall submit three nominees from among which the Governor may make appointments. Of the three nominees submitted by each of the regional emergency medical services councils, at least one nominee shall be a representative of providers of prehospital care. Any person appointed to the Advisory Board shall be a member of the organization that he represents. To ensure diversity in the organizations and groups represented on the Advisory Board, the Governor may request additional nominees from the applicable organizations and groups. However, the Governor shall not be bound to make any appointment from among any nominees recommended by such organizations and groups.

The members of the Advisory Board shall not be eligible to receive compensation; however, the Department shall provide funding for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by members of the Advisory Board in the performance of their duties.

B. Appointments shall be staggered as follows: nine members for a term of two years, nine members for a term of three years, and 10 members for a term of four years. Thereafter, appointments shall be for terms of three years, except an appointment to fill a vacancy, which shall be for the unexpired term. Appointments shall be in a manner to preserve insofar as possible the representation of the specified groups. No member shall serve more than two successive terms. No person representing any organization or group named in subsection A who has served as a member of the Advisory Board for two or more successive terms for any period or for six or more consecutive years shall be nominated for appointment or appointed to the Advisory Board unless at least three consecutive years have elapsed since the person has served on the Advisory Board.

The chairman shall be elected from the membership of the Advisory Board for a term of one year and shall be eligible for reelection. The Advisory Board shall meet at least four times annually at the call of the chairman or the Commissioner.

C. The Advisory Board shall:

1. Advise the Board on the administration of this article;

2. Review and make recommendations for the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan and any revisions thereto; and

3. Review, on a schedule as it may determine, reports on the status of all aspects of the statewide emergency medical services system, including the Financial Assistance and Review Committee, the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund, the regional emergency medical services councils, and the emergency medical services vehicles, submitted by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

D. The Advisory Board shall establish an Advisory Board Executive Committee to assist in the work of the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board Executive Committee shall, in addition to those duties of the Advisory Board Executive Committee established by the Advisory Board, review the annual financial report of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, as required by § 32.1-111.13.

E. The Office of Emergency Medical Services shall provide staff support to the Advisory Board.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:2. Regional emergency medical services councils.

The Board shall designate regional emergency medical services councils that shall be authorized to receive and disburse public funds. Each such council shall be charged with the development and implementation of an efficient and effective regional emergency medical services delivery system.

The Board shall review those agencies that were the designated regional emergency medical services councils. The Board shall, in accordance with the standards established in its regulations, review and may renew or deny applications for such designations every three years. In its discretion, the Board may establish conditions for renewal of such designations or may solicit applications for designation as a regional emergency medical services council.

Each regional emergency medical services council shall include, if available, representatives of the participating local governments, fire protection agencies, law-enforcement agencies, emergency medical services agencies, hospitals, licensed practicing physicians, emergency care nurses, mental health professionals, emergency medical services personnel, and other appropriate allied health professionals.

Each regional emergency medical services council shall adopt and revise as necessary a regional emergency medical services plan in cooperation with the Board.

The designated regional emergency services councils shall be required to match state funds with local funds obtained from private or public sources in the proportion specified in the regulations of the Board. Moneys received directly or indirectly from the Commonwealth shall not be used as matching funds. A local governing body may choose to appropriate funds for the purpose of providing matching grant funds for any designated regional emergency medical services council. However, this section shall not be construed to place any obligation on any local governing body to appropriate funds to any such council.

The Board shall promulgate, in cooperation with the Advisory Board, regulations to implement this section, which shall include, but not be limited to, requirements to ensure accountability for public funds, criteria for matching funds, and performance standards.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:3. Provision of emergency medical services.

A. Any county, city, or town may provide emergency medical services to its citizens by (i) establishing an emergency medical services agency as a department of government pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:6 or (ii) contracting with or providing for the provision of emergency medical services by an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:7.

B. In cases in which a county, city, or town elects to contract with or provide for emergency medical services by an emergency medical services agency pursuant to clause (ii) of subsection A, the emergency medical services agency shall be deemed to be an instrumentality of the county, city, or town and, as such, exempt from suit for damages done incident to the provision of emergency medical services therein unless the emergency medical services agency is a private, for-profit emergency medical services agency.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:4. Emergency medical services personnel and equipment may in emergencies go or be sent beyond territorial limits.

Whenever the necessity arises during any actual or potential emergency resulting from fire, personal injury, or other public disaster, the emergency medical services personnel of any county, city, or town may, together with all necessary equipment, lawfully go or be sent beyond the territorial limits of such county, city, or town to any point within or without the Commonwealth to assist in meeting such emergency.

In such event, the acts performed by such fire or emergency medical services personnel and the expenditures made for such purpose by such county, city, or town shall be deemed conclusively to be for a public and governmental purpose, and all of the immunities from liability enjoyed by a county, city, or town when acting through its emergency medical services personnel for a public or governmental purpose within its territorial limits shall be enjoyed by it to the same extent when such county, city, or town is so acting, under this section or under other lawful authority, beyond its territorial limits.

Emergency medical services personnel of any county, city, or town, when acting hereunder or under other lawful authority beyond the territorial limits of such county, city, or town, shall have all the immunities from liability and exemptions from laws, ordinances, and regulations and shall have all of the pension, relief, disability, workers' compensation, and other benefits enjoyed by them while performing their respective duties.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:5. Contracts of counties, cities, and towns to furnish emergency medical services; public liability insurance to cover claims arising out of mutual aid agreements.

A. The governing body of any city or town may, in its discretion, authorize or require the emergency medical services agency thereof to render aid in cases of actual or potential medical emergencies occurring beyond its limits, may prescribe the conditions under which such aid may be rendered, and may enter into contracts with nearby, adjacent, or adjoining counties and cities, within or without the Commonwealth, including the District of Columbia, for rendering aid in the provision of emergency medical services in such counties, cities, or any district, or sanitary district thereof or in the District of Columbia, on such terms as may be agreed upon by such governing body and the governing body of the District of Columbia or of such counties and cities, or districts, including sanitary districts, provided that each of the parties to such agreement may contract as follows: (i) waive any and all claims against all the other parties thereto that may arise out of their activities outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement; (ii) indemnify and save harmless the other parties to such agreement from all claims by third parties for property damage or personal injury that may arise out of the activities of the other parties to such agreement outside their respective jurisdictions under such agreement. When the emergency medical services agency of any city or town is operating under such permission or contracts on any call beyond the corporate limits of the city or town, it shall be deemed to be operating in a governmental capacity, and subject only to such liability for injuries as it would be if it were operating within the corporate limits of such city or town.

B. Any county, city, or town may contract with the federal or state government to provide emergency medical services to federal or state property located within or without the boundaries of the county, city, or town. In the absence of a written contract, any acts performed and all expenditures made by a county, city, or town in providing emergency medical services to property owned by the federal government shall be deemed conclusively to be for a public and governmental purpose, and all of the immunities from liability enjoyed by a county, city, or town when acting through its emergency medical services personnel for a public or governmental purpose within or without its territorial limits shall be enjoyed by it to the same extent when such county, city, or town is so acting, under the provisions of this section or under other lawful authority.

Emergency medical services personnel of any county, city, or town when acting hereunder, or under other lawful authority, shall have all of the immunities from liability and exemptions from laws, ordinances, and regulations and shall have all of the pension, relief, disability, workers' compensation, and other benefits enjoyed by them while performing their respective duties. The amount of compensation to the county, city, or town pursuant to the contract shall be a matter within the sole discretion of the governing body of the county, city, or town.

C. The governing body of any county adjoining or near any county, city, or town, within or without the Commonwealth, including the District of Columbia, having and maintaining emergency medical services equipment may contract with any such county, city, or town, upon such terms as such governing body may deem proper, for responding to medical emergencies in such county, city, or town and may prescribe the terms and conditions upon which such services may be provided on privately owned property in the county, city, or town and may raise funds with which to pay for such services, by levying and collecting annually, at such rates as such governing body may deem sufficient, a special tax upon the property in such county, or in any magisterial district thereof, subject to local taxation.

D. The governing body of any county, city, or town in the Commonwealth is authorized to procure or extend the necessary public liability insurance to cover claims arising out of mutual aid agreements executed with other counties, cities, or towns outside the Commonwealth, including the District of Columbia.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:6. Establishment of an emergency medical services agency as a department of local government.

A. The governing body of any county, city, or town may establish an emergency medical services agency as a department of government and may designate it by any name consistent with the names of its other governmental units. The head of such emergency medical services agency shall be known as "the emergency medical services agency chief" or "EMS chief." As many other officers and employees may be employed in such emergency medical services agency as the governing body may approve.

B. An emergency medical services agency established pursuant to subsection A may consist of government-employed emergency medical services personnel, volunteer emergency medical services personnel, or both. If an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section includes volunteer emergency medical services personnel, such volunteer emergency medical services agency shall be deemed an instrumentality of the county, city, or town and, as such, exempt from suit for damages done incident to providing emergency medical services to the county, city, or town.

C. The governing body of any county, city, or town may empower an emergency medical services agency established therein pursuant to this section to make bylaws to promote its objects consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth and ordinances of the county, city, or town and may provide for the compensation of the officers and employees of such agency.

D. All check stubs or time cards purporting to be a record of time spent on the job by emergency medical services personnel employed by an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section shall record all hours of employment, regardless of how spent. All check stubs or pay records purporting to show the hourly compensation of emergency medical services personnel employed by an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section shall show the actual hourly wage to be paid. Nothing in this section shall require the showing of such information on check stubs, time cards, or pay records; however, if such information is shown, the information shall be in compliance with this section.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.4:7. Establishment of an emergency medical services agency as a nongovernmental entity; dissolution.

A. Any number of persons wishing to provide emergency medical services may establish an emergency medical services agency by (i) recording a writing stating the formation of such company, with the names of the members thereof thereto subscribed in the court of the county or city wherein such agency shall be located, (ii) complying with such local ordinances as may exist related to establishment of an emergency medical services agency, and (iii) obtaining a valid emergency medical services agency license from the Office of Emergency Medical Services together with such emergency medical services vehicle permits from the Office of Emergency Medical Services as the Office of Emergency Medical Services may require. The principal officer of such emergency medical services agency shall be known as "the emergency medical services agency chief" or "EMS chief."

B. The members of an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to subsection A may make regulations for effecting its objects consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth; the ordinances of the county, city, or town; and the bylaws of the emergency medical services agency thereof.

C. In every county, city, or town in which an emergency medical services agency is established pursuant to this section, there shall be appointed, at such time and in such manner as the governing body of such county, city, or town in which the emergency medical services agency is located may prescribe, an emergency medical services agency chief and as many other officers of the emergency medical services agency as such governing body may direct.

D. An emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section may be dissolved when the local governing body of the county, city, or town in which the emergency medical services agency is located determines that the emergency medical services agency has failed, for three months successively, to have or keep in good and serviceable condition emergency medical services vehicles and equipment and other proper implements, or when the governing body of the county, city, or town for any reason deems it advisable.

E. Upon dissolution of an emergency medical services agency established pursuant to this section, any property that was in the possession of such emergency medical services agency and that was purchased using public funds shall be offered to a city or county served by the emergency medical services agency to be used for the public good.

2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, c. 946.

§ 32.1-111.4:8. Ordinances as to emergency medical services agencies.

The governing body of any county, city, or town in which an emergency medical services agency is established pursuant to § 32.1-111.4:6 or 32.1-111.4:7 may make such ordinances in relation to the powers and duties of emergency medical services agencies and emergency medical services agency chiefs or other officers of such emergency medical services agencies as it may deem proper.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.5. Certification and recertification of emergency medical services providers; appeals process.

A. The Board shall prescribe by regulation the qualifications required for certification of emergency medical services providers, including those qualifications necessary for authorization to follow Do Not Resuscitate Orders pursuant to § 54.1-2987.1. Such regulations shall include criteria for determining whether an applicant's relevant practical experience and didactic and clinical components of education and training completed during his service as a member of any branch of the armed forces of the United States may be accepted by the Commissioner as evidence of satisfaction of the requirements for certification.

