Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
5/22/2018

Chapter 5. Regulation of Medical Care Facilities and Services.

Article 1. Hospital and Nursing Home Licensure and Inspection.

§ 32.1-123. Definitions.

As used in this article unless a different meaning or construction is clearly required by the context or otherwise:

"Certified nursing facility" means any skilled nursing facility, skilled care facility, intermediate care facility, nursing or nursing care facility, or nursing home, whether freestanding or a portion of a freestanding medical care facility, that is certified as a Medicare or Medicaid provider, or both, pursuant to § 32.1-137.

"Children's hospital" means a hospital (i) whose inpatients are predominantly under 18 years of age and (ii) which is excluded from the Medicare prospective payment system pursuant to the Social Security Act.

"Class I violation" means failure of a nursing home or certified nursing facility to comply with one or more requirements of state or federal law or regulations which creates a situation that presents an immediate and serious threat to patient health or safety.

"Class II violation" means a pattern of noncompliance by a nursing home or certified nursing facility with one or more federal conditions of participation which indicates delivery of substandard quality of care but does not necessarily create an immediate and serious threat to patient health and safety. Regardless of whether the facility participates in Medicare or Medicaid, the federal conditions of participation shall be the standards for Class II violations.

"Hospital" means any facility licensed pursuant to this article in which the primary function is the provision of diagnosis, of treatment, and of medical and nursing services, surgical or nonsurgical, for two or more nonrelated individuals, including hospitals known by varying nomenclature or designation such as children's hospitals, sanatoriums, sanitariums and general, acute, rehabilitation, chronic disease, short-term, long-term, outpatient surgical, and inpatient or outpatient maternity hospitals.

"Immediate and serious threat" means a situation or condition having a high probability that serious harm or injury to patients could occur at any time, or already has occurred, and may occur again, if patients are not protected effectively from the harm, or the threat is not removed.

"Inspection" means all surveys, inspections, investigations and other procedures necessary for the Department of Health to perform in order to carry out various obligations imposed on the Board or Commissioner by applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

"Nursing home" means any facility or any identifiable component of any facility licensed pursuant to this article in which the primary function is the provision, on a continuing basis, of nursing services and health-related services for the treatment and inpatient care of two or more nonrelated individuals, including facilities known by varying nomenclature or designation such as convalescent homes, skilled nursing facilities or skilled care facilities, intermediate care facilities, extended care facilities and nursing or nursing care facilities.

"Nonrelated" means not related by blood or marriage, ascending or descending or first degree full or half collateral.

"Substandard quality of care" means deficiencies in practices of patient care, preservation of patient rights, environmental sanitation, physical plant maintenance, or life safety which, if not corrected, will have a significant harmful effect on patient health and safety.

Code 1950, § 32-298; 1964, c. 54; 1973, c. 477; 1979, c. 711; 1989, c. 618; 2011, c. 433.

§ 32.1-124. Exemptions.

The provisions of §§ 32.1-123 through 32.1-136 shall not be applicable to: (i) a dispensary or first-aid facility maintained by any commercial or industrial plant, educational institution or convent; (ii) an institution licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; (iii) an institution or portion thereof licensed by the State Board of Social Services; (iv) a hospital or nursing home owned or operated by an agency of the United States government; (v) an office of one or more physicians or surgeons unless such office is used principally for performing surgery; and (vi) a hospital or nursing home, as defined in § 32.1-123, owned or operated by an agency of the Commonwealth unless such hospital or nursing home or portion thereof is certified as a nursing facility pursuant to § 32.1-137.

Code 1950, § 32-298; 1964, c. 54; 1973, c. 477; 1979, c. 711; 1989, c. 618; 2009, cc. 813, 840.

§ 32.1-125. Establishment or operation of hospitals and nursing homes prohibited without license or certification; licenses not transferable.

A. No person shall own, establish, conduct, maintain, manage or operate in this Commonwealth any hospital or nursing home unless such hospital or nursing home is licensed or certified as provided in this article.

B. No license issued hereunder shall be assignable or transferable.

Code 1950, § 32-299; 1979, c. 711; 1989, c. 618.

§ 32.1-125.01. Failing to report; penalty.

Any hospital or nursing home that has not paid civil penalties assessed for failing to report pursuant to § 54.1-2400.6 shall not be issued a license or certification or a renewal of such.

2003, cc. 753, 762; 2004, c. 64.

§ 32.1-125.1. Inspection of hospitals by state agencies generally.

As used in this section unless the context requires a different meaning, "hospital" means a hospital as defined in § 32.1-123 or 37.2-100.

State agencies shall make or cause to be made only such inspections of hospitals as are necessary to carry out the various obligations imposed on each agency by applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Any on-site inspection by a state agency or a division or unit thereof that substantially complies with the inspection requirements of any other state agency or any other division or unit of the inspecting agency charged with making similar inspections shall be accepted as an equivalent inspection in lieu of an on-site inspection by said agency or by a division or unit of the inspecting agency. A state agency shall coordinate its hospital inspections both internally and with those required by other state agencies so as to ensure that the requirements of this section are met. No hospital shall receive additional inspections until all other licensed hospitals in the Commonwealth have also 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 hospital, or (iv) otherwise deemed necessary by the Commissioner or his designee to protect the health and safety of the public.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all hospitals licensed by the Department of Health or Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services that have been certified under the provisions of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act for hospital or psychiatric services or that have obtained accreditation from a national accrediting organization granted authority by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure compliance with Medicare conditions of participation pursuant to § 1865 of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395bb) may be subject to inspections so long as such certification or accreditation is maintained but only to the extent necessary to ensure the public health and safety.

Code 1950, § 32-300.1; 1979, c. 220; 1989, c. 618; 2009, cc. 813, 840; 2014, c. 320; 2017, c. 465.

§ 32.1-125.2. Disclosure of other providers of services.

A. 1. Any hospital which has, or is affiliated with or under the common control of a holding company that has, a financial interest in a facility or entity that engages in the provision of health-related outpatient services, appliances or devices of which a patient is in need, or any employee or volunteer associated with such hospital, shall, prior to referring the patient to such type of a facility or entity, provide the patient or his representative with a notice stating in bold print that the services, appliances or devices may be available from other suppliers in the community.

2. As used in this section, "representative" means any member of the immediate family of the patient or any other person acting on his behalf and who is not a health care provider or other person who may profit from such referral.

B. The Attorney General, an attorney for the Commonwealth, the attorney for a city, county or town or any aggrieved patient may cause an action to be brought in the appropriate circuit court in the name of the Commonwealth, of the county, city or town, or of any aggrieved patient, to enjoin any violation of this section. The circuit court having jurisdiction may enjoin such violations, notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law. When an injunction is issued, the circuit court shall impose a civil fine to be paid to the Literary Fund not to exceed $1,000. In any action under this section, it shall not be necessary that damages be proved.

1988, c. 252.

§ 32.1-125.3. Bed capacity and licensure in hospitals designated as critical access hospitals; designation as rural hospital.

A. Any medical care facility licensed as a hospital pursuant to this article that (i) has been certified, as provided in § 32.1-122.07, as a critical access hospital by the Commissioner of Health in compliance with the certification regulations promulgated by the Health Care Financing Administration pursuant to Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, as amended, and (ii) has, as a result of the critical access certification, been required to reduce its licensed bed capacity to conform to the critical access certification requirement shall, upon termination of its critical access hospital certification, be licensed to operate at the licensed bed capacity in existence prior to the critical access hospital certification without being required to apply for and obtain a certificate of public need for such bed capacity in accordance with Article 1.1 (§ 32.1-102.1 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title.

B. 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).

2001, c. 579; 2006, c. 378.

§ 32.1-125.4. Retaliation or discrimination against complainants.

No hospital may retaliate or discriminate in any manner against any person who (i) in good faith complains or provides information to, or otherwise cooperates with, the Department or any other agency of government or any person or entity operating under contract with an agency of government having responsibility for protecting the rights of patients of hospitals, or (ii) attempts to assert any right protected by state or federal law.

2003, c. 309.

§ 32.1-125.5. Confidentiality of complainant's identity.