B. Each person desiring certification as an emergency medical services provider shall apply to the Commissioner upon a form prescribed by the Board. Upon receipt of such application, the Commissioner shall cause the applicant to be examined or otherwise determined to be qualified for certification. When determining whether an applicant is qualified for certification, the Commissioner shall consider and may accept relevant practical experience and didactic and clinical components of education and training completed by an applicant during his service as a member of any branch of the armed forces of the United States as evidence of satisfaction of the requirements for certification. If the Commissioner determines that the applicant meets the requirements for certification as an emergency medical services provider, he shall issue a certificate to the applicant. An emergency medical services provider certificate so issued shall be valid for a period required by law or prescribed by the Board. Any certificate so issued may be suspended at any time that the Commissioner determines that the holder no longer meets the qualifications prescribed for such emergency medical services provider. The Commissioner may temporarily suspend any certificate without notice, pending a hearing or informal fact-finding conference, if the Commissioner finds that there is a substantial danger to public health or safety. When the Commissioner has temporarily suspended a certificate pending a hearing, the Commissioner shall seek an expedited hearing in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

C. The Board shall prescribe by regulation procedures and the qualifications required for the recertification of emergency medical services providers.

D. The Commissioner may issue a temporary certificate when he finds that it is in the public interest. A temporary certificate shall be valid for a period not exceeding 90 days.

E. The Board shall require each person who, on or after July 1, 2013, applies to be a volunteer with or employee of an emergency medical services agency to submit fingerprints and provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with his fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for the purpose of obtaining his criminal history record information. The Central Criminal Records Exchange shall forward the results of the state and national records search to the Commissioner or his designee, who shall be a governmental entity. If an applicant is denied employment or service as a volunteer because of information appearing on his criminal history record and the applicant disputes the information upon which the denial was based, the Central Criminal Records Exchange shall, upon written request, furnish to the applicant the procedures for obtaining a copy of the criminal history record from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection E, an emergency medical services agency located in a locality having a local ordinance adopted in accordance with §§ 15.2-1503.1 and 19.2-389 shall require an applicant for employment or to serve as a volunteer to submit fingerprints and provide personal descriptive information to be provided directly to the Central Criminal Records Exchange to be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history records information for the applicant. The Central Criminal Records Exchange shall, upon receipt of an applicant's records or notification that no records exists, forward the results of the state and national records search to the county, city or town manager or chief law-enforcement officer for the locality in which the agency is located, or his designee, who shall be associated with a governmental entity. Upon receipt of the results of the state and national criminal history records search, the county, city or town manager or chief law-enforcement officer for the locality, or his designee, shall notify the Office of Emergency Medical Services regarding the applicant's eligibility for employment or to serve as a volunteer. Information provided to the Office of Emergency Medical Services shall be limited to notification as to whether the applicant is eligible for employment or to serve as a volunteer in accordance with requirements related to disqualifying offenses set forth in regulations of the Board and shall not include information regarding whether the applicant has been found ineligible for employment or to serve as a volunteer due to additional exclusionary criteria established by the locality. Whenever fingerprints are submitted to both authorities and it is deemed feasible and practical by the Central Criminal Records Exchange it shall forward the results of the fingerprint based state and national records search to the county, city or town manager or chief law enforcement officer for the locality in which the agency is located, or his designee, who shall be associated with a governmental entity, and to the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

1996, c. 899; 1997, c. 248; 1998, cc. 803, 854; 2008, c. 660; 2011, c. 497; 2013, cc. 72, 176, 331, 407; 2015, cc. 362, 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.5:1. Emergency medical services personnel mental health awareness training.

A. Each emergency medical services agency shall develop curricula for mental health awareness training for its personnel, which shall include training regarding the following:

1. Understanding signs and symptoms of cumulative stress, depression, anxiety, exposure to acute and chronic trauma, compulsive behaviors, and addiction;

2. Combating and overcoming stigmas;

3. Responding appropriately to aggressive behaviors such as domestic violence and harassment; and

4. Accessing available mental health treatment and resources.

B. Any emergency medical services agency may develop the mental health awareness training curricula in conjunction with other emergency medical services agencies or emergency medical services personnel stakeholder groups or may use any training program, developed by any entity, that satisfies the criteria set forth in subsection A.

C. Emergency medical services personnel who receive mental health awareness training in accordance with this section shall receive appropriate continuing education credits from the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

2018, cc. 456, 658.

§ 32.1-111.6. Emergency medical services agency license; emergency medical services vehicle permits.

A. No person shall operate, conduct, maintain, or profess to be an emergency medical services agency without a valid license issued by the Commissioner for such emergency medical services agency and a valid permit for each emergency medical services vehicle used by such emergency medical services agency.

B. The Commissioner shall issue an original or renewal license for an emergency medical services agency or renewal permit for an emergency medical services vehicle that meets all requirements set forth in this article and in the regulations of the Board, upon application, on forms and according to procedures established by the Board. Licenses and permits shall be valid for a period specified by the Board, not to exceed two years.

C. The Commissioner may issue (i) temporary licenses for emergency medical services agencies not meeting required standards, valid for a period not to exceed 60 days, and (ii) temporary permits for emergency medical services vehicles not meeting required standards, valid for a period of 90 days from the end of the month of issue, when the public interest will be served thereby.

D. The issuance of a license or permit in accordance with this section shall not be construed to authorize any emergency medical services agency to operate any emergency medical services vehicle without a franchise, license, or permit in any county or municipality that has enacted an ordinance pursuant to § 32.1-111.14 making it unlawful to do so.

E. The word "ambulance" shall not appear on any vehicle, vessel, or aircraft that does not hold a valid permit as an emergency medical services vehicle.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2018, c. 279.

§ 32.1-111.6:1. Commissioner to issue certain emergency medical services licenses or permits.

The Commissioner of Health shall issue licenses to emergency medical services agencies and permits for emergency medical services vehicles as needed to ensure compliance with federal regulations relating to reimbursement of emergency medical services vehicle transportation services pursuant to Medicare and Medicaid.

2004, c. 139; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.7. Inspections.

Each emergency medical services agency for which a license has been issued and emergency medical services vehicle for which a permit has been issued shall be inspected as often as the Commissioner deems necessary and a record thereof shall be maintained. However, no emergency medical services agency or vehicle shall receive additional inspections until every other emergency medical services agency or vehicle in the Commonwealth has been inspected, unless the additional inspections are (i) necessary to follow up on a preoperational inspection or one or more violations, (ii) required by a uniformly applied risk-based schedule established by the Department, (iii) necessary to investigate a complaint regarding the emergency medical services agency or vehicle, or (iv) otherwise deemed necessary by the Commissioner or his designee to protect the health and safety of the public. Each such emergency medical services agency or emergency medical services vehicle, its medical supplies and equipment, and the records of its maintenance and operation shall be available at all reasonable times for inspection.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2017, c. 465.

§ 32.1-111.8. Revocation and suspension of licenses and permits.

Whenever an emergency medical services agency or emergency medical services vehicle owned or operated by an emergency medical services agency is in violation of any provision of this article or any applicable regulation, the Commissioner shall have power to revoke or suspend such emergency medical services agency's license and the permits of all emergency medical services vehicles owned or operated by the emergency medical services agency. The Commissioner may temporarily suspend any license for an emergency medical services agency or permit for an emergency medical services vehicle without notice, pending a hearing or informal fact-finding conference, if the Commissioner finds that there is a substantial danger to public health or safety. When the Commissioner has temporarily suspended a license or permit pending a hearing, the Commissioner shall seek an expedited hearing in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1996, c. 899; 2008, c. 660; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.9. Applications for variances or exemptions.

A. Prior to the submission of (i) an application for a variance to the Commissioner or (ii) an application for an exemption from any regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter to the Board by an emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner, the application shall be reviewed by the governing body or chief administrative officer of the jurisdiction in which the principal office of the emergency medical services agency is located. The recommendation of the governing body or chief administrative officer of the jurisdiction regarding the variance or exemption shall be submitted with the application, and the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, shall consider that recommendation for the purposes of granting or denying the variance or exemption.

B. An individual who meets the definition of "emergency medical services personnel" in § 32.1-111.1 who is certified as an emergency medical services provider or is a candidate for certification by the Office of Emergency Medical Services shall not be required to submit an application for a variance or exemption to the local governing body or chief administrative officer of the jurisdiction for review, but shall submit the application for a variance or exemption to the Operational Medical Director and the emergency medical services agency chief with which he is affiliated, and shall include the recommendations of such Operational Medical Director and the emergency medical services agency chief together with the application for a variance or exemption. The recommendation of the Operational Medical Director and the emergency medical services agency chief with which the emergency medical services personnel is affiliated regarding the variance or exemption shall be submitted with the application and the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, shall consider that recommendation for the purposes of granting or denying the variance or exemption.

C. An emergency medical services provider who is not affiliated with an emergency medical services agency shall submit an application for a variance or exemption to the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, and the Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, shall consider the application for the purposes of granting or denying the variance or exemption. The Commissioner or Board, whichever is appropriate, may require an emergency medical services provider who is not affiliated with an emergency medical services agency to submit additional case-specific endorsements or supporting documentation as part of an application for a variance or exemption.

D. The applicant shall have the right to appeal any denial by the Commissioner or Board of an application for a variance or exemption pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

1996, c. 899; 2008, c. 61; 2011, c. 90; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.9:1. Out-of-state emergency medical services providers.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of this article or any other law or regulation to the contrary, an emergency medical services provider who holds a valid license or certification in a state that borders the Commonwealth may provide emergency medical services in the Commonwealth if (i) such services are provided at a widely attended event open to the public; (ii) due to the expected number of attendees, the anticipated need for emergency medical services at the event is beyond the capacity of local emergency medical services providers; (iii) the organizers of the event notify the Commissioner at least 10 business days prior to the event that out-of-state emergency medical services providers will be onsite at the event; and (iv) the out-of-state medical services providers provide to the Commissioner relevant licensure or certification information and any other information deemed necessary by the Commissioner.

B. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to supersede or affect the provisions of Chapter 18 (§ 32.1-371) or any other interstate agreement regarding emergency medical services providers. Any out-of-state emergency medical services provider who holds a license or certification in a state that has entered into an interstate compact of which the Commonwealth is a member or any other interstate agreement with the Commonwealth regarding emergency medical services providers shall be governed by the provisions of such compact or agreement.

2018, c. 196.

§ 32.1-111.10. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2015, cc. 502 and 503, cl. 2.

§ 32.1-111.12. Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund; disbursements.

A. For the purpose of providing financial assistance to emergency medical services organizations in the Commonwealth, of providing the requisite training for emergency medical services personnel, and of purchasing equipment needed by such organizations, there is hereby created in the Department of the Treasury a special nonreverting fund that shall be known as the Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller, and any moneys remaining in such Fund at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Interest earned on such moneys shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it. The Fund shall consist of any moneys appropriated for this purpose by the General Assembly and any other moneys received for such purpose by the Board. On and after July 1, 1996, any such moneys unexpended at the end of a fiscal biennium shall remain in the Fund and shall not revert to the general fund.

B. In accordance with regulations of the Board, the Commissioner shall disburse and expend the moneys in the Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund. No moneys shall be disbursed directly to any emergency medical services organization unless such organization operates on a nonprofit basis exclusively for the benefit of the general public.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.12:01. Financial Assistance and Review Committee; appointment; terms; duties.

A. For the purposes of administering the Virginia Rescue Squads Assistance Fund as provided in § 32.1-111.12, there is hereby established the Financial Assistance and Review Committee. The Committee shall be composed of six members who shall be representatives of the regions encompassed by the emergency medical services councils and appointed by the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board. To ensure that each regional emergency medical services council is provided an opportunity to serve on the Committee, the Board of Health shall promulgate by regulation, after receiving the Advisory Board's recommendation, a cycle which provides for rotating geographic representation among the councils.

B. Members serving on the Financial Assistance and Review Committee on January 1, 1996, shall complete their current terms of office. Thereafter, appointments shall be made for terms of three years or the unexpired portions thereof in a manner to preserve, insofar as possible, the representation of the emergency medical services councils. No member may serve more than two successive terms. The chairman shall be elected from the membership of the Committee for a term of one year and shall be eligible for reelection. The Committee shall meet at least four times annually at the call of the chairman or the Commissioner.

C. The Financial Assistance and Review Committee shall:

1. Administer the Rescue Squads Assistance Fund in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Board of Health as shall be established for the Fund;

2. Review the Rescue Squads Assistance Fund grant applications from eligible emergency medical services agencies and make recommendations on the funding of such grant applications to the Commissioner of Health; and

3. Report biannually, after each funding cycle, the number of grant applications received, the total costs of grant applications funded, the number of grant applications denied funding, the total costs of grant applications denied funding, and the nature of the denied requests and the reasons for denying funding, to the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board and the Commissioner.

1996, c. 998.

§ 32.1-111.13. Annual financial reports.

The Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads shall submit an annual financial report on the use of funds received from the special emergency medical services fund to the Advisory Board Executive Committee on such forms and providing such information as may be required by the Advisory Board Executive Committee for such purpose.

1996, c. 899; 2013, c. 517; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14. Powers of governing bodies of counties, cities, and towns.

A. Upon finding as fact, after notice and public hearing, that exercise of the powers enumerated below is necessary to assure the provision of adequate and continuing emergency medical services and to preserve, protect and promote the public health, safety and general welfare, the governing body of any county or city is empowered to:

1. Enact an ordinance making it unlawful to operate any emergency medical services vehicle or class thereof established by the Board in such county or city without having been granted a franchise, license or permit to do so;

2. Grant franchises, licenses or permits to emergency medical services agencies based within or outside the county or city; however, any emergency medical services agency in operation in any county or city on June 28, 1968, that continues to operate as such, up to and including the effective date of any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section, and that submits to the governing body of the county or city satisfactory evidence of such continuing operation, shall be granted a franchise, license or permit by such governing body to serve at least that part of the county or city in which the agency has continuously operated if all other requirements of this article are met;

3. Limit the number of emergency medical services vehicles to be operated within the county or city and by any emergency medical services agency;

4. Determine and prescribe areas of franchised, licensed or permitted service within the county or city;

5. Fix and change from time to time reasonable charges for franchised, licensed or permitted services;

6. Set minimum limits of liability insurance coverage for emergency medical services vehicles;

7. Contract with franchised, licensed or permitted emergency medical services agencies for emergency medical services vehicle transportation services to be rendered upon call of a county or municipal agency or department and for transportation of bona fide indigents or persons certified by the local board of social services to be public assistance or social services recipients; and

8. Establish other necessary regulations consistent with statutes or regulations of the Board relating to operation of emergency medical services vehicles.

B. In addition to the powers set forth above, the governing body of any county or city is authorized to provide, or cause to be provided, services of emergency medical services vehicles; to own, operate and maintain emergency medical services vehicles; to make reasonable charges for use of emergency medical services vehicles, including charging insurers for emergency medical services vehicle transportation services as authorized by § 38.2-3407.9; and to contract with any emergency medical services agency for the services of its emergency medical services vehicles.

C. Any incorporated town may exercise, within its corporate limits only, all those powers enumerated in subsections A and B either upon the request of a town to the governing body of the county wherein the town lies and upon the adoption by the county governing body of a resolution permitting such exercise, or after 180 days' written notice to the governing body of the county if the county is not exercising such powers at the end of such 180-day period.

D. No county ordinance enacted, or other county action taken, pursuant to powers granted herein shall be effective within an incorporated town in such county which is at the time exercising such powers until 180 days after written notice to the governing body of the town.

E. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any county to regulate in any manner emergency medical services vehicles owned and operated by a town or to authorize any town to regulate in any manner emergency medical services vehicles owned and operated by a county.

F. Emergency medical services vehicles operated by a county, city, or town under authority of this section shall be subject to the provisions of this article and to the regulations of the Board.

1996, c. 899; 2002, c. 747; 2005, c. 182; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, c. 978, cl. 2, effective April 2, 2003.

§ 32.1-111.14:2. Establishment of emergency medical services zones or districts; tax levies.

The governing bodies of the several counties or cities of the Commonwealth may create and establish, by designation on a map of the county or city showing current, official parcel boundaries, or by any other description that is legally sufficient for the conveyance of property or the creation of parcels, emergency medical services zones or districts in such counties or cities within which may be located and established one or more emergency medical services agencies for providing emergency medical services within such zones or districts.

In the event of the creation of such zones or districts in any county or city, the county or city governing body may acquire, in the name of the county or city, real or personal property to be devoted to the uses aforesaid and shall prescribe rules and regulations for the proper management, control, and conduct thereof. Such governing body shall also have authority to contract with, or secure the services of, any individual corporation, organization, or municipal corporation or any volunteer emergency medical services agency or emergency medical services provider for such emergency medical services as may be required.

To raise funds for the purposes aforesaid, the governing body of any county or city in which such zones or districts are established may levy annually a tax on the assessed value of all property, real and personal, within such zones or districts, subject to local taxation, which tax shall be extended and collected as other county or city taxes are extended and collected. However, any property located in Augusta County that has qualified for an agricultural or forestal use-value assessment pursuant to Article 4 (§ 58.1-3229 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1 may not be included within such a zone or district and may not be subject to such tax. In any county or city having a population between 25,000 and 25,500, the maximum rate of tax under this section shall be $0.30 on $100 of assessed value.

The amount realized from such levy shall be kept separate from all other moneys of the county or city and shall be applied to no other purpose than the maintenance and operation of the emergency medical services agencies established pursuant to this section.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:3. Exclusion of certain areas from emergency medical services zones or districts and exemption of such areas from certain levies.

The governing body of any county or city having an emergency medical services zone or district created under the provisions of § 32.1-111.14:2, prior to June 1 of any calendar year, may alter the boundaries of such emergency medical services zone or district for the purpose of excluding an area of any such emergency medical services zone or district that is also within the boundaries of a sanitary district providing emergency medical services or under contract to a sanitary district providing emergency medical services.

Any area excluded from an emergency medical services zone or district as provided by this section shall not be subject to the levy set forth in § 32.1-111.14:2 for the year such area is excluded.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:4. Advances by county or city to emergency medical services zone or district; reimbursement; validation of prior advances.

A. The governing body of any county or city in the Commonwealth may advance funds, not otherwise specifically allocated or obligated, from the general fund to an emergency medical services zone or district to assist the emergency medical services zone or district to exercise the powers set forth in § 32.1-111.14:2.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the governing body shall direct the treasurer to reimburse the general fund of the county or city from the proceeds of any funds to the credit of the emergency medical services zone or district, not otherwise specifically allocated or obligated, to the extent that the county or city has made advances to the emergency medical services zone or district from such general fund to assist the emergency medical services zone or district to exercise the powers set forth in § 32.1-111.14:2.

C. The advancement of any funds heretofore advanced from the general fund by the governing body of any county or city in the Commonwealth for the benefit of an emergency medical services zone or district in exercising the lawful powers of such emergency medical services zone or district is hereby validated and confirmed.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:5. Authority of emergency medical services agency incident commander when operating at an emergency incident; penalty for refusal to obey orders.

Except as provided in § 32.1-111.14:6, while any emergency medical services personnel are in the process of operating at an emergency incident where there is imminent danger and when emergency medical services personnel are returning to the emergency medical services agency, the incident commander of such emergency medical services agency at that time shall have the authority to (i) maintain order at such emergency incident or its vicinity, (ii) direct the actions of emergency medical services personnel at the incident, (iii) notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-888 through 46.2-891, keep bystanders or other persons at a safe distance from the incident and emergency equipment, (iv) facilitate the speedy movement and operation of emergency equipment and emergency medical services personnel, and (v) until the arrival of a police officer, direct and control traffic in person or by deputy and facilitate the movement of traffic. The emergency medical services agency incident commander shall display his emergency medical services personnel's badge or other proper means of identification. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this authority shall extend to the activation of traffic control signals designed to facilitate the safe egress and ingress of emergency equipment at an emergency medical services agency. Any person refusing to obey the orders of the emergency medical services incident commander at that time is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The authority granted under the provisions of this section may not be exercised to inhibit or obstruct members of law-enforcement agencies or fire departments or fire companies from performing their normal duties when operating at such emergency incident, nor to conflict with or diminish the lawful authority, duties, and responsibilities of forest wardens, including but not limited to the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 10.1. Personnel from the news media, such as the press, radio, and television, when gathering the news may enter at their own risk into the incident area only when the incident commander has deemed the area safe and only into those areas of the incident that do not, in the opinion of the incident commander, interfere with the emergency medical services personnel dealing with such emergencies, in which case the emergency medical services incident commander may order such person from the scene of the emergency incident.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:6. Supervision and control of joint services of emergency medical services agencies.

Whenever two or more emergency medical services agencies are called to provide joint services in any district or political subdivision, the incident commander of the first agency to arrive shall have general supervision and control of all such participating agencies until an officer of such district or political subdivision who is otherwise authorized by law to do so shall assume such general supervision and control.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:7. Penalty for disobeying emergency medical services agency chief or other officer in command.

If any person at a fire or medical emergency refuses or neglects to obey any order duly given by the individual having command of the incident in accordance with § 32.1-111.14:5 or 32.1-111.14:6, he shall, upon conviction of such offense, be fined not to exceed $100.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:8. Purchase, maintenance, etc., of equipment; donated equipment.

A. The governing body of every county, city, or town shall have power to provide for the purchase, operation, staffing, and maintenance of suitable equipment for providing emergency medical services in or upon the property of the county, city, or town and of its inhabitants and to prescribe the terms and conditions upon which the same will be used for providing emergency medical services in or upon privately owned property.

B. Any emergency medical services agency donating equipment for providing emergency medical services to any other emergency medical services agency, which equipment met existing engineering and safety standards at the time of its purchase by the donating entity, shall be immune from civil liability unless the donating entity acted with gross negligence or willful misconduct.

C. A safety inspection must be completed by a certified emergency medical services vehicle service center and a report designating any deficiencies shall be provided prior to the change in ownership of the donated emergency medical services vehicle.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.14:9. Entry of buildings and premises adjoining during a medical emergency.

A. The incident commander at a medical emergency, and his subordinates, upon his order or direction, shall have the right at any time of the day or night to enter any building or upon any premises where a medical emergency is in progress, or any building or premises adjacent thereto for the purpose of providing emergency medical services.

B. The incident commander at a medical emergency, and his subordinates upon his order or direction, shall have the right to remain at the scene of a medical emergency, including remaining in any building or house, for purposes of protecting the property and preventing the public from entry into the premises, until such reasonable time as the owner may resume responsibility for the protection of the property.

2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.15. Statewide poison control system established.

From such funds as may be appropriated for this purpose and from such gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds as may be received, the Board shall establish a statewide poison control system. The funding mechanism for the system and its services shall be as provided in the appropriation act.

The Board shall establish poison control centers that meet national certification standards promulgated by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. If such national certification standards are eliminated, the Board shall establish minimum standards for the designation and operation of these poison control centers. The poison control centers established by the Board shall report to the Board by October 1 of each year regarding program operations; expenditures; revenues, including in-kind contributions; financial status; future needs; and summaries of human poison exposure cases for the most recent calendar year.

The statewide system shall provide, at a minimum, (i) consultation, by free, 24-hour emergency telephone or other means of communication, to the public and to health care providers regarding the ingestion or application of substances, including determinations of emergency treatment, coordination of referrals to emergency treatment facilities, and provision of appropriate information to the staffs of such facilities; (ii) prevention education and information about poison control services; (iii) training for health care providers in toxicology and medical management of poison exposure cases; and (iv) poison control surveillance through the collection and analysis of data from reported poison exposures to identify poisoning hazards, prevent poisonings, and improve treatment of poisoned patients.

1996, c. 899; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-111.15:1. Department responsible for stroke care quality improvement; sharing of data and information.