Whenever the Department conducts inspections and investigations in response to complaints received from the public, the identity of the complainant and the identity of any patient who is the subject of the complaint, or identified therein, shall be treated as confidential and shall not be open to inspection by members of the public. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Department, in its discretion, from disclosing to the hospital the nature of the complaint or the identity of the patient who is the subject of the complaint. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Department or its employees from making reports under § 63.2-1509 or Article 2 (§ 63.2-1603 et seq.) of Chapter 16 of Title 63.2. If the Department intends to rely, in whole or in part, on any statements made by the complainant, at any administrative hearing brought against the hospital, the Department shall disclose the identity of the complainant to the hospital in a reasonable time in advance of such hearing.

2003, c. 309.

§ 32.1-126. Commissioner to inspect and to issue licenses to or assure compliance with certification requirements for hospitals, nursing homes and certified nursing facilities; notice of denial of license; consultative advice and assistance; notice to electric utilities.

A. Pursuant to this article, the Commissioner shall issue licenses to, and assure compliance with certification requirements for hospitals and nursing homes, and assure compliance with certification requirements for facilities owned or operated by agencies of the Commonwealth as defined in subdivision (vi) of § 32.1-124, which after inspection are found to be in compliance with the provisions of this article and with all applicable state and federal regulations. The Commissioner shall notify by certified mail or by overnight express mail any applicant denied a license of the reasons for such denial.

B. The Commissioner shall cause each and every hospital, nursing home, and certified nursing facility to be inspected periodically, but not less often than biennially, in accordance with the provisions of this article and regulations of the Board. However, except as required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, no hospital, nursing home, or certified nursing facility shall receive additional inspections until all other hospitals, nursing homes, or certified nursing facilities in the Commonwealth, respectively, have also 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 hospital, nursing home, or certified nursing facility; or (iv) otherwise deemed necessary by the Commissioner or his designee to protect the health and safety of the public.

Unless expressly prohibited by federal statute or regulation, the findings of the Commissioner, with respect to periodic surveys of nursing facilities conducted pursuant to the Survey, Certification, and Enforcement Procedures set forth in 42 C.F.R. Part 488, shall be considered case decisions pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and shall be subject to the Department's informal dispute resolution procedures, or, at the option of the Department or the nursing facility, the formal fact-finding procedures under § 2.2-4020. The Commonwealth shall be deemed the proponent for purposes of § 2.2-4020. Further, notwithstanding the provisions of clause (iii) of subsection A of § 2.2-4025, such case decisions shall also be subject to the right to court review pursuant to Article 5 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2.

C. The Commissioner may, in accordance with regulations of the Board, provide for consultative advice and assistance, with such limitations and restrictions as he deems proper, to any person who intends to apply for a hospital or nursing home license or nursing facility certification.

D. For the purpose of facilitating the prompt restoration of electrical service and prioritization of customers during widespread power outages, the Commissioner shall notify on a quarterly basis all electric utilities serving customers in Virginia as to the location of all nursing homes licensed in the Commonwealth. The requirements of this subsection shall be met if the Commissioner maintains such information on an electronic database accessible by electric utilities serving customers in Virginia.

Code 1950, §§ 32-300, 32-305; 1977, c. 155; 1979, c. 711; 1989, c. 618; 1996, cc. 940, 999; 2000, c. 967; 2002, c. 514; 2004, c. 304; 2017, c. 465.

§ 32.1-126.01. Employment for compensation of persons convicted of barrier crimes prohibited; criminal records check required; suspension or revocation of license.

A. A licensed nursing home shall not hire for compensated employment persons who have been convicted of any offense set forth in clause (i) of the definition of barrier crime in § 19.2-392.02. However, a licensed nursing home may hire an applicant who has been convicted of one such offense punishable as a misdemeanor that does not involve abuse or neglect if five years have elapsed following the conviction.

Any person desiring to work at a licensed nursing home shall provide the hiring facility with a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing any criminal convictions or any pending criminal charges, whether within or outside the Commonwealth. Any person making a materially false statement when providing such sworn statement or affirmation regarding any such offense is guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Further dissemination of the information provided pursuant to this section is prohibited other than to a federal or state authority or court as may be required to comply with an express requirement of law for such further dissemination.

A nursing home shall, within 30 days of employment, obtain for any compensated employees an original criminal record clearance with respect to convictions for offenses specified in this section or an original criminal history record from the Central Criminal Records Exchange. However, no employee shall be permitted to work in a position that involves direct contact with a patient until an original criminal record clearance or original criminal history record has been received, unless such person works under the direct supervision of another employee for whom a background check has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this section. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Commissioner. If an applicant is denied employment because of convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the nursing home shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the applicant.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to volunteers who work with the permission or under the supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to this section.

B. A person who complies in good faith with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission in the performance of duties under this section unless the act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

C. A licensed nursing home shall notify and provide to all students a copy of the provisions of this section prior to or upon enrollment in a certified nurse aide program operated by such nursing home.

1992, c. 844; 1993, cc. 17, 657; 1999, c. 637; 2001, c. 329; 2003, c. 517; 2006, cc. 701, 764; 2012, c. 383; 2014, c. 129; 2017, c. 809.

§ 32.1-126.02. Hospital pharmacy employees; criminal records check required.

A. A licensed hospital shall obtain, within sixty days of employment of any compensated employee of the hospital whose duties will provide access to controlled substances as defined in § 54.1-3401 within the hospital pharmacy, who is not licensed by the Board of Pharmacy, an original criminal history record information from the Central Criminal Records Exchange. The cost of obtaining the criminal history record information shall be borne by the hospital.

Any person applying to work in a hospital whose duties will provide access to controlled substances as defined in § 54.1-3401 within the hospital pharmacy, who is not licensed by the Board of Pharmacy, shall provide the hiring facility with a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing any criminal convictions or any pending criminal charges, whether within or without the Commonwealth. Any person making a materially false statement when providing such sworn statement or affirmation shall be guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Further dissemination of the information provided pursuant to this section is prohibited other than to a federal or state authority or court as may be required to comply with an express requirement of law for such further dissemination.

The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Commissioner. If an individual is denied or terminated from employment because of convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the hospital shall provide, upon the written request of the individual, a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the individual.

B. A person who complies in good faith with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission in the performance of duties under this section unless the act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

1996, c. 428.

§ 32.1-126.1. Asbestos inspection for hospitals.

The Commissioner shall not issue a license to or renew the license of any hospital which is located in a building built prior to 1978 until he receives a written statement that either (i) the hospital has been inspected for asbestos in accordance with standards in effect at the time of inspection; or (ii) that asbestos inspection will be conducted within twelve months of issuance or renewal, in accordance with the standards established pursuant to § 2.2-1164 in the case of state-owned buildings or § 36-99.7 in the case of all other buildings; and (iii) that response actions have been or will be undertaken in accordance with applicable standards. Any asbestos management program or response action undertaken by a hospital shall comply with the standards promulgated pursuant to § 2.2-1164 in the case of state-owned buildings or § 36-99.7 in the case of all others.

The Commissioner may amend the standards for inspections, management programs and response actions for hospitals subject to this section, in accordance with the requirements of the Virginia Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

The provisions of Article 1.1 (§ 32.1-102.1 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title shall not apply to expenditures made by hospitals pursuant to the provisions of this section.

1987, c. 654; 1988, c. 723; 1989, c. 398; 1993, c. 660.

§ 32.1-126.2. Fire suppression systems required in nursing facilities and nursing homes.

After January 1, 1993, the Commissioner shall not issue a license to or renew the license of any nursing facility or nursing home, regardless of when such institution was constructed, unless the nursing facility or nursing home is equipped with a fire suppression system which complies with the regulations of the Board of Housing and Community Development.

Units consisting of certified long-term care beds described in this section and § 36-99.9 located on the ground floor of general hospitals shall be exempt from the requirements of this section.

1990, c. 804.

§ 32.1-126.3. Fire suppression systems required in hospitals.

After January 1, 1998, the Commissioner shall not issue a license to or renew the license of any hospital, regardless of when such facility was constructed, unless the hospital is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system which complies with the regulations of the Board of Housing and Community Development.