A. The Department shall be responsible for stroke care quality improvement initiatives in the Commonwealth. Such initiatives shall include:

1. Implementing systems to collect data and information about stroke care in the Commonwealth in accordance with subsection B;

2. Facilitating information and data sharing and collaboration among hospitals and health care providers to improve the quality of stroke care in the Commonwealth;

3. Requiring the application of evidence-based treatment guidelines for transitioning patients to community-based follow-up care following acute treatment for stroke; and

4. Establishing a process for continuous quality improvement for the delivery of stroke care by the statewide system for stroke response and treatment in accordance with subsection C.

B. The Department shall implement systems to collect data and information related to stroke care (i) that are nationally recognized data set platforms with confidentiality standards approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or consistent with the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke registry platform from hospitals designated as comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers, or acute stroke-ready hospitals and emergency medical services agencies in the Commonwealth and (ii) from every primary stroke center with supplementary levels of stroke care distinction in the Commonwealth. Every hospital designated as a comprehensive stroke center, primary stroke center, or primary stroke center with supplementary levels of stroke care distinction shall report data and information described in clauses (i) and (ii) to the Department. The Department shall take steps to encourage hospitals designated as acute stroke-ready hospitals and emergency medical services agencies to report data and information described in clause (i) to the Department.

C. The Department shall develop a process for continuous quality improvement for the delivery of stroke care provided by the statewide system for stroke response and treatment, which shall include:

1. Collection and analysis of data related to stroke care in the Commonwealth;

2. Identification of potential interventions to improve stroke care in specific geographic areas of the Commonwealth; and

3. Development of recommendations for improvement of stroke care throughout the Commonwealth.

D. The Department shall make information contained in the systems established pursuant to subsection B and data and information collected pursuant to subsection C available to licensed hospitals and the Virginia Stroke Systems Task Force, and, upon request, to emergency medical services agencies, regional emergency medical services councils, the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, and other entities engaged in the delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth to facilitate the evaluation and improvement of stroke care in the Commonwealth.

E. The Department shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly annually on July 1 on stroke care improvement initiatives undertaken in accordance with this section. Such report shall include a summary report of the data collected pursuant to this section.

F. Nothing in this article shall require or authorize the disclosure of confidential information in violation of state or federal law or regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.

2018, cc. 198, 276.

Article 2.2. Evaluation of Director of Office of Emergency Medical Services.

§ 32.1-111.16. Director of Office of Emergency Medical Services annual performance evaluation.

Effective on and after July 1, 1996, the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, shall annually review and evaluate the performance of the Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services. The Commissioner shall consider the Director's effectiveness in operating and managing the programs, services, and personnel, of the Office of Emergency Medical Services and the statewide emergency medical care system established in Article 2.1 (§ 32.1-111.1 et seq.) of this chapter; any recommendations of the Advisory Board; and such other relevant information as may be made available to the Commissioner pertaining to the Director's performance of his duties.

1996, c. 192.

Article 3. Statewide Emergency Medical Care System.

§ 32.1-112. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, c. 899.

Article 3.1. Emergency Medical Services Patient Care Information System.

§ 32.1-116.1. Prehospital patient care reporting procedure; trauma registry; confidentiality.

A. In order to collect data on the incidence, severity, and cause of trauma; integrate the information available from other state agencies on trauma; improve the delivery of prehospital and hospital emergency medical services, the quality of patient care, and access to medical services; and make other system improvements, there is hereby established the Emergency Medical Services Patient Care Information System. The Emergency Medical Services Patient Care Information System shall include the Virginia Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Registry and the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry.

B. All licensed emergency medical services agencies shall participate in the Virginia EMS Registry by making available to the Commissioner or his designees the minimum data set in the format prescribed by the Board or any other format which contain equivalent information and meets any technical specifications of the Board. The minimum data set shall include, but not be limited to, the type of medical emergency or nature of the call, the response time, the treatment provided and other items as prescribed by the Board.

Each licensed emergency medical services agency shall, upon request, disclose the prehospital care report to law-enforcement officials (i) when the patient is the victim of a crime or (ii) when the patient is in the custody of the law-enforcement officials and has received emergency medical services or has refused emergency medical services.

The Commissioner may delegate the responsibility for collection of this data to the Office of Emergency Medical Services personnel or individuals under contract to the Office. The Advisory Board shall assist in the design, implementation, subsequent revisions and analyses of the data from the Virginia EMS Registry.

C. All licensed hospitals which render emergency medical services shall participate in the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry by making available to the Commissioner or his designees abstracts of the records of all patients admitted to the institutions with diagnoses related to trauma. The abstracts shall be submitted in the format prescribed by the Department and shall include the minimum data set prescribed by the Board. Such abstracts shall also be provided to regional emergency medical services councils upon request, for uses limited to monitoring and improving the quality of emergency medical services pursuant to § 32.1-111.3.

The Commissioner shall seek the advice and assistance of the Advisory Board and the Trauma System Oversight and Management Committee in the design, implementation, subsequent revisions and analyses of the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry.

D. Patient and other data or information submitted to the trauma registry or transmitted to the Commissioner, the Advisory Board, any committee acting on behalf of the Advisory Board, any hospital or prehospital care provider, any regional emergency medical services council, permitted emergency medical services agency, or other group or committee for the purpose of monitoring and improving the quality of care pursuant to § 32.1-111.3, shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed or obtained by legal discovery proceedings, unless disclosure is made in accordance with § 32.1-116.2 or a circuit court, after a hearing and for good cause shown arising from extraordinary circumstances, orders disclosure of such data.

E. The Commissioner shall make available and share all information contained in the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services so that the Department may develop and implement programs and services for persons suffering from brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.

1987, c. 480; 2002, cc. 568, 658; 2003, c. 471; 2006, c. 412; 2007, c. 13; 2008, c. 563; 2012, cc. 402, 803, 835; 2018, c. 195; 2020, c. 883.

§ 32.1-116.1:1. Disclosure of medical records.

Any licensed physician, licensed health care provider, or licensed health care facility may disclose to emergency medical services personnel, an emergency medical services physician, or their licensed parent agency the medical records of a sick or injured person to whom such emergency medical services personnel or emergency medical services physician is providing or has rendered emergency medical care for the purpose of promoting the medical education of the specific person who provided such care or for quality improvement initiatives of their agency or of the emergency medical services system as a whole. Any emergency medical services personnel or emergency medical services physician to whom such confidential records are disclosed shall not further disclose such information to any persons not entitled to receive that information in accordance with the provisions of this section.

1988, c. 486; 2007, c. 13; 2008, c. 118; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-116.1:2. Expired.

Expired.

§ 32.1-116.2. Confidential nature of information supplied; publication; liability protections.

A. The Commissioner and all other persons to whom data is submitted shall keep patient information confidential. Mechanisms for protecting patient data shall be developed and continually evaluated to ascertain their effectiveness. No publication of information, research or medical data shall be made which identifies the patients by names or addresses, except as specified in subsection B. The Commissioner or his designees may utilize institutional data in order to improve the quality of and appropriate access to emergency medical services and to improve the health of citizens of the Commonwealth.

B. In accordance with the State Board of Health's regulations and applicable federal law and regulations, the Commissioner may disclose information, research, or medical data that identifies patients by name or address if the Commissioner determines that such disclosure is necessary to develop and implement programs that improve the quality of patient care, improve access to medical services, or make other system improvements. The Commissioner shall only disclose such information with entities, including but not limited to other Virginia state agencies and programs, federal agencies and programs, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, or recognized research institutions and organizations, that seek to improve quality of care, improve access to medical services, or make other system improvements.

C. No individual, licensed emergency medical services agency, hospital, Regional Emergency Medical Services Council or organization advising the Commissioner shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission preformed as required by this article unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

1987, c. 480; 2020, c. 883.

§ 32.1-116.3. Reporting of communicable diseases; definitions.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Communicable disease of public health threat" means an illness of public health significance, as determined by the State Health Commissioner in accordance with regulations of the Board of Health, caused by a specific or suspected infectious agent that may be reasonably expected or is known to be readily transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual or person to another or to uninfected persons through airborne or nonairborne means and has been found to create a risk of death or significant injury or impairment; this definition shall not, however, be construed to include human immunodeficiency viruses or tuberculosis, unless used as a bioterrorism weapon. "Individual" shall include any companion animal.

"Communicable diseases" means any airborne infection or disease, including, but not limited to, tuberculosis, measles, certain meningococcal infections, mumps, chicken pox and Hemophilus Influenzae Type b, and those transmitted by contact with blood or other human body fluids, including, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus, Hepatitis B and Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis.

B. Every licensed health care facility that transfers or receives patients via emergency medical services vehicles shall notify the emergency medical services agencies providing such patient transport of the name and telephone number of the individual who is the infection control practitioner with the responsibility of investigating exposure to infectious diseases in the facility.

Every emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner and that is established in the Commonwealth shall notify all facilities to which it transports patients or from which it transfers patients of the names and telephone numbers of the members, not to exceed three persons, who have been appointed to serve as the exposure control officers. Every emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner shall implement universal precautions and shall ensure that these precautions are appropriately followed and enforced.

C. Upon requesting any emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner to transfer a patient who is known to be positive for or who suffers from any communicable disease, the transferring facility shall inform the attendant-in-charge of the transferring crew of the general condition of the patient and the types of precautions to be taken to prevent the spread of the disease. The identity of the patient shall be confidential.

D. If any firefighter, law-enforcement officer, or emergency medical services provider has an exposure of blood or body fluid to mucous membrane or non-intact skin or a contaminated needlestick injury, his exposure control officer shall be notified, a report completed, and the infection control practitioner at the receiving facility notified.

E. If, during the course of medical care and treatment, any physician determines that a patient who was transported to a receiving facility by any emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner (i) is positive for or has been diagnosed as suffering from an airborne infectious disease or (ii) is subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, then the infection control practitioner in the facility shall immediately notify the exposure control officer who represents the transporting emergency medical services agency of the name of the patient and the date and time of the patient's admittance to the facility. The exposure control officer for the transporting emergency medical services agency shall investigate the incident to determine if any exposure of emergency medical services personnel or other emergency personnel occurred. The identity of the patient and all personnel involved in any such investigation shall be confidential.

F. If any firefighter, law-enforcement officer, or emergency medical services provider is exposed to a communicable disease, the exposure control officer shall immediately notify the infection control practitioner of the receiving facility. The infection control practitioner of the facility shall conduct an investigation and provide information concerning the extent and severity of the exposure and the recommended course of action to the exposure control officer of the transporting agency.

G. Any person requesting or requiring any employee of a public safety agency as defined in subsection M of § 32.1-45.2 to arrest, transfer, or otherwise exercise custodial supervision over an individual known to the requesting person (i) to be infected with any communicable disease or (ii) to be subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2 shall inform such public safety agency employee of a potential risk of exposure to a communicable disease.

H. Local or state correctional facilities which transfer patients known to have a communicable disease or to be subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2 shall notify the emergency medical services agency providing transportation services of a potential risk of exposure to a communicable disease, including a communicable disease of public health threat. For the purposes of this section, the chief medical person at a local or state correctional facility or the facility director or his designee shall be responsible for providing such information to the transporting agency.

I. Any person who, as a result of this provision, becomes aware of the identity or condition of a person known to be (i) positive for or to suffer from any communicable disease, or to have suffered exposure to a communicable disease or (ii) subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, shall keep such information confidential, except as expressly authorized by this provision.

J. No person known to be (i) positive for or to suffer from any communicable disease, including any communicable disease of public health threat, or (ii) subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, shall be refused transportation or service for that reason by an emergency medical services, law-enforcement, or public safety agency.

1988, cc. 760, 789; 1989, c. 443; 1993, c. 655; 2004, cc. 773, 1021; 2008, c. 118; 2009, cc. 478, 552; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, c. 502.

Article 4. Health Planning and Resources Development.

§ 32.1-117. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1989, cc. 617, 633.

Article 4.1. Health Planning and Resources Development.

§ 32.1-122.01. Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Board" means the State Board of Health.

"Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner.

"Consumer" means a person who is not a provider of health care services.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Health.

"Health planning region" means a contiguous geographical area of the Commonwealth with a population base of at least 500,000 persons, which is characterized by the availability of multiple levels of medical care services, reasonable travel time for tertiary care, and congruence with planning districts.

"Provider" means a licensed or certified health care practitioner, a licensed health care facility or service administrator, or an individual who has a personal interest in a health care facility or service as defined in the Virginia Conflict of Interests Act (§ 2.2-3100 et seq.).

"Regional health planning agency" means the regional agency, including the regional health planning board, its staff and any component thereof, designated by the Board to perform the health planning activities set forth in this chapter within a health planning region.

"Regional health planning board" means the governing board of the regional health planning agency as described in § 32.1-122.05.

"Secretary" means the Secretary of Health and Human Resources of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"State Health Plan" means the document so designated by the Board, which may include analysis of priority health issues, policies, needs, methodologies for assessing statewide health care needs, and such other matters as the Board shall deem appropriate.

"Tertiary care" means health care delivered by facilities that provide specialty acute care including, but not limited to, trauma care, neonatal intensive care and cardiac services.

1989, cc. 617, 633; 2002, c. 83.

§ 32.1-122.02. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2002, c. 83.

§ 32.1-122.03. State Health Plan.

A. The Board may develop, and revise as it deems necessary, the State Health Plan with the support of the Department and the assistance of the regional health planning agencies. Following review and comment by interested parties, including appropriate state agencies, the Board may develop and approve the State Health Plan. The State Health Plan shall be developed in accordance with components and methodologies that take into account special needs or circumstances of local areas. The Plan shall reflect data and analyses provided by the regional health planning agencies and include regional differences where appropriate. The Board, in preparation of the State Health Plan and to avoid unnecessary duplication, may consider and utilize all relevant and formally adopted plans of agencies, councils, and boards of the Commonwealth.

B. In order to develop and approve the State Health Plan, the Board may conduct such studies as may be necessary of critical health issues as identified by the Governor, General Assembly, Secretary or by the Board. Such studies may include, but not be limited to: (i) collection of data and statistics; (ii) analyses of information with subsequent recommendations for policy development, decision making and implementation; and (iii) analyses and evaluation of alternative health planning proposals and initiatives.

1989, cc. 617, 633; 2002, c. 83.

§ 32.1-122.03:1. Statewide Telehealth Plan.

A. As used in this section:

"Remote patient monitoring services" has the same meaning as in § 38.2-3418.16.

"Telehealth services" means the use of telecommunications and information technology to provide access to health assessments, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, supervision, and information across distance. "Telehealth services" includes the use of such technologies as telephones, facsimile machines, electronic mail systems, store-and-forward technologies, and remote patient monitoring devices that are used to collect and transmit patient data for monitoring and interpretation. Nothing in this definition shall be construed or interpreted to amend the appropriate establishment of a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship, as defined in § 54.1-3303.

"Telemedicine services" has the same meaning as in § 38.2-3418.16.

B. The Board shall develop, by January 1, 2021, and maintain as a component of the State Health Plan a Statewide Telehealth Plan to promote an integrated approach to the introduction and use of telehealth services and telemedicine services.

C. The Statewide Telehealth Plan shall include provisions for:

1. The promotion of the inclusion of telehealth services and telemedicine services in the operating procedures of hospitals, primary care facilities, public primary and secondary schools, state-funded post-secondary schools, emergency medical services agencies, and such other state agencies and practices deemed necessary by the Board;

2. The promotion of the use of remote patient monitoring services and store-and-forward technologies, including in cases involving patients with chronic illness;

3. A uniform and integrated set of proposed criteria for the use of telehealth technologies for prehospital and interhospital triage and transportation of patients initiating or in need of emergency medical services developed by the Board in consultation with the Department of Health Professions, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, the American Stroke Association, the American Telemedicine Association, and prehospital care providers. The Board may revise such criteria from time to time to incorporate accepted changes in medical practice and appropriate use of new and effective innovations in telehealth or telemedicine technologies, or to respond to needs indicated by analysis of data on patient outcomes. Such criteria shall be used as a guide and resource for health care providers and are not intended to establish, in and of themselves, standards of care or to abrogate the requirements of § 8.01-581.20. A decision by a health care provider to deviate from the criteria shall not constitute negligence per se;

4. A strategy for integration of the Statewide Telehealth Plan with the State Health Plan, the Statewide Emergency Medical Services Plan, the Statewide Trauma Triage Plan, and the Stroke Triage Plan to support the purposes of each plan;

5. A strategy for the maintenance of the Statewide Telehealth Plan through (i) the development of an innovative payment model for emergency medical services that covers the transportation of a patient to a destination providing services of appropriate patient acuity and facilitates in-place treatment of a patient at the scene of an emergency response or via telehealth services and telemedicine services, where appropriate; (ii) the development of collaborative and uniform operating procedures for establishing and recording informed patient consent for the use of telehealth services and telemedicine services that are easily accessible by those medical professionals engaging in telehealth services and telemedicine services; and (iii) appropriate liability protection for providers involved in such telehealth and telemedicine consultation and treatment; and

6. A strategy for the collection of data regarding the use of telehealth services and telemedicine services in the delivery of inpatient and outpatient services, treatment of chronic illnesses, remote patient monitoring, and emergency medical services to determine the effect of use of telehealth services and telemedicine services on the medical service system in the Commonwealth, including (i) the potential for reducing unnecessary inpatient hospital stays, particularly among patients with chronic illnesses or conditions; (ii) the impact of the use of telehealth services and telemedicine services on patient morbidity, mortality, and quality of life; (iii) the potential for reducing unnecessary prehospital and interhospital transfers; and (iv) the impact on annual expenditures for health care services for all payers, including expenditures by third-party payers and out-of-pocket expenditures by patients.

2020, c. 729.

§ 32.1-122.04. Responsibilities of the Department.

The Department shall have the following responsibilities as directed by the Board:

1. To conduct the research for the health planning activities of the Commonwealth.

2. To prepare, review and revise the State Health Plan when so directed by the Board.

3. To develop, under the direction of the Board and with the cooperation of the regional health planning agencies, the components and methodology for the State Health Plan, including any research, issue analyses and related reports.

4. To provide technical assistance to the regional health planning agencies.

5. To perform such other functions relating to health planning in the Commonwealth as may be requested by the Governor or the Secretary.

1989, cc. 617, 633; 2002, c. 83.

§ 32.1-122.05. Regional health planning agencies; boards; duties and responsibilities.

A. For the purpose of representing the interests of health planning regions and performing health planning activities at the regional level, there are hereby created such regional health planning agencies as may be designated by the Board of Health.

B. Each regional health planning agency shall be governed by a regional health planning board to be composed of not more than thirty residents of the region. The membership of the regional health planning boards shall include, but not be limited to, consumers, providers, a director of a local health department, a director of a local department of social services or welfare, a director of a community services board, a director of an area agency on aging and representatives of health care insurers, local governments, the business community and the academic community. The majority of the members of each regional health planning board shall be consumers. Consumer members shall be appointed in a manner that ensures the equitable geographic and demographic representation of the region. Provider members shall be solicited from professional organizations, service and educational institutions and associations of service providers and health care insurers in a manner that assures equitable representation of provider interest.

The members of the regional health planning boards shall be appointed for no more than two consecutive terms of four years or, when appointed to fill an unexpired term of less than four years, for three consecutive terms consisting of one term of less than four years and two terms of four years. The boards shall not be self-perpetuating. The Board of Health shall establish procedures requiring staggered terms. The composition and the method of appointment of the regional health planning boards shall be established in the regulations of the Board of Health. In addition, the Board of Health shall require, pursuant to regulations, each regional health planning board to report and maintain a record of its membership, including, but not limited to, the names, addresses, dates of appointment, years served, number of consecutive and nonconsecutive terms, and the group represented by each member. These membership reports and records shall be public information and shall be published in accordance with the regulations of the Board.

C. An agreement shall be executed between the Commissioner, in consultation with the Board of Health, and each regional health planning board to delineate the work plan and products to be developed with state funds. Funding for the regional health planning agencies shall be contingent upon meeting these obligations and complying with the Board's regulations.

D. Each regional health planning agency shall assist the Board of Health by: (i) conducting data collection, research and analyses as required by the Board; (ii) preparing reports and studies in consultation and cooperation with the Board; (iii) reviewing and commenting on the components of the State Health Plan; (iv) conducting needs assessments as appropriate and serving as a technical resource to the Board; (v) identifying gaps in services, inappropriate use of services or resources and assessing accessibility of critical services; (vi) reviewing applications for certificates of public need and making recommendations to the Department thereon as provided in § 32.1-102.6; and (vii) conducting such other functions as directed by the regional health planning board. All regional health planning agencies shall demonstrate and document accountability for state funds through annual budget projections and quarterly expenditure and activity reports that shall be submitted to the Commissioner. A regional health planning agency may designate membership and activities at subarea levels as deemed appropriate by its regional health planning board. Each regional health planning board shall adopt bylaws for its operation and for the election of its chairman and shall maintain and publish a record of its membership and any subarea levels as required by this section and the regulations of the Board of Health.

1989, cc. 617, 633; 2002, cc. 83, 398.

§ 32.1-122.06. Funds for regional health planning.

In the interest of maintaining a regional health planning mechanism in the Commonwealth, there is hereby established funding for regional health planning. From such moneys as may be available and appropriated, this fund shall provide support of a maximum of fifteen cents per capita for each regional health planning agency as may be designated. Per capita population figures shall be obtained from official population estimates. This funding may be used for the administration of the regional health planning agency, the analysis of issues, and such other health planning purposes as may be requested.

Any local governing body may choose to appropriate funds for the purpose of providing additional funds for a regional health planning agency. However, nothing in this section shall place any obligation on any local governing body to appropriate funds to any regional health planning agency.

Each regional health planning agency shall be required to apply to the Department for funding, which shall be distributed as grants. This funding shall be administered by the Department, and the Board shall promulgate regulations as are necessary and relevant to administer the funding. All applications for such funding shall be accompanied by letters of assurance that the applicant shall comply with all state requirements.

For purposes of this section, regional health planning agencies in existence as of July 1, 2002, shall be retained as designated regional health planning agencies unless (i) the Board, pursuant to its regulations, revises such designations, or (ii) any individual regional health planning agency ceases operation or the designation as a regional health planning agency is otherwise terminated in accordance with the agreement between the regional health planning agency and the Board.

The extent to which grants are awarded from this fund shall be dependent upon the amount of money appropriated to implement the provisions of this section.

1989, cc. 617, 633; 1990, c. 391; 2002, c. 83; 2009, c. 175.

§ 32.1-122.07. Authority of Commissioner for certain health planning activities; rural health plan; designation as a rural hospital.

A. The Commissioner, with the approval of the Board, is authorized to make application for federal funding and to receive and expend such funds in accordance with state and federal regulations.

B. The Commissioner shall administer section 1122 of the United States Social Security Act if the Commonwealth has made an agreement with the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services pursuant to such section.

C. In compliance with the provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33, and any amendments to such provisions, the Commissioner shall submit to the appropriate regional administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) an application to establish a Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program in Virginia.

D. The Commissioner shall develop and the Board of Health shall approve a rural health care plan for the Commonwealth to be included with the application to establish a Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program. In cooperation and consultation with the Virginia Hospital and Health Care Association, the Medical Society of Virginia, representatives of rural hospitals, and experts within the Department of Health on rural health programs, the plan shall be developed and revised as necessary or as required by the provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33, and any amendments to such provisions. In the development of the plan, the Commissioner may also seek the assistance of the regional health planning agencies. The plan shall verify that the Commonwealth is in the process of designating facilities located in Virginia as critical access hospitals, shall note that the Commonwealth wishes to certify facilities as "necessary providers" of health care in rural areas, and shall describe the process, methodology, and eligibility criteria to be used for such designations or certifications. Virginia's rural health care plan shall reflect local needs and resources and shall, at minimum, include, but need not be limited to, a mechanism for creating one or more rural health networks, ways to encourage rural health service regionalization, and initiatives to improve access to health services, including hospital services, for rural Virginians.

E. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter or the Board's regulations to the contrary, the Commissioner shall, in the rural health care plan, (i) use as minimum standards for critical access hospitals, the certification regulations for critical access hospitals promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) pursuant to Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, as amended; and (ii) authorize critical access hospitals to utilize a maximum of ten beds among their inpatient hospital beds as swing beds for the furnishing of services of the type which, if furnished by a nursing home or certified nursing facility, would constitute skilled care services without complying with nursing home licensure requirements or retaining the services of a licensed nursing home administrator. Such hospital shall include, within its plan of care, assurances for the overall well-being of patients occupying such beds.

F. Nothing herein or set forth in Virginia's rural health care plan shall prohibit any hospital designated as a critical access hospital from leasing the unused portion of its facilities to other health care organizations or reorganizing its corporate structure to facilitate the continuation of the nursing home beds that were licensed to such hospital prior to the designation as a critical access hospital. The health care services delivered by such other health care organizations shall not be construed as part of the critical access hospital's services or license to operate.

G. Any medical care facility licensed as a hospital shall be considered a rural hospital on and after September 30, 2004, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1395ww (d)(8)(E)(ii)(II), if (i) the hospital is located in an area defined as rural by federal statute or regulation; (ii) the Board of Health defines, in regulation, the area in which the hospital is located as a rural health area or the hospital as a rural hospital; or (iii) the hospital was designated, prior to October 1, 2004, as a Medicare-dependent small rural health hospital, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1395ww (d)(5)(G)(iv).

1989, cc. 617, 633; 2000, c. 903; 2002, c. 83; 2006, c. 378.

§ 32.1-122.08. Continuation of regulations.

Regulations promulgated by the Virginia Health Planning Board prior to July 1, 2002, concerning health planning and resources development shall remain in force and effect until any such regulation is amended, modified, or repealed by the Board.

1989, cc. 617, 633; 2002, c. 83.

Article 5. Perinatal Services.

§ 32.1-122.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 407.

Article 6. Primary Health Care System.

§ 32.1-122.5. Criteria to identify underserved areas.

The Board of Health shall establish criteria to identify medically underserved areas within the Commonwealth. These criteria shall consist of quantifiable measures sensitive to the unique characteristics of urban and rural jurisdictions which may include the incidence of infant mortality, the availability of primary care resources, poverty levels, and other measures indicating the inadequacy of the primary health care system as determined by the Board. The Board shall also include in these criteria the need for medical care services in the state facilities operated by the Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

1990, cc. 874, 877; 2009, cc. 813, 840.

§ 32.1-122.5:1. Conditional grants for certain medical students.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish, in addition to the scholarships established pursuant to § 32.1-122.6, annual medical scholarships for students who (i) intend to enter one of the designated specialties of family practice medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology and (ii) commit to practicing in a medically underserved area of Southwest Virginia. Such scholarships shall be awarded to students in good standing at the Quillen School of Medicine of East Tennessee State University, with preference being given to bona fide residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502 and specifically for bona fide residents of Southwest Virginia. The Board of Health shall request the governing board of East Tennessee State University to submit to the Commissioner the names of those eligible applicants who are most qualified as determined by the regulations of the Board for these medical scholarships. The Commissioner shall award the scholarships to applicants whose names are submitted by the governing board.

B. The provisions of § 32.1-122.6 and all regulations of the Board promulgated pursuant to § 32.1-122.6 shall apply to the award of the scholarships established herein and to the applicants for and recipients of such scholarships. In addition to the regulations established pursuant to § 32.1-122.6, the Board shall define Southwest Virginia by designating Planning Districts one, two, and three as those jurisdictions in which eligible students shall be required to serve.

1992, c. 358; 1994, c. 281.

§ 32.1-122.6. Conditional grants for certain medical students.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish annual medical scholarships for students who intend to enter the designated specialties of family practice medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology and who are in good standing at a medical school in the United States that has received accreditation or provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the Bureau of Professional Education of the American Osteopathic Association. No recipient shall be awarded more than five scholarships. The amount and number of such scholarships shall be determined annually as provided in the appropriation act. The Commissioner shall act as fiscal agent for the Board in administration of the scholarship funds.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations to administer this scholarship program that shall include:

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for award of the scholarships to assure that recipients will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to assure that these scholarships increase access to primary health care for individuals who are indigent or who are recipients of public assistance;

4. Assurances that bona fide residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502, students of economically disadvantaged backgrounds and residents of medically underserved areas are given preference over nonresidents in determining scholarship eligibility and awards;

5. Assurances that scholarship recipients will begin medical practice in one of the designated specialties in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of their residencies;

6. Methods for reimbursement of the Commonwealth by recipients who fail to complete medical school or who fail to honor the obligation to engage in medical practice for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received;

7. Procedures for reimbursing any recipient who has repaid the Commonwealth for part or all of any scholarship and who later fulfills the terms of his contract; and

8. Reporting of data related to the recipients of the scholarships by the medical schools.

C. Prior to the award of any scholarship, the applicant shall sign a contract in which he agrees to engage continuously in one of the designated specialties of medical practice in an underserved area in Virginia for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received. The contract shall specify that no form of medical practice such as military service or public health service may be substituted for the obligation to practice in one of the designated specialties in an underserved area in the Commonwealth.

The contract shall provide that the applicant will not voluntarily obligate himself for more than the minimum period of military service required for physicians by the laws of the United States and that, upon completion of this minimum period of obligatory military service, the applicant will promptly begin to practice in an underserved area in one of the designated specialties for the requisite number of years. The contract shall include other provisions as considered necessary by the Attorney General and the Commissioner.

The contract may be terminated by the recipient while the recipient is enrolled in medical school upon providing notice and immediate repayment of the total amount of scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt.

D. In the event the recipient fails to maintain a satisfactory scholastic standing, the recipient may, upon certification of the Commissioner, be relieved of the obligations under the contract to engage in medical practice in an underserved area upon repayment to the Commonwealth of the total amount of scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt.

E. In the event the recipient dies or becomes permanently disabled so as not to be able to engage in the practice of medicine, the recipient or his estate may, upon certification of the Commissioner, be relieved of the obligation under the contract to engage in medical practice in an underserved area upon repayment to the Commonwealth of the total amount of scholarship funds plus interest on such amount computed at eight percent per annum from the date of receipt of scholarship funds. This obligation may be waived in whole or in part by the Commissioner in his discretion upon application by the recipient or his estate to the Commissioner with proof of hardship or inability to pay.

F. Except as provided in subsections D and E, any recipient of a scholarship who fails or refuses to fulfill his obligation to practice medicine in one of the designated specialties in an underserved area for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received shall reimburse the Commonwealth three times the total amount of the scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt. If the recipient has fulfilled part of his contractual obligations by serving in an underserved area in one of the designated specialties, the total amount of the scholarship funds received shall be reduced by the amount of the annual scholarship multiplied by the number of years served.

G. The Commissioner shall collect all repayments required by this section and may establish a schedule of payments for reimbursement consistent with the regulations of the Board. No schedule of payments shall amortize the total amount due for a period of longer than two years following the completion of the recipient's postgraduate training or the recipient's entrance into the full-time practice of medicine, whichever is later. All such funds, including any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund. If any recipient fails to make any payment when and as due, the Commissioner shall notify the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall take such action as he deems proper. In the event court action is required to collect a delinquent scholarship account, the recipient shall be responsible for the court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Commonwealth in such collection.

H. For purposes of this section, the term "underserved area" includes those medically underserved areas designated by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-122.5 and health professional shortage areas designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5.

1990, cc. 874, 877; 1991, c. 134; 1994, cc. 281, 867; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188; 2002, cc. 87, 478; 2015, c. 532.

§ 32.1-122.6:01. Board of Health to award certain scholarships and loan repayment funds.

A. The Board of Health shall award to eligible part-time and full-time students the nursing scholarships available from the Nursing Scholarship and Loan Repayment Fund established in § 54.1-3011.2 pursuant to the procedures for the administration of the scholarships awarded through § 23.1-614.

Eligible part-time and full-time students shall be bona fide residents of Virginia as determined by § 23.1-502, shall be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in nursing education programs preparing them for examination for licensure as practical nurses or registered nurses, and shall also meet such other criteria as may be established by the Board of Health. Prior to awarding any scholarship, the Board of Health shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in this Commonwealth for each scholarship. The Board may establish variable periods of service as conditions for receipt of scholarships according to the amounts of the awards. In the event that fees are collected pursuant to § 54.1-3011.1, the Board shall award the scholarships funded through such fees to practical nurses and registered nurses in proportion to the funds generated by the fees for licensure from such nurses.

Eligibility for these scholarships shall be limited to a total of four academic years. The scholarships shall be awarded on a competitive basis, considering the financial needs of the applicant, and all such funds shall be used only for payment of charges for tuition, fees, room, board, or other educational expenses as prescribed by the Board of Health.

The Board of Health shall submit the names of the scholarship recipients to the Board of Nursing, which shall be responsible for transmission of the funds to the appropriate institution to be credited to the account of the recipient.

B. The Board shall establish a nursing scholarship and loan repayment program for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aides who agree to perform a period of service in a Commonwealth long-term care facility pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Board in cooperation with the Board of Nursing. The Board shall submit the names of the scholarship and loan repayment recipients to the Board of Nursing, which shall be responsible for transmission of the funds to the appropriate educational or financial institution to be credited to the account of the recipient.

1. The nursing scholarships authorized by this subsection shall be awarded to eligible part-time and full-time students who are bona fide residents of Virginia as determined by § 23.1-502 and who are (a) accepted for enrollment or are enrolled in approved nursing education programs preparing them for examination for licensure as practical nurses or registered nurses or (b) accepted for enrollment or enrolled in approved nurse aide education programs preparing them for certification as authorized in Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1. Prior to awarding any scholarship, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in a long-term care facility in the Commonwealth for each scholarship. The Board may establish variable periods of service according to the amount of the award in a long-term care facility as a condition for receipt of a scholarship.

Eligibility for these scholarships shall be limited to a total of four academic years. The scholarships shall be awarded on a competitive basis, considering the financial needs of the applicant, and all such funds shall be used only for payment of charges for tuition, fees, room, board, or other educational expenses as prescribed by the Board.

2. The nursing loan repayment program authorized by this subsection shall be established for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aides who: (a) are bona fide residents of Virginia as determined by § 23.1-502, (b) have graduated from an approved educational program pursuant to Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1, and (c) meet such other criteria as determined by the Board. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in a long-term care facility in the Commonwealth as a condition for loan repayment according to the amount of the award.

1991, c. 669; 2000, cc. 240, 254; 2002, c. 290.

§ 32.1-122.6:02. Conditional grants for certain nurse practitioner students.

A. The Board of Health shall establish annual nursing scholarships for students who intend to enter an accredited nurse practitioner or nurse midwife program in designated schools. The amounts and numbers of such scholarships shall be determined annually as provided in the appropriation act. The Commissioner shall act as fiscal agent for the Board in administration of the scholarship program through a nursing scholarship committee.

B. To administer the scholarship program, the Board shall promulgate regulations which shall include, but are not limited to:

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for award of the scholarship to assure that a recipient will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to assure that these scholarships increase access to primary health care for individuals who are indigent or who are recipients of public assistance;

4. Assurances that residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502, minority students and residents of medically underserved areas are given preference in determining scholarship eligibility and awards;

5. Assurances that a scholarship recipient will practice as a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of training;

6. Designations that students in nurse practitioner specialties, including nurse midwife, receive priority scholarships;

7. Methods for reimbursement to the Commonwealth by a recipient who fails to complete the educational program or who fails to honor the obligation to engage in practice as a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received;

8. Procedures for reimbursing any recipient who has repaid the Commonwealth for part or all of any scholarship and who later fulfills the terms of his contract; and

9. Methods for reporting data related to the recipients of the scholarships.

C. Until such time as a fully accredited nurse midwife education program is established at any health science center in the Commonwealth, the Board may designate that attendance at an accredited program in a nearby state is acceptable for scholarship eligibility.