The Commissioner may, at his discretion, extend the time for compliance with this section for any hospital that can demonstrate (i) its inability to comply, if such hospital submits, prior to January 1, 1998, a plan for compliance by a date certain which shall be no later than July 1, 1998, or (ii) that construction is underway for a new facility to house the services currently located in the noncomplying facility and that such construction will be completed and the noncomplying facility relocated by December 31, 1998.

The provisions of Article 1.1 (§ 32.1-102.1 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of this title shall not apply to expenditures required solely for compliance with this section.

For the purposes of this section and § 36-99.9:1, "automatic sprinkler system" means a device for suppressing fire in patient rooms and other areas of the hospital customarily used for patient care.

1995, c. 631; 1997, c. 552.

§ 32.1-126.4. Hospital standing orders or protocols for certain vaccinations.

A. A hospital may provide or arrange for the administration under a standing order or protocol approved by a member or committee of the hospital's medical staff of (i) influenza vaccinations and (ii) pneumococcal vaccinations, thus waiving the requirement for specific written physician orders for influenza and pneumococcal immunizations. However, no such standing order or protocol shall supersede a physician's authority to issue specific written orders relating to immunizations.

B. Any standing order or protocol authorized by this section shall require that the vaccinations be administered in accordance with the most recent recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after (i) ascertaining that the vaccination is not medically contraindicated for the patient, (ii) determining the patient's wishes and any religious objections, and (iii) obtaining informed consent from the patient or his legal representative.

C. Vaccinations administered under a standing order or protocol shall be documented in the patient's health record.

2006, c. 432.

§ 32.1-127. Regulations.

A. The regulations promulgated by the Board to carry out the provisions of this article shall be in substantial conformity to the standards of health, hygiene, sanitation, construction and safety as established and recognized by medical and health care professionals and by specialists in matters of public health and safety, including health and safety standards established under provisions of Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act, and to the provisions of Article 2 (§ 32.1-138 et seq.).

B. Such regulations:

1. Shall include minimum standards for (i) the construction and maintenance of hospitals, nursing homes and certified nursing facilities to ensure the environmental protection and the life safety of its patients, employees, and the public; (ii) the operation, staffing and equipping of hospitals, nursing homes and certified nursing facilities; (iii) qualifications and training of staff of hospitals, nursing homes and certified nursing facilities, except those professionals licensed or certified by the Department of Health Professions; (iv) conditions under which a hospital or nursing home may provide medical and nursing services to patients in their places of residence; and (v) policies related to infection prevention, disaster preparedness, and facility security of hospitals, nursing homes, and certified nursing facilities. For purposes of this paragraph, facilities in which five or more first trimester abortions per month are performed shall be classified as a category of "hospital";

2. Shall provide that at least one physician who is licensed to practice medicine in this Commonwealth shall be on call at all times, though not necessarily physically present on the premises, at each hospital which operates or holds itself out as operating an emergency service;

3. May classify hospitals and nursing homes by type of specialty or service and may provide for licensing hospitals and nursing homes by bed capacity and by type of specialty or service;

4. Shall also require that each hospital establish a protocol for organ donation, in compliance with federal law and the regulations of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), particularly 42 C.F.R. § 482.45. Each hospital shall have an agreement with an organ procurement organization designated in CMS regulations for routine contact, whereby the provider's designated organ procurement organization certified by CMS (i) is notified in a timely manner of all deaths or imminent deaths of patients in the hospital and (ii) is authorized to determine the suitability of the decedent or patient for organ donation and, in the absence of a similar arrangement with any eye bank or tissue bank in Virginia certified by the Eye Bank Association of America or the American Association of Tissue Banks, the suitability for tissue and eye donation. The hospital shall also have an agreement with at least one tissue bank and at least one eye bank to cooperate in the retrieval, processing, preservation, storage, and distribution of tissues and eyes to ensure that all usable tissues and eyes are obtained from potential donors and to avoid interference with organ procurement. The protocol shall ensure that the hospital collaborates with the designated organ procurement organization to inform the family of each potential donor of the option to donate organs, tissues, or eyes or to decline to donate. The individual making contact with the family shall have completed a course in the methodology for approaching potential donor families and requesting organ or tissue donation that (a) is offered or approved by the organ procurement organization and designed in conjunction with the tissue and eye bank community and (b) encourages discretion and sensitivity according to the specific circumstances, views, and beliefs of the relevant family. In addition, the hospital shall work cooperatively with the designated organ procurement organization in educating the staff responsible for contacting the organ procurement organization's personnel on donation issues, the proper review of death records to improve identification of potential donors, and the proper procedures for maintaining potential donors while necessary testing and placement of potential donated organs, tissues, and eyes takes place. This process shall be followed, without exception, unless the family of the relevant decedent or patient has expressed opposition to organ donation, the chief administrative officer of the hospital or his designee knows of such opposition, and no donor card or other relevant document, such as an advance directive, can be found;

5. Shall require that each hospital that provides obstetrical services establish a protocol for admission or transfer of any pregnant woman who presents herself while in labor;

6. Shall also require that each licensed hospital develop and implement a protocol requiring written discharge plans for identified, substance-abusing, postpartum women and their infants. The protocol shall require that the discharge plan be discussed with the patient and that appropriate referrals for the mother and the infant be made and documented. Appropriate referrals may include, but need not be limited to, treatment services, comprehensive early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families pursuant to Part H of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1471 et seq., and family-oriented prevention services. The discharge planning process shall involve, to the extent possible, the father of the infant and any members of the patient's extended family who may participate in the follow-up care for the mother and the infant. Immediately upon identification, pursuant to § 54.1-2403.1, of any substance-abusing, postpartum woman, the hospital shall notify, subject to federal law restrictions, the community services board of the jurisdiction in which the woman resides to appoint a discharge plan manager. The community services board shall implement and manage the discharge plan;

7. Shall require that each nursing home and certified nursing facility fully disclose to the applicant for admission the home's or facility's admissions policies, including any preferences given;

8. Shall require that each licensed hospital establish a protocol relating to the rights and responsibilities of patients which shall include a process reasonably designed to inform patients of such rights and responsibilities. Such rights and responsibilities of patients, a copy of which shall be given to patients on admission, shall be consistent with applicable federal law and regulations of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services;

9. Shall establish standards and maintain a process for designation of levels or categories of care in neonatal services according to an applicable national or state-developed evaluation system. Such standards may be differentiated for various levels or categories of care and may include, but need not be limited to, requirements for staffing credentials, staff/patient ratios, equipment, and medical protocols;

10. Shall require that each nursing home and certified nursing facility train all employees who are mandated to report adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation pursuant to § 63.2-1606 on such reporting procedures and the consequences for failing to make a required report;

11. Shall permit hospital personnel, as designated in medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, or hospital policies and procedures, to accept emergency telephone and other verbal orders for medication or treatment for hospital patients from physicians, and other persons lawfully authorized by state statute to give patient orders, subject to a requirement that such verbal order be signed, within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 72 hours as specified in the hospital's medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations or hospital policies and procedures, by the person giving the order, or, when such person is not available within the period of time specified, co-signed by another physician or other person authorized to give the order;

12. Shall require, unless the vaccination is medically contraindicated or the resident declines the offer of the vaccination, that each certified nursing facility and nursing home provide or arrange for the administration to its residents of (i) an annual vaccination against influenza and (ii) a pneumococcal vaccination, in accordance with the most recent recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

13. Shall require that each nursing home and certified nursing facility register with the Department of State Police to receive notice of the registration or reregistration of any sex offender within the same or a contiguous zip code area in which the home or facility is located, pursuant to § 9.1-914;

14. Shall require that each nursing home and certified nursing facility ascertain, prior to admission, whether a potential patient is a registered sex offender, if the home or facility anticipates the potential patient will have a length of stay greater than three days or in fact stays longer than three days;

15. Shall require that each licensed hospital include in its visitation policy a provision allowing each adult patient to receive visits from any individual from whom the patient desires to receive visits, subject to other restrictions contained in the visitation policy including, but not limited to, those related to the patient's medical condition and the number of visitors permitted in the patient's room simultaneously;

16. Shall require that each nursing home and certified nursing facility shall, upon the request of the facility's family council, send notices and information about the family council mutually developed by the family council and the administration of the nursing home or certified nursing facility, and provided to the facility for such purpose, to the listed responsible party or a contact person of the resident's choice up to six times per year. Such notices may be included together with a monthly billing statement or other regular communication. Notices and information shall also be posted in a designated location within the nursing home or certified nursing facility. No family member of a resident or other resident representative shall be restricted from participating in meetings in the facility with the families or resident representatives of other residents in the facility;

17. Shall require that each nursing home and certified nursing facility maintain liability insurance coverage in a minimum amount of $1 million, and professional liability coverage in an amount at least equal to the recovery limit set forth in § 8.01-581.15, to compensate patients or individuals for injuries and losses resulting from the negligent or criminal acts of the facility. Failure to maintain such minimum insurance shall result in revocation of the facility's license;

18. Shall require each hospital that provides obstetrical services to establish policies to follow when a stillbirth, as defined in § 32.1-69.1, occurs that meet the guidelines pertaining to counseling patients and their families and other aspects of managing stillbirths as may be specified by the Board in its regulations;

19. Shall require each nursing home to provide a full refund of any unexpended patient funds on deposit with the facility following the discharge or death of a patient, other than entrance-related fees paid to a continuing care provider as defined in § 38.2-4900, within 30 days of a written request for such funds by the discharged patient or, in the case of the death of a patient, the person administering the person's estate in accordance with the Virginia Small Estates Act (§ 64.2-600 et seq.); and

20. Shall require that each hospital that provides inpatient psychiatric services establish a protocol that (i) requires, for any refusal to admit a medically stable patient referred to its psychiatric unit, direct verbal communication between the on-call physician in the psychiatric unit and the referring physician, if requested by such referring physician, and (ii) prohibits on-call physicians or other hospital staff from refusing a request for such direct verbal communication by a referring physician.

C. Upon obtaining the appropriate license, if applicable, licensed hospitals, nursing homes, and certified nursing facilities may operate adult day care centers.

D. All facilities licensed by the Board pursuant to this article which provide treatment or care for hemophiliacs and, in the course of such treatment, stock clotting factors, shall maintain records of all lot numbers or other unique identifiers for such clotting factors in order that, in the event the lot is found to be contaminated with an infectious agent, those hemophiliacs who have received units of this contaminated clotting factor may be apprised of this contamination. Facilities which have identified a lot which is known to be contaminated shall notify the recipient's attending physician and request that he notify the recipient of the contamination. If the physician is unavailable, the facility shall notify by mail, return receipt requested, each recipient who received treatment from a known contaminated lot at the individual's last known address.

Code 1950, § 32-301; 1972, c. 36; 1979, c. 711; 1985, c. 335; 1986, c. 135; 1987, c. 224; 1988, cc. 325, 418; 1989, cc. 434, 618, 699; 1992, cc. 334, 428; 1993, c. 335; 1996, cc. 361, 411; 1997, c. 454; 1998, c. 450; 2000, cc. 176, 810; 2001, c. 463; 2004, c. 762; 2007, cc. 119, 164, 516; 2011, cc. 406, 412, 670; 2013, c. 320; 2014, c. 320; 2015, c. 661; 2016, c. 85; 2017, cc. 175, 462.

§ 32.1-127.001. Certain design and construction standards to be incorporated in hospital and nursing home licensure regulations.

Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, the Board of Health shall promulgate regulations pursuant to § 32.1-127 for the licensure of hospitals and nursing homes that shall include minimum standards for the design and construction of hospitals, nursing homes, and certified nursing facilities consistent with the current edition of the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities issued by the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Health.

2005, cc. 177, 222.

§ 32.1-127.01. Regulations to authorize certain sanctions and guidelines.

The regulations established pursuant to § 32.1-127 shall authorize the Commissioner to initiate court proceedings against nursing homes and certified nursing facilities, except for facilities or units certified as facilities for individuals with intellectual disability. Such proceedings may be initiated by themselves or in conjunction with the administrative sanctions provided in § 32.1-135.

The Board shall promulgate guidelines for the Commissioner to determine when the imposition of administrative sanctions or initiation of court proceedings as specified in § 32.1-27.1, or both, are appropriate in order to ensure prompt correction of violations involving noncompliance with requirements of state or federal law or regulation as discovered on any inspection conducted by the Department of Health pursuant to the provisions of this article or the provisions of Title XVIII or Title XIX of the Social Security Act or as discovered on any inspection conducted by the Department of Medical Assistance Services pursuant to Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

1989, c. 618; 2012, cc. 476, 507.

§ 32.1-127.1. Immunity from liability for routine referral for organ and tissue donation.

Any chief administrative officer of a hospital or his designee who administers the routine referral required by § 32.1-127 and any representative of any organ procurement organization or eye or tissue bank who receives notice of a death or imminent death, determines the suitability of the decedent or patient for organ donation, makes contact with the family of a decedent or patient to request the donation of organs, tissues or eyes, or assists or performs the removal of any donated organs, tissues or eyes shall be immune from civil liability for any act, decision, or omission or statement made in accordance with the provisions of § 32.1-127, the regulations of the Board, and the provisions of the Health Care Financing Administration's regulations on routine referral and organ donation, unless he was grossly negligent or acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.

1988, cc. 325, 418; 2000, c. 810.

§ 32.1-127.1:01. Record storage.

A. Health records, as defined in § 32.1-127.1:03, may be stored by computerized or other electronic process or microfilm, or other photographic, mechanical, or chemical process; however, the stored record shall identify the location of any documents or information that could not be so technologically stored. If the technological storage process creates an unalterable record, the nursing facility, hospital or other licensed health care provider shall not be required to maintain paper copies of health records that have been stored by computerized or other electronic process, microfilm, or other photographic, mechanical, or chemical process. Upon completing such technological storage, paper copies of health records may be destroyed in a manner that preserves the patient's confidentiality. However, any documents or information that could not be so technologically stored shall be preserved.

B. Notwithstanding the authority of this section to copy health records in the form of microfilm, prescription dispensing records maintained in or on behalf of any pharmacy registered or permitted in Virginia shall only be stored in compliance with §§ 54.1-3410, 54.1-3411, and 54.1-3412.

1994, c. 390; 1998, c. 470; 2012, c. 336.

§ 32.1-127.1:02. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1997, c. 682.

§ 32.1-127.1:03. Health records privacy.

A. There is hereby recognized an individual's right of privacy in the content of his health records. Health records are the property of the health care entity maintaining them, and, except when permitted or required by this section or by other provisions of state law, no health care entity, or other person working in a health care setting, may disclose an individual's health records.

Pursuant to this subsection:

1. Health care entities shall disclose health records to the individual who is the subject of the health record, except as provided in subsections E and F and subsection B of § 8.01-413.

2. Health records shall not be removed from the premises where they are maintained without the approval of the health care entity that maintains such health records, except in accordance with a court order or subpoena consistent with subsection C of § 8.01-413 or with this section or in accordance with the regulations relating to change of ownership of health records promulgated by a health regulatory board established in Title 54.1.

3. No person to whom health records are disclosed shall redisclose or otherwise reveal the health records of an individual, beyond the purpose for which such disclosure was made, without first obtaining the individual's specific authorization to such redisclosure. This redisclosure prohibition shall not, however, prevent (i) any health care entity that receives health records from another health care entity from making subsequent disclosures as permitted under this section and the federal Department of Health and Human Services regulations relating to privacy of the electronic transmission of data and protected health information promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)(42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.) or (ii) any health care entity from furnishing health records and aggregate or other data, from which individually identifying prescription information has been removed, encoded or encrypted, to qualified researchers, including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical manufacturers and their agents or contractors, for purposes of clinical, pharmaco-epidemiological, pharmaco-economic, or other health services research.

4. Health care entities shall, upon the request of the individual who is the subject of the health record, disclose health records to other health care entities, in any available format of the requester's choosing, as provided in subsection E.

B. As used in this section:

"Agent" means a person who has been appointed as an individual's agent under a power of attorney for health care or an advance directive under the Health Care Decisions Act (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.).

"Certification" means a written representation that is delivered by hand, by first-class mail, by overnight delivery service, or by facsimile if the sender obtains a facsimile-machine-generated confirmation reflecting that all facsimile pages were successfully transmitted.

"Guardian" means a court-appointed guardian of the person.

"Health care clearinghouse" means, consistent with the definition set out in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103, a public or private entity, such as a billing service, repricing company, community health management information system or community health information system, and "value-added" networks and switches, that performs either of the following functions: (i) processes or facilitates the processing of health information received from another entity in a nonstandard format or containing nonstandard data content into standard data elements or a standard transaction; or (ii) receives a standard transaction from another entity and processes or facilitates the processing of health information into nonstandard format or nonstandard data content for the receiving entity.

"Health care entity" means any health care provider, health plan or health care clearinghouse.

"Health care provider" means those entities listed in the definition of "health care provider" in § 8.01-581.1, except that state-operated facilities shall also be considered health care providers for the purposes of this section. Health care provider shall also include all persons who are licensed, certified, registered or permitted or who hold a multistate licensure privilege issued by any of the health regulatory boards within the Department of Health Professions, except persons regulated by the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers or the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

"Health plan" means an individual or group plan that provides, or pays the cost of, medical care. "Health plan" includes any entity included in such definition as set out in 45 C.F.R. § 160.103.

"Health record" means any written, printed or electronically recorded material maintained by a health care entity in the course of providing health services to an individual concerning the individual and the services provided. "Health record" also includes the substance of any communication made by an individual to a health care entity in confidence during or in connection with the provision of health services or information otherwise acquired by the health care entity about an individual in confidence and in connection with the provision of health services to the individual.

"Health services" means, but shall not be limited to, examination, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, pharmaceuticals, aftercare, habilitation or rehabilitation and mental health therapy of any kind, as well as payment or reimbursement for any such services.

"Individual" means a patient who is receiving or has received health services from a health care entity.

"Individually identifying prescription information" means all prescriptions, drug orders or any other prescription information that specifically identifies an individual.

"Parent" means a biological, adoptive or foster parent.

"Psychotherapy notes" means comments, recorded in any medium by a health care provider who is a mental health professional, documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session with an individual or a group, joint, or family counseling session that are separated from the rest of the individual's health record. "Psychotherapy notes" does not include annotations relating to medication and prescription monitoring, counseling session start and stop times, treatment modalities and frequencies, clinical test results, or any summary of any symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, functional status, treatment plan, or the individual's progress to date.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any of the following:

1. The status of and release of information governed by §§ 65.2-604 and 65.2-607 of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act;

2. Except where specifically provided herein, the health records of minors; or

3. The release of juvenile health records to a secure facility or a shelter care facility pursuant to § 16.1-248.3.

D. Health care entities may, and, when required by other provisions of state law, shall, disclose health records:

1. As set forth in subsection E, pursuant to the written authorization of (i) the individual or (ii) in the case of a minor, (a) his custodial parent, guardian or other person authorized to consent to treatment of minors pursuant to § 54.1-2969 or (b) the minor himself, if he has consented to his own treatment pursuant to § 54.1-2969, or (iii) in emergency cases or situations where it is impractical to obtain an individual's written authorization, pursuant to the individual's oral authorization for a health care provider or health plan to discuss the individual's health records with a third party specified by the individual;

2. In compliance with a subpoena issued in accord with subsection H, pursuant to a search warrant or a grand jury subpoena, pursuant to court order upon good cause shown or in compliance with a subpoena issued pursuant to subsection C of § 8.01-413. Regardless of the manner by which health records relating to an individual are compelled to be disclosed pursuant to this subdivision, nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit any staff or employee of a health care entity from providing information about such individual to a law-enforcement officer in connection with such subpoena, search warrant, or court order;

3. In accord with subsection F of § 8.01-399 including, but not limited to, situations where disclosure is reasonably necessary to establish or collect a fee or to defend a health care entity or the health care entity's employees or staff against any accusation of wrongful conduct; also as required in the course of an investigation, audit, review or proceedings regarding a health care entity's conduct by a duly authorized law-enforcement, licensure, accreditation, or professional review entity;

4. In testimony in accordance with §§ 8.01-399 and 8.01-400.2;

5. In compliance with the provisions of § 8.01-413;

6. As required or authorized by law relating to public health activities, health oversight activities, serious threats to health or safety, or abuse, neglect or domestic violence, relating to contagious disease, public safety, and suspected child or adult abuse reporting requirements, including, but not limited to, those contained in §§ 32.1-36, 32.1-36.1, 32.1-40, 32.1-41, 32.1-127.1:04, 32.1-276.5, 32.1-283, 32.1-283.1, 32.1-320, 37.2-710, 37.2-839, 53.1-40.10, 54.1-2400.6, 54.1-2400.7, 54.1-2400.9, 54.1-2403.3, 54.1-2506, 54.1-2966, 54.1-2967, 54.1-2968, 54.1-3408.2, 63.2-1509, and 63.2-1606;

7. Where necessary in connection with the care of the individual;

8. In connection with the health care entity's own health care operations or the health care operations of another health care entity, as specified in 45 C.F.R. § 164.501, or in the normal course of business in accordance with accepted standards of practice within the health services setting; however, the maintenance, storage, and disclosure of the mass of prescription dispensing records maintained in a pharmacy registered or permitted in Virginia shall only be accomplished in compliance with §§ 54.1-3410, 54.1-3411, and 54.1-3412;

9. When the individual has waived his right to the privacy of the health records;

10. When examination and evaluation of an individual are undertaken pursuant to judicial or administrative law order, but only to the extent as required by such order;

11. To the guardian ad litem and any attorney representing the respondent in the course of a guardianship proceeding of an adult patient who is the respondent in a proceeding under Chapter 20 (§ 64.2-2000 et seq.) of Title 64.2;

12. To the guardian ad litem and any attorney appointed by the court to represent an individual who is or has been a patient who is the subject of a commitment proceeding under § 19.2-169.6, Article 5 (§ 37.2-814 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 37.2, Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1, or a judicial authorization for treatment proceeding pursuant to Chapter 11 (§ 37.2-1100 et seq.) of Title 37.2;

13. To a magistrate, the court, the evaluator or examiner required under Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1 or § 37.2-815, a community services board or behavioral health authority or a designee of a community services board or behavioral health authority, or a law-enforcement officer participating in any proceeding under Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1, § 19.2-169.6, or Chapter 8 (§ 37.2-800 et seq.) of Title 37.2 regarding the subject of the proceeding, and to any health care provider evaluating or providing services to the person who is the subject of the proceeding or monitoring the person's adherence to a treatment plan ordered under those provisions. Health records disclosed to a law-enforcement officer shall be limited to information necessary to protect the officer, the person, or the public from physical injury or to address the health care needs of the person. Information disclosed to a law-enforcement officer shall not be used for any other purpose, disclosed to others, or retained;

14. To the attorney and/or guardian ad litem of a minor who represents such minor in any judicial or administrative proceeding, if the court or administrative hearing officer has entered an order granting the attorney or guardian ad litem this right and such attorney or guardian ad litem presents evidence to the health care entity of such order;

15. With regard to the Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, a minor's health records in accord with § 9.1-156;

16. To an agent appointed under an individual's power of attorney or to an agent or decision maker designated in an individual's advance directive for health care or for decisions on anatomical gifts and organ, tissue or eye donation or to any other person consistent with the provisions of the Health Care Decisions Act (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.);

17. To third-party payors and their agents for purposes of reimbursement;

18. As is necessary to support an application for receipt of health care benefits from a governmental agency or as required by an authorized governmental agency reviewing such application or reviewing benefits already provided or as necessary to the coordination of prevention and control of disease, injury, or disability and delivery of such health care benefits pursuant to § 32.1-127.1:04;

19. Upon the sale of a medical practice as provided in § 54.1-2405; or upon a change of ownership or closing of a pharmacy pursuant to regulations of the Board of Pharmacy;

20. In accord with subsection B of § 54.1-2400.1, to communicate an individual's specific and immediate threat to cause serious bodily injury or death of an identified or readily identifiable person;

21. Where necessary in connection with the implementation of a hospital's routine contact process for organ donation pursuant to subdivision B 4 of § 32.1-127;

22. In the case of substance abuse records, when permitted by and in conformity with requirements of federal law found in 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2 and 42 C.F.R. Part 2;

23. In connection with the work of any entity established as set forth in § 8.01-581.16 to evaluate the adequacy or quality of professional services or the competency and qualifications for professional staff privileges;

24. If the health records are those of a deceased or mentally incapacitated individual to the personal representative or executor of the deceased individual or the legal guardian or committee of the incompetent or incapacitated individual or if there is no personal representative, executor, legal guardian or committee appointed, to the following persons in the following order of priority: a spouse, an adult son or daughter, either parent, an adult brother or sister, or any other relative of the deceased individual in order of blood relationship;

25. For the purpose of conducting record reviews of inpatient hospital deaths to promote identification of all potential organ, eye, and tissue donors in conformance with the requirements of applicable federal law and regulations, including 42 C.F.R. § 482.45, (i) to the health care provider's designated organ procurement organization certified by the United States Health Care Financing Administration and (ii) to any eye bank or tissue bank in Virginia certified by the Eye Bank Association of America or the American Association of Tissue Banks;

26. To the Office of the State Inspector General pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (§ 2.2-307 et seq.) of Title 2.2;

27. To an entity participating in the activities of a local health partnership authority established pursuant to Article 6.1 (§ 32.1-122.10:001 et seq.) of Chapter 4, pursuant to subdivision 1;

28. To law-enforcement officials by each licensed emergency medical services agency, (i) when the individual is the victim of a crime or (ii) when the individual has been arrested and has received emergency medical services or has refused emergency medical services and the health records consist of the prehospital patient care report required by § 32.1-116.1;

29. To law-enforcement officials, in response to their request, for the purpose of identifying or locating a suspect, fugitive, person required to register pursuant to § 9.1-901 of the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, material witness, or missing person, provided that only the following information may be disclosed: (i) name and address of the person, (ii) date and place of birth of the person, (iii) social security number of the person, (iv) blood type of the person, (v) date and time of treatment received by the person, (vi) date and time of death of the person, where applicable, (vii) description of distinguishing physical characteristics of the person, and (viii) type of injury sustained by the person;

30. To law-enforcement officials regarding the death of an individual for the purpose of alerting law enforcement of the death if the health care entity has a suspicion that such death may have resulted from criminal conduct;

31. To law-enforcement officials if the health care entity believes in good faith that the information disclosed constitutes evidence of a crime that occurred on its premises;

32. To the State Health Commissioner pursuant to § 32.1-48.015 when such records are those of a person or persons who are 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;

33. To the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry or his designee by each licensed emergency medical services agency when the records consist of the prehospital patient care report required by § 32.1-116.1 and the patient has suffered an injury or death on a work site while performing duties or tasks that are within the scope of his employment;

34. To notify a family member or personal representative of an individual who is the subject of a proceeding pursuant to Article 16 (§ 16.1-335 et seq.) of Chapter 11 of Title 16.1 or Chapter 8 (§ 37.2-800 et seq.) of Title 37.2 of information that is directly relevant to such person's involvement with the individual's health care, which may include the individual's location and general condition, when the individual has the capacity to make health care decisions and (i) the individual has agreed to the notification, (ii) the individual has been provided an opportunity to object to the notification and does not express an objection, or (iii) the health care provider can, on the basis of his professional judgment, reasonably infer from the circumstances that the individual does not object to the notification. If the opportunity to agree or object to the notification cannot practicably be provided because of the individual's incapacity or an emergency circumstance, the health care provider may notify a family member or personal representative of the individual of information that is directly relevant to such person's involvement with the individual's health care, which may include the individual's location and general condition if the health care provider, in the exercise of his professional judgment, determines that the notification is in the best interests of the individual. Such notification shall not be made if the provider has actual knowledge the family member or personal representative is currently prohibited by court order from contacting the individual;

35. To a threat assessment team established by a local school board pursuant to § 22.1-79.4, by a public institution of higher education pursuant to § 23.1-805, or by a private nonprofit institution of higher education; and

36. To a regional emergency medical services council pursuant to § 32.1-116.1, for purposes limited to monitoring and improving the quality of emergency medical services pursuant to § 32.1-111.3.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 1 through 35, a health care entity shall obtain an individual's written authorization for any disclosure of psychotherapy notes, except when disclosure by the health care entity is (i) for its own training programs in which students, trainees, or practitioners in mental health are being taught under supervision to practice or to improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling; (ii) to defend itself or its employees or staff against any accusation of wrongful conduct; (iii) in the discharge of the duty, in accordance with subsection B of § 54.1-2400.1, to take precautions to protect third parties from violent behavior or other serious harm; (iv) required in the course of an investigation, audit, review, or proceeding regarding a health care entity's conduct by a duly authorized law-enforcement, licensure, accreditation, or professional review entity; or (v) otherwise required by law.

E. Health care records required to be disclosed pursuant to this section shall be made available electronically only to the extent and in the manner authorized by the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (P.L. 111-5) and implementing regulations and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (42 U.S.C. § 1320d et seq.) and implementing regulations. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, a health care entity shall not be required to provide records in an electronic format requested if (i) the electronic format is not reasonably available without additional cost to the health care entity, (ii) the records would be subject to modification in the format requested, or (iii) the health care entity determines that the integrity of the records could be compromised in the electronic format requested. Requests for copies of or electronic access to health records shall (a) be in writing, dated and signed by the requester; (b) identify the nature of the information requested; and (c) include evidence of the authority of the requester to receive such copies or access such records, and identification of the person to whom the information is to be disclosed; and (d) specify whether the requester would like the records in electronic format, if available, or in paper format. The health care entity shall accept a photocopy, facsimile, or other copy of the original signed by the requester as if it were an original. Within 30 days of receipt of a request for copies of or electronic access to health records, the health care entity shall do one of the following: (1) furnish such copies of or allow electronic access to the requested health records to any requester authorized to receive them in electronic format if so requested; (2) inform the requester if the information does not exist or cannot be found; (3) if the health care entity does not maintain a record of the information, so inform the requester and provide the name and address, if known, of the health care entity who maintains the record; or (4) deny the request (A) under subsection F, (B) on the grounds that the requester has not established his authority to receive such health records or proof of his identity, or (C) as otherwise provided by law. Procedures set forth in this section shall apply only to requests for health records not specifically governed by other provisions of state law.

F. Except as provided in subsection B of § 8.01-413, copies of or electronic access to an individual's health records shall not be furnished to such individual or anyone authorized to act on the individual's behalf when the individual's treating physician or the individual's treating clinical psychologist has made a part of the individual's record a written statement that, in the exercise of his professional judgment, the furnishing to or review by the individual of such health records would be reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or another person, or that such health record makes reference to a person other than a health care provider and the access requested would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to such referenced person. If any health care entity denies a request for copies of or electronic access to health records based on such statement, the health care entity shall inform the individual of the individual's right to designate, in writing, at his own expense, another reviewing physician or clinical psychologist, whose licensure, training and experience relative to the individual's condition are at least equivalent to that of the physician or clinical psychologist upon whose opinion the denial is based. The designated reviewing physician or clinical psychologist shall make a judgment as to whether to make the health record available to the individual.

The health care entity denying the request shall also inform the individual of the individual's right to request in writing that such health care entity designate, at its own expense, a physician or clinical psychologist, whose licensure, training, and experience relative to the individual's condition are at least equivalent to that of the physician or clinical psychologist upon whose professional judgment the denial is based and who did not participate in the original decision to deny the health records, who shall make a judgment as to whether to make the health record available to the individual. The health care entity shall comply with the judgment of the reviewing physician or clinical psychologist. The health care entity shall permit copying and examination of the health record by such other physician or clinical psychologist designated by either the individual at his own expense or by the health care entity at its expense.

Any health record copied for review by any such designated physician or clinical psychologist shall be accompanied by a statement from the custodian of the health record that the individual's treating physician or clinical psychologist determined that the individual's review of his health record would be reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to a person referenced in the health record who is not a health care provider.

Further, nothing herein shall be construed as giving, or interpreted to bestow the right to receive copies of, or otherwise obtain access to, psychotherapy notes to any individual or any person authorized to act on his behalf.

G. A written authorization to allow release of an individual's health records shall substantially include the following information:

AUTHORIZATION TO RELEASE CONFIDENTIAL HEALTH RECORDS

Individual's Name ________________________________________

Health Care Entity's Name ________________________________________

Person, Agency, or Health Care Entity to whom disclosure is to be made

____________________________________________________________

Information or Health Records to be disclosed

____________________________________________________________

Purpose of Disclosure or at the Request of the Individual

____________________________________________________________

As the person signing this authorization, I understand that I am giving my permission to the above-named health care entity for disclosure of confidential health records. I understand that the health care entity may not condition treatment or payment on my willingness to sign this authorization unless the specific circumstances under which such conditioning is permitted by law are applicable and are set forth in this authorization. I also understand that I have the right to revoke this authorization at any time, but that my revocation is not effective until delivered in writing to the person who is in possession of my health records and is not effective as to health records already disclosed under this authorization. A copy of this authorization and a notation concerning the persons or agencies to whom disclosure was made shall be included with my original health records. I understand that health information disclosed under this authorization might be redisclosed by a recipient and may, as a result of such disclosure, no longer be protected to the same extent as such health information was protected by law while solely in the possession of the health care entity.

This authorization expires on (date) or (event) ____________________

Signature of Individual or Individual's Legal Representative if Individual is Unable to Sign

____________________________________________________________

Relationship or Authority of Legal Representative

____________________________________________________________

Date of Signature ____________________

H. Pursuant to this subsection:

1. Unless excepted from these provisions in subdivision 9, no party to a civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding shall request the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum for another party's health records or cause a subpoena duces tecum to be issued by an attorney unless a copy of the request for the subpoena or a copy of the attorney-issued subpoena is provided to the other party's counsel or to the other party if pro se, simultaneously with filing the request or issuance of the subpoena. No party to an action or proceeding shall request or cause the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum for the health records of a nonparty witness unless a copy of the request for the subpoena or a copy of the attorney-issued subpoena is provided to the nonparty witness simultaneously with filing the request or issuance of the attorney-issued subpoena.

No subpoena duces tecum for health records shall set a return date earlier than 15 days from the date of the subpoena except by order of a court or administrative agency for good cause shown. When a court or administrative agency directs that health records be disclosed pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum earlier than 15 days from the date of the subpoena, a copy of the order shall accompany the subpoena.

Any party requesting a subpoena duces tecum for health records or on whose behalf the subpoena duces tecum is being issued shall have the duty to determine whether the individual whose health records are being sought is pro se or a nonparty.

In instances where health records being subpoenaed are those of a pro se party or nonparty witness, the party requesting or issuing the subpoena shall deliver to the pro se party or nonparty witness together with the copy of the request for subpoena, or a copy of the subpoena in the case of an attorney-issued subpoena, a statement informing them of their rights and remedies. The statement shall include the following language and the heading shall be in boldface capital letters:

NOTICE TO INDIVIDUAL

The attached document means that (insert name of party requesting or causing issuance of the subpoena) has either asked the court or administrative agency to issue a subpoena or a subpoena has been issued by the other party's attorney to your doctor, other health care providers (names of health care providers inserted here) or other health care entity (name of health care entity to be inserted here) requiring them to produce your health records. Your doctor, other health care provider or other health care entity is required to respond by providing a copy of your health records. If you believe your health records should not be disclosed and object to their disclosure, you have the right to file a motion with the clerk of the court or the administrative agency to quash the subpoena. If you elect to file a motion to quash, such motion must be filed within 15 days of the date of the request or of the attorney-issued subpoena. You may contact the clerk's office or the administrative agency to determine the requirements that must be satisfied when filing a motion to quash and you may elect to contact an attorney to represent your interest. If you elect to file a motion to quash, you must notify your doctor, other health care provider(s), or other health care entity, that you are filing the motion so that the health care provider or health care entity knows to send the health records to the clerk of court or administrative agency in a sealed envelope or package for safekeeping while your motion is decided.

2. Any party filing a request for a subpoena duces tecum or causing such a subpoena to be issued for an individual's health records shall include a Notice in the same part of the request in which the recipient of the subpoena duces tecum is directed where and when to return the health records. Such notice shall be in boldface capital letters and shall include the following language:

NOTICE TO HEALTH CARE ENTITIES

A COPY OF THIS SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHOSE HEALTH RECORDS ARE BEING REQUESTED OR HIS COUNSEL. YOU OR THAT INDIVIDUAL HAS THE RIGHT TO FILE A MOTION TO QUASH (OBJECT TO) THE ATTACHED SUBPOENA. IF YOU ELECT TO FILE A MOTION TO QUASH, YOU MUST FILE THE MOTION WITHIN 15 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS SUBPOENA.

YOU MUST NOT RESPOND TO THIS SUBPOENA UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED WRITTEN CERTIFICATION FROM THE PARTY ON WHOSE BEHALF THE SUBPOENA WAS ISSUED THAT THE TIME FOR FILING A MOTION TO QUASH HAS ELAPSED AND THAT:

NO MOTION TO QUASH WAS FILED; OR

ANY MOTION TO QUASH HAS BEEN RESOLVED BY THE COURT OR THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY AND THE DISCLOSURES SOUGHT ARE CONSISTENT WITH SUCH RESOLUTION.

IF YOU RECEIVE NOTICE THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WHOSE HEALTH RECORDS ARE BEING REQUESTED HAS FILED A MOTION TO QUASH THIS SUBPOENA, OR IF YOU FILE A MOTION TO QUASH THIS SUBPOENA, YOU MUST SEND THE HEALTH RECORDS ONLY TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY THAT ISSUED THE SUBPOENA OR IN WHICH THE ACTION IS PENDING AS SHOWN ON THE SUBPOENA USING THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE:

PLACE THE HEALTH RECORDS IN A SEALED ENVELOPE AND ATTACH TO THE SEALED ENVELOPE A COVER LETTER TO THE CLERK OF COURT OR ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY WHICH STATES THAT CONFIDENTIAL HEALTH RECORDS ARE ENCLOSED AND ARE TO BE HELD UNDER SEAL PENDING A RULING ON THE MOTION TO QUASH THE SUBPOENA. THE SEALED ENVELOPE AND THE COVER LETTER SHALL BE PLACED IN AN OUTER ENVELOPE OR PACKAGE FOR TRANSMITTAL TO THE COURT OR ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY.

3. Upon receiving a valid subpoena duces tecum for health records, health care entities shall have the duty to respond to the subpoena in accordance with the provisions of subdivisions 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

4. Except to deliver to a clerk of the court or administrative agency subpoenaed health records in a sealed envelope as set forth, health care entities shall not respond to a subpoena duces tecum for such health records until they have received a certification as set forth in subdivision 5 or 8 from the party on whose behalf the subpoena duces tecum was issued.

If the health care entity has actual receipt of notice that a motion to quash the subpoena has been filed or if the health care entity files a motion to quash the subpoena for health records, then the health care entity shall produce the health records, in a securely sealed envelope, to the clerk of the court or administrative agency issuing the subpoena or in whose court or administrative agency the action is pending. The court or administrative agency shall place the health records under seal until a determination is made regarding the motion to quash. The securely sealed envelope shall only be opened on order of the judge or administrative agency. In the event the court or administrative agency grants the motion to quash, the health records shall be returned to the health care entity in the same sealed envelope in which they were delivered to the court or administrative agency. In the event that a judge or administrative agency orders the sealed envelope to be opened to review the health records in camera, a copy of the order shall accompany any health records returned to the health care entity. The health records returned to the health care entity shall be in a securely sealed envelope.

5. If no motion to quash is filed within 15 days of the date of the request or of the attorney-issued subpoena, the party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued shall have the duty to certify to the subpoenaed health care entity that the time for filing a motion to quash has elapsed and that no motion to quash was filed. Any health care entity receiving such certification shall have the duty to comply with the subpoena duces tecum by returning the specified health records by either the return date on the subpoena or five days after receipt of the certification, whichever is later.

6. In the event that the individual whose health records are being sought files a motion to quash the subpoena, the court or administrative agency shall decide whether good cause has been shown by the discovering party to compel disclosure of the individual's health records over the individual's objections. In determining whether good cause has been shown, the court or administrative agency shall consider (i) the particular purpose for which the information was collected; (ii) the degree to which the disclosure of the records would embarrass, injure, or invade the privacy of the individual; (iii) the effect of the disclosure on the individual's future health care; (iv) the importance of the information to the lawsuit or proceeding; and (v) any other relevant factor.

7. Concurrent with the court or administrative agency's resolution of a motion to quash, if subpoenaed health records have been submitted by a health care entity to the court or administrative agency in a sealed envelope, the court or administrative agency shall: (i) upon determining that no submitted health records should be disclosed, return all submitted health records to the health care entity in a sealed envelope; (ii) upon determining that all submitted health records should be disclosed, provide all the submitted health records to the party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued; or (iii) upon determining that only a portion of the submitted health records should be disclosed, provide such portion to the party on whose behalf the subpoena was issued and return the remaining health records to the health care entity in a sealed envelope.

8. Following the court or administrative agency's resolution of a motion to quash, the party on whose behalf the subpoena duces tecum was issued shall have the duty to certify in writing to the subpoenaed health care entity a statement of one of the following:

a. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are consistent with such resolution; and, therefore, the health records previously delivered in a sealed envelope to the clerk of the court or administrative agency will not be returned to the health care entity;

b. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are consistent with such resolution and that, since no health records have previously been delivered to the court or administrative agency by the health care entity, the health care entity shall comply with the subpoena duces tecum by returning the health records designated in the subpoena by the return date on the subpoena or five days after receipt of certification, whichever is later;

c. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are not consistent with such resolution; therefore, no health records shall be disclosed and all health records previously delivered in a sealed envelope to the clerk of the court or administrative agency will be returned to the health care entity;

d. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are not consistent with such resolution and that only limited disclosure has been authorized. The certification shall state that only the portion of the health records as set forth in the certification, consistent with the court or administrative agency's ruling, shall be disclosed. The certification shall also state that health records that were previously delivered to the court or administrative agency for which disclosure has been authorized will not be returned to the health care entity; however, all health records for which disclosure has not been authorized will be returned to the health care entity; or

e. All filed motions to quash have been resolved by the court or administrative agency and the disclosures sought in the subpoena duces tecum are not consistent with such resolution and, since no health records have previously been delivered to the court or administrative agency by the health care entity, the health care entity shall return only those health records specified in the certification, consistent with the court or administrative agency's ruling, by the return date on the subpoena or five days after receipt of the certification, whichever is later.

A copy of the court or administrative agency's ruling shall accompany any certification made pursuant to this subdivision.

9. The provisions of this subsection have no application to subpoenas for health records requested under § 8.01-413, or issued by a duly authorized administrative agency conducting an investigation, audit, review or proceedings regarding a health care entity's conduct.

The provisions of this subsection shall apply to subpoenas for the health records of both minors and adults.

Nothing in this subsection shall have any effect on the existing authority of a court or administrative agency to issue a protective order regarding health records, including, but not limited to, ordering the return of health records to a health care entity, after the period for filing a motion to quash has passed.

A subpoena for substance abuse records must conform to the requirements of federal law found in 42 C.F.R. Part 2, Subpart E.

I. Health care entities may testify about the health records of an individual in compliance with §§ 8.01-399 and 8.01-400.2.

J. If an individual requests a copy of his health record from a health care entity, the health care entity may impose a reasonable cost-based fee, which shall include only the cost of supplies for and labor of copying the requested information, postage when the individual requests that such information be mailed, and preparation of an explanation or summary of such information as agreed to by the individual. For the purposes of this section, "individual" shall subsume a person with authority to act on behalf of the individual who is the subject of the health record in making decisions related to his health care.

K. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a health care provider who prescribes or dispenses a controlled substance required to be reported to the Prescription Monitoring Program established pursuant to Chapter 25.2 (§ 54.1-2519 et seq.) of Title 54.1 to a patient from disclosing information obtained from the Prescription Monitoring Program and contained in a patient's health care record to another health care provider when such disclosure is related to the care or treatment of the patient who is the subject of the record.

1997, c. 682; 1998, c. 470; 1999, cc. 812, 956, 1010; 2000, cc. 810, 813, 923, 927; 2001, c. 671; 2002, cc. 568, 658, 835, 860; 2003, cc. 471, 907, 983; 2004, cc. 49, 64, 65, 66, 67, 163, 773, 1014, 1021; 2005, cc. 39, 101, 642, 697; 2006, c. 433; 2007, c. 497; 2008, cc. 315, 782, 850, 870; 2009, cc. 606, 651, 813, 840; 2010, cc. 185, 340, 406, 456, 524, 778, 825; 2011, cc. 499, 668, 798, 812, 844, 871; 2012, cc. 386, 402, 479; 2016, c. 554; 2017, cc. 457, 712, 720.

§ 32.1-127.1:04. Use or disclosure of certain protected health information required.

A. The coordination of prevention and control of disease, injury, or disability and the delivery of health care benefits are hereby declared to be (i) necessary public health activities; (ii) necessary health oversight activities for the integrity of the health care system; and (iii) necessary to prevent serious harm and serious threats to the health and safety of individuals and the public.

B. The Departments of Health, Medical Assistance Services, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and Social Services, and the Departments for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Blind and Vision Impaired, and the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, or any successors in interest thereof shall establish a secure system for sharing protected health information that may be necessary for the coordination of prevention and control of disease, injury, or disability and for the delivery of health care benefits when such protected information concerns individuals who (i) have contracted a reportable disease, including exposure to a toxic substance, as required by the Board of Health pursuant to § 32.1-35 or other disease or disability required to be reported by law; (ii) are the subjects of public health surveillance, public health investigations, or public health interventions or are applicants for or recipients of medical assistance services; (iii) have been or are the victims of child abuse or neglect or domestic violence; or (iv) may present a serious threat to health or safety of a person or the public or may be subject to a serious threat to their health or safety. For the purposes of this section, "public health interventions" shall include the services provided through the Departments for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Blind and Vision Impaired, and the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, or any successors in interest thereof.

Pursuant to the regulations concerning patient privacy promulgated by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, covered entities may disclose protected health information to the secure system without obtaining consent or authorization for such disclosure. Such protected health information shall be used exclusively for the purposes established in this section.

C. The Office of the Attorney General shall advise the Departments of Health, Medical Assistance Services, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and Social Services and the Departments for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Blind and Vision Impaired, and the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, or any successors in interest thereof, in the implementation of this section.

2002, c. 835; 2003, c. 464; 2009, cc. 813, 840; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 32.1-127.1:05. Breach of medical information notification.

A. As used in this section:

"Breach of the security of the system" means unauthorized access and acquisition of unencrypted and unredacted computerized data that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of medical information maintained by an entity. Good faith acquisition of medical information by an employee or agent of an entity for the purposes of the entity is not a breach of the security of the system, provided that the medical information is not used for a purpose other than a lawful purpose of the entity or subject to further unauthorized disclosure.

"Encrypted" means the transformation of data through the use of an algorithmic process into a form in which there is a low probability of assigning meaning without the use of a confidential process or key, or the securing of the information by another method that renders the data elements unreadable or unusable.

"Entity" means any authority, board, bureau, commission, district or agency of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, including cities, towns and counties, municipal councils, governing bodies of counties, school boards and planning commissions; boards of visitors of public institutions of higher education; and other organizations, corporations, or agencies in the Commonwealth supported wholly or principally by public funds.

"Medical information" means the first name or first initial and last name in combination with and linked to any one or more of the following data elements that relate to a resident of the Commonwealth, when the data elements are neither encrypted nor redacted:

1. Any information regarding an individual's medical or mental health history, mental or physical condition, or medical treatment or diagnosis by a health care professional; or

2. An individual's health insurance policy number or subscriber identification number, any unique identifier used by a health insurer to identify the individual, or any information in an individual's application and claims history, including any appeals records.

The term does not include information that is lawfully obtained from publicly available information, or from federal, state, or local government records lawfully made available to the general public.

"Notice" means:

1. Written notice to the last known postal address in the records of the entity;

2. Telephone notice;

3. Electronic notice; or

4. Substitute notice, if the entity required to provide notice demonstrates that the cost of providing notice will exceed $50,000, the affected class of Virginia residents to be notified exceeds 100,000 residents, or the entity does not have sufficient