D. For purposes of this section, the term "underserved area" shall include those medically underserved areas designated by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-122.5 and health professional shortage areas designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5.

E. Any scholarship amounts repaid by recipients pursuant to subdivision B 7, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

1993, cc. 197, 337; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188.

§ 32.1-122.6:03. Conditional grants for certain physician assistant students.

A. The Board of Health shall establish annual physician assistant scholarships for students who intend to enter an accredited physician assistant program in designated schools. The amounts and numbers of such scholarships shall be determined annually as provided in the appropriation act. The Commissioner shall act as fiscal agent for the Board in administration of the scholarship program through a physician assistant scholarship committee.

B. To administer the scholarship program, the Board shall promulgate regulations that shall include, but are not limited to:

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for awarding the scholarship to ensure that a recipient will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to ensure that these scholarships increase access to primary health care for individuals who are indigent or who are recipients of public assistance;

4. Assurances that residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502, minority students and residents of medically underserved areas are given preference in determining scholarship eligibility and awards;

5. Assurances that a scholarship recipient will practice as a physician assistant in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of training;

6. Methods for reimbursement to the Commonwealth by a recipient who fails to complete the educational program or who fails to honor the obligation to engage in practice as a physician assistant for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received;

7. Procedures for reimbursing any recipient who has repaid the Commonwealth for part or all of any scholarship and who later fulfills the terms of his contract; and

8. Methods for reporting data related to the recipients of the scholarships.

C. Prior to promulgating any regulation establishing any preferences noted in subdivision B 4, the Board shall issue written findings stating the bases for its decisions that any such preferences provided by the regulation comply with constitutional principles of equal protection.

D. Until such time as a fully accredited physician assistant education program is established at any health science center in the Commonwealth, the Board may designate that attendance at an accredited program in a nearby state is acceptable for scholarship eligibility.

E. For purposes of this section, the term "underserved area" shall include those medically underserved areas designated by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-122.5 and health professional shortage areas designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5.

F. Any scholarship amounts repaid by recipients pursuant to subdivision B 6, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

1997, c. 806; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188.

§ 32.1-122.6:04. Nurse Loan Repayment Program.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board shall establish a tuition loan repayment program for licensed practical nurses, licensed registered nurses, or certified nurse aides who meet criteria determined by the Board. The Commissioner shall act as the fiscal agent for the Board in administration of these funds. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of nursing service in this Commonwealth.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations for the implementation and administration of the Nurse Loan Repayment Program. Applications for participation in the program shall be accepted from graduates of nursing education programs that prepare them for examination for licensure as a practical nurse or registered nurse or certification as a certified nurse aide, but preference shall be given to graduates of nursing education programs located in the Commonwealth.

C. Any loan repayment amounts repaid by recipients who fail to honor the obligation to perform a period of nursing service in the Commonwealth required by this section, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

2001, c. 188; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 238.

§ 32.1-122.6:1. Physician Loan Repayment Program.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish a physician loan repayment program for graduates of accredited medical schools who have a specialty in the primary care areas of family practice medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology, or who are currently employed in a geriatrics fellowship, and who meet other criteria as determined by the Board. The Commissioner shall act as the fiscal agent for the Board in administration of these funds. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of medical service in the Commonwealth in a medically underserved area as defined in § 32.1-122.5 or a health professional shortage area designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5, or, in the case of graduates of accredited medical schools who are currently employed in a geriatrics fellowship, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform, at minimum, a two-year period of medical service in the Commonwealth.

B. The Board shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of the Physician Loan Repayment Program. Applications for participation in the program will be accepted from a graduate of any accredited medical school, but preference will be given to graduates of medical schools located in the Commonwealth.

C. Any loan repayment amounts repaid by recipients who fail to honor the obligation to perform a period of medical service in an underserved area or a two-year period as required by this section, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

1994, c. 111; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188; 2013, c. 255.

§ 32.1-122.7. Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority; purpose.

A. There is hereby created as a public body corporate and as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority (the Authority), with such public and corporate powers as are set forth in § 32.1-122.7:2. The Authority is hereby constituted as a public instrumentality, exercising public and essential governmental functions with the power and purpose to provide for the health, welfare, convenience, knowledge, benefit, and prosperity of the residents of the Commonwealth and such other persons who might be served by the Authority. The Authority is established to move the Commonwealth forward in achieving its vision of ensuring a quality health workforce for all Virginians.

B. The mission of the Authority is to facilitate the development of a statewide health professions pipeline that identifies, educates, recruits, and retains a diverse, appropriately geographically distributed, and culturally competent quality workforce. The mission of the Authority is accomplished by: (i) providing the statewide infrastructure required for health workforce needs assessment and planning that maintains engagement by health professions training programs in decision making and program implementation; (ii) serving as the advisory board and setting priorities for the Virginia Area Health Education Centers Program; (iii) coordinating with and serving as a resource to relevant state, regional, and local entities, including the Department of Health Professions Workforce Data Center, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, or any similar regional health authority that may be developed; (iv) informing state and local policy development as it pertains to health care delivery, training, and education; (v) identifying and promoting evidence-based strategies for health workforce pipeline development and interdisciplinary health care service models, particularly those affecting rural and other underserved areas; (vi) supporting communities in their health workforce recruitment and retention efforts and developing partnerships and promoting models of participatory engagement with business and community-based and social organizations to foster integration of health care training and education; (vii) advocating for programs that will result in reducing the debt load of newly trained health professionals; (viii) identifying high priority target areas within each region of the Commonwealth and working toward health workforce development initiatives that improve health measurably in those areas; (ix) fostering or creating innovative health workforce development models that provide both health and economic benefits to the regions they serve; (x) developing strategies to increase diversity in the health workforce by examining demographic data on race and ethnicity in training programs and health professional licensure; (xi) identifying ways to leverage technology to increase access to health workforce training and health care delivery; and (xii) developing a centralized health care careers roadmap in partnership with the Department of Health Professions that includes information on both licensed and unlicensed professions and that is disseminated to the Commonwealth's health care workforce stakeholders to raise awareness about available career pathways.

1990, cc. 874, 877; 1997, c. 329; 2000, c. 480; 2010, cc. 187, 488; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 264.

§ 32.1-122.7:1. Board of Directors of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority.

The Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority shall be governed by a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall have a total membership of 15 members that shall consist of three legislative members, nine nonlegislative citizen members, and three ex officio members. Members shall be appointed as follows: two members of the House of Delegates, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates; one member of the Senate, to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; and nine nonlegislative citizen members, three of whom shall be representatives of health professional educational or training programs, five of whom shall be health professionals or employers or representatives of health professionals, and one of whom shall be a representative of community health, to be appointed by the Governor. The Commissioner of Health or his designee, the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System or his designee, and the Director of the Department of Health Professions or his designee shall serve ex officio with voting privileges. Members appointed by the Governor shall be citizens of the Commonwealth.

Legislative members and ex officio members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. All appointments of nonlegislative citizen members shall be for two-year terms following the initial staggering of terms. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. Legislative and citizen members may be reappointed; however, no citizen member shall serve more than four consecutive two-year terms. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's term limit. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

The Board of Directors shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman annually from among its members. A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

The Board of Directors shall report biennially on the activities and recommendations of the Authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Chief Workforce Development Advisor, the State Board of Health, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Joint Commission on Health Care, the Governor, and the General Assembly. In any reporting period where state general funds are appropriated to the Authority, the report shall include a detailed summary of how state general funds were expended.

The accounts and records of the Authority showing the receipt and disbursement of funds from whatever source derived shall be in a form prescribed by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The Auditor of Public Accounts, or his legally authorized representative, shall examine the accounts of the Authority as determined necessary by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The cost of such audit shall be borne by the Authority.

2010, cc. 187, 488; 2014, c. 720; 2018, cc. 57, 307; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 264.

§ 32.1-122.7:2. Powers and duties of the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority; exemptions.

A. The Authority is authorized to serve as the incorporated consortium of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in Virginia as required by federal statute to qualify for the receipt of Area Health Education Centers programs, legislatively mandated under the Public Health Service Act as amended, Title VII, Section 751, and 42 U.S.C. § 294a, and to administer federal, state, and local programs as needed to carry out its public purpose and objectives. The Authority is further authorized to exercise independently the powers conferred by this section in furtherance of its corporate and public purposes to benefit citizens and such other persons who might be served by the Authority.

B. The Authority is authorized to monitor, collect, and track data pertaining to health care delivery, training, and education from Virginia educational institutions and other entities as needed to carry out its public purpose and objectives in areas where such data efforts do not already exist.

C. The Authority shall have the authority to assess policies, engage in policy development, and make policy recommendations.

D. The Authority shall have the authority to apply for and accept federal, state, and local public and private grants, loans, appropriations, and donations; hire and compensate staff, including an executive director; rent, lease, buy, own, acquire, and dispose of property, real or personal; participate in joint ventures, including to make contracts and other agreements with public and private entities in order to carry out its public purpose and objectives; and make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

E. The Authority shall be exempt from the provisions of Chapters 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) and 43 (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

F. The exercise of powers granted by this article and the undertaking of activities in the furtherance of the purpose of the Authority shall constitute the performance of essential governmental functions. Therefore, the Authority shall be exempt from any tax or assessment upon any project or property acquired or used by the Authority under the provisions of this article or upon the income therefrom, including sales and use taxes on tangible personal property used in the operation of the Authority. This exemption shall not extend to persons conducting business for which local or state taxes would otherwise be required.

2010, cc. 187, 488.

§ 32.1-122.8. Board's authority to receive and expend funds.

The Board of Health is hereby authorized to apply for, receive, and expend federal and any other available funds for the enhancement of the primary health care system including, but not limited to, any funds designated for any physician loan repayment program, medical scholarships, and area health education centers.

1990, cc. 874, 877.

§ 32.1-122.9. Conditional grants for certain dental students.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board of Health shall establish annual dental scholarships for students in good standing at Virginia Commonwealth University. No recipient shall be awarded more than five scholarships. The amount and number of such scholarships shall be determined annually as provided in the appropriation act. The Commissioner shall act as fiscal agent for the Board in administration of the scholarship funds.

The governing board of Virginia Commonwealth University shall submit to the Commissioner the names of those eligible applicants who are most qualified as determined by the regulations of the Board for these dental scholarships. The Commissioner shall award the scholarships to the applicants whose names are submitted by the governing board.

B. The Board, after consultation with the School of Dentistry of Virginia Commonwealth University, shall promulgate regulations to administer this scholarship program which shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for award of the scholarships to assure that recipients will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to assure that recipients participate in the Commonwealth's medical assistance services program, established pursuant to § 32.1-325, and the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan, established pursuant to § 32.1-351, and that recipients do not limit the number of persons enrolled in these programs who are admitted to their dental practice;

4. Assurances that bona fide residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502, students of economically disadvantaged backgrounds and residents of underserved areas are given preference over nonresidents in determining scholarship eligibility and awards;

5. Assurances that scholarship recipients will begin dental practice in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of their residencies;

6. Methods for reimbursement of the Commonwealth by recipients who fail to complete dental school or who fail to honor the obligation to engage in dental practice for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received;

7. Procedures for reimbursing any recipient who has repaid the Commonwealth for part or all of any scholarship and who later fulfills the terms of his contract; and

8. Reporting of data related to the recipients of the scholarships by the dental schools.

C. Prior to the award of any scholarship, the applicant shall sign a contract in which he agrees to pursue the dental course of Virginia Commonwealth University until his graduation and, upon graduation or upon completing a term not to exceed four years as an intern or resident at an approved institution or facility, to promptly begin and thereafter engage continuously in dental practice in an underserved area in Virginia for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received. The contract shall specify that no form of dental practice such as military service or public health service may be substituted for the obligation to practice in an underserved area in the Commonwealth.

The contract shall provide that the applicant will not voluntarily obligate himself for more than the minimum period of military service required for dentists by the laws of the United States and that, upon completion of this minimum period of obligatory military service, the applicant will promptly begin to practice in an underserved area for the requisite number of years. The contract shall include other provisions as considered necessary by the Attorney General and the Commissioner.

The contract may be terminated by the recipient while the recipient is enrolled in dental school upon providing notice and immediate repayment of the total amount of scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt.

D. In the event the recipient fails to maintain a satisfactory scholastic standing, the recipient may, upon certification of the Commissioner, be relieved of the obligations under the contract to engage in dental practice in an underserved area upon repayment to the Commonwealth of the total amount of scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt.

E. In the event the recipient dies or becomes permanently disabled so as not to be able to engage in the practice of dentistry, the recipient or his estate may, upon certification of the Commissioner, be relieved of the obligation under the contract to engage in dental practice in an underserved area upon repayment to the Commonwealth of the total amount of scholarship funds plus interest on such amount computed at eight percent per annum from the date of receipt of scholarship funds. This obligation may be waived in whole or in part by the Commissioner in his discretion upon application by the recipient or his estate to the Commissioner with proof of hardship or inability to pay.

F. Except as provided in subsections D and E, any recipient of a scholarship who fails or refuses to fulfill his obligation to practice dentistry in an underserved area for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received shall reimburse the Commonwealth three times the total amount of the scholarship funds received plus interest at the prevailing bank rate for similar amounts of unsecured debt. If the recipient has fulfilled part of his contractual obligations by serving in an underserved area, the total amount of the scholarship funds received shall be reduced by the amount of the annual scholarship multiplied by the number of years served.

G. The Commissioner shall collect all repayments required by this section and may establish a schedule of payments for reimbursement consistent with the regulations of the Board. No schedule of payments shall amortize the total amount due for a period of longer than two years following the completion of the recipient's postgraduate training or the recipient's entrance into the full-time practice of dentistry, whichever is later. All such funds, including any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund. If any recipient fails to make any payment when and as due, the Commissioner shall notify the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall take such action as he deems proper. In the event court action is required to collect a delinquent scholarship account, the recipient shall be responsible for the court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Commonwealth in such collection.

H. For purposes of this section, the term "underserved area" shall include those underserved areas designated by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-122.5 and dental health professional shortage areas designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5.

1994, c. 867; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188; 2002, c. 52.

§ 32.1-122.9:1. Dentist Loan Repayment Program.

A. With such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, the Board shall establish a dentist loan repayment program for graduates of accredited dental schools who meet the criteria determined by the Board. The Commissioner shall act as the fiscal agent for the Board in administration of these funds. Prior to awarding any funds, the Board shall require the recipient to agree to perform a period of dental service in this Commonwealth in an underserved area as defined in § 32.1-122.5 or a dental health professional shortage area designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5. The Board also shall ensure that recipients (i) participate in the Commonwealth's medical assistance services program established pursuant to § 32.1-325 and the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan established pursuant to § 32.1-351, and (ii) do not limit the number of persons enrolled in these programs who are admitted to their dental practice.

B. Applications for participation in the program will be accepted from a graduate of any accredited dental school, but preference will be given to graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Dentistry.

C. Any loan repayment amounts repaid by recipients who fail to honor the obligation to perform a period of dental service in an underserved area as required by this section, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

2000, cc. 174, 202; 2001, c. 188; 2002, c. 52.

§ 32.1-122.10. Conditional grants for certain dental hygiene students.

A. The Board of Health shall establish annual dental hygiene scholarships for students who intend to enter an accredited dental hygiene program in the Commonwealth. The amounts and numbers of such scholarships shall be determined annually as provided in the appropriation act. The Commissioner shall act as fiscal agent for the Board in administration of the scholarship program.

B. To administer the scholarship program, the Board shall promulgate regulations which shall include, but are not limited to:

1. Qualifications of applicants;

2. Criteria for award of the scholarship to assure that a recipient will fulfill the practice obligations established in this section;

3. Standards to assure that these scholarships increase access to dental hygiene care for individuals who are indigent or who are recipients of public assistance;

4. Assurances that residents of Virginia, as determined by § 23.1-502, students of economically disadvantaged backgrounds and residents of medically underserved areas are given preference in determining scholarship eligibility and awards;

5. Assurances that a scholarship recipient will practice as a dental hygienist in an underserved area of the Commonwealth within two years following completion of training;

6. Methods for reimbursement to the Commonwealth by a recipient who fails to complete the educational program or who fails to honor the obligation to engage in practice as a dental hygienist for a period of years equal to the number of annual scholarships received;

7. Procedures for reimbursing any recipient who has repaid the Commonwealth for part or all of any scholarship and who later fulfills the terms of his contract; and

8. Methods for reporting data related to the recipients of the scholarships.

C. For purposes of this section, the term "underserved area" shall include those underserved areas designated by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-122.5 and dental health professional shortage areas designated in accordance with the criteria established in 42 C.F.R. Part 5.

D. Any scholarship amounts repaid by recipients pursuant to subdivision B 6, and any interest thereon, shall be used only for the purposes of this section and shall not revert to the general fund.

1994, c. 867; 2000, c. 926; 2001, c. 188.

Article 6.1. Local Health Partnership Authorities.

§ 32.1-122.10:001. Purpose; one or more localities may create authority; advertisement and notice of hearing.

A. Communities lack the ability to coordinate, across jurisdictions, health partnership efforts between local governments and private providers of health care services, which leads to duplicative and inefficient services. Such public/private partnerships could (i) encourage the use of service delivery that otherwise might have required government funding or programs; (ii) allow governments to fully participate in such partnerships; (iii) maximize the willingness of individuals, agencies and private organizations to lend their expertise to help satisfy community needs; (iv) allow innovative funding mechanisms to leverage public funds; (v) allow appropriate information sharing to ensure the adequacy and quality of services delivered; (vi) provide liability protection for volunteers providing services under programs sponsored or approved by the authority; (vii) provide a mechanism to ensure that services provided in the community are necessary, appropriate, and provided by trained and supervised persons; and (viii) allow volunteers and others to focus their energies to achieve community health improvement. Health care services include, but are not limited to, treatment of and education about acute and chronic diseases, wellness and prevention activities that promote the health of communities, and access to services and activities.

B. The governing body of a locality may by ordinance or resolution, or the governing bodies of two or more localities may by concurrent ordinances or resolutions or by agreement, create a local health partnership authority which shall have as its purpose developing partnerships between public and private providers. The ordinance, resolution or agreement creating the authority shall not be adopted or approved until a public hearing has been held on the question of its adoption or approval. The authority shall be a public body politic and corporate.

C. The governing body of each participating locality shall cause to be advertised at least one time in a newspaper of general circulation in such locality a copy of the ordinance, resolution or agreement creating the authority, or a descriptive summary of the ordinance, resolution or agreement and a reference to the place where a copy of such ordinance, resolution or agreement can be obtained, and notice of the day, not less than 30 days after publication of the advertisement, on which a public hearing will be held on the ordinance, resolution or agreement.

D. No authority created pursuant to this article shall be exempt from any of the provisions of the Certificate of Public Need laws and regulations of the Commonwealth.

E. No authority created pursuant to this article shall be allowed to issue bonds or other form of indebtedness.

F. Any authority created pursuant to this article shall report on programmatic initiatives on an annual basis to the Joint Commission on Health Care.

2001, c. 671; 2003, cc. 63, 70.

§ 32.1-122.10:002. Board of directors; expenses; officers; terms of office; quorum; annual report.

A. All powers, rights and duties conferred by this article, or other provisions of law, upon an authority shall be exercised by a board of directors. The participating localities in the local health partnership authority shall determine the composition of the membership of the board. At a minimum, the board shall be composed of one locally elected official, one representative of the health care industry, one representative of the business community, and one representative of the nongovernmental human services agencies from each participating locality if such nongovernmental human services agencies exist; and, sufficient citizen members to constitute the majority of the board, who shall not be employed by, nor board members of, nor financially linked to the partnering agencies, groups and corporations involved.

B. Each member of a board shall serve for a term of four years and may serve no more than two consecutive full terms. The creation of a vacancy on the board shall be filled in the same manner by the appointing locality, such position being filled for the unexpired term.

C. Members of the board of directors shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties from funds available to the board and according to policy determined by the board.

D. Each board shall elect from its membership a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary/treasurer. The board shall appoint an executive director who shall discharge such functions as may be directed by the board. The authority shall employ such staff as may be appropriate to coordinate the work of the participating organizations in support of programs and services approved by each board. The executive director and staff shall be paid from funds received by the authority.

E. Each board, promptly following the close of the fiscal year, shall submit an annual report of the authority's activities of the preceding year to the governing body of each member locality and to the Joint Commission on Health Care. Each such report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering the operation of the authority during such year.

2001, c. 671; 2003, cc. 63, 70.

§ 32.1-122.10:003. Office of the authority.

The board of each authority shall establish a principal office within one of the participating jurisdictions. The title to all property of every kind belonging to the authority shall be titled to the authority for the benefit of all of its members.

2001, c. 671.

§ 32.1-122.10:004. Powers of the authority.

Any authority shall have the following powers:

1. Each authority is vested with the powers of a body corporate, including the power to sue and be sued in its own name, to adopt and use a common seal and to alter the same as may be deemed expedient, to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers of the authority, and to make, amend or repeal bylaws, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, to carry into effect the powers and purposes of the authority.

2. To foster and stimulate the cooperative assessment and provision of health care in the community by local governments, private entities and volunteers.

3. To cooperate with local and state health care planning entities, and local, state or federal governments in the discharge of its duties.

4. To solicit and accept grants or donations from local, state or federal governments or any instrumentality thereof, private entities, or any other source, public or private, for or in aid of any project of the authority to provide health services as defined in subsection A of § 32.1-122.10:001.

5. To do any and all other acts and things that may be reasonably necessary and convenient to carry out its purposes and powers.

2001, c. 671.

§ 32.1-122.10:005. Licensed agents; liability.

No volunteer of any participating entity who is duly licensed to provide health care services shall be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from the rendering of such services to a recipient of a program designated by the authority when such services are provided without charge and within the scope of the volunteer's authority to practice and the volunteer delivering such services has no legal or financial interest in the program to which the patient is referred, unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct. The provisions of this section shall apply only to noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures limited to finger sticks and injections performed as part of health care services. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to those appropriate volunteers providing care during the time in which such care is rendered free of charge.

2001, c. 671.

Article 7. Review of Health Services Quality.

§ 32.1-122.10:01. Expired.

Expired.

Article 8. Health Workforce Recruitment and Retention.

§ 32.1-122.20. Recruitment and retention of health care providers.

The Commissioner shall direct the Commonwealth's activities and programs for recruiting and retaining health care providers for underserved populations, underserved areas, and health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) designated throughout the Commonwealth. The duties and responsibilities of the Commissioner shall include, but not be limited to:

1. Designating and updating as necessary the designation of underserved areas that meet the criteria established by the Board pursuant to § 32.1-122.5;

2. Designating and updating as necessary those areas of the state which meet the criteria of dental, primary care and mental health professional shortage areas as provided in 42 C.F.R. Part 5;

3. Administering the scholarship and loan repayment programs pursuant to Article 6 (§ 32.1-122.5 et seq.) of this chapter as well as any other programs or activities authorized in the appropriation act for recruiting and retaining providers for the Commonwealth's underserved populations, underserved areas and HPSAs;

4. Recruiting health care providers, residents, and students in Virginia and other states to care for Virginia's underserved populations and practice in underserved areas and HPSAs throughout the Commonwealth;

5. Publicizing the functions, programs, and activities of the Department available to assist providers in establishing a practice in underserved areas and HPSAs throughout the Commonwealth;

6. Coordinating the Department's health workforce activities with other state agencies as well as public and private entities in Virginia involved in health workforce training, recruitment, and retention; and

7. Identifying and recommending to the Governor and the General Assembly new programs, activities, and strategies for increasing the number of providers practicing in Virginia's underserved areas and HPSAs and serving Virginia's underserved populations.

2000, cc. 175, 200; 2011, c. 37.

§ 32.1-122.21. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, cc. 187 and 488, cl. 2. See note for effective date.

§ 32.1-122.22. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2011, c. 37, cl. 2, effective July 1, 2011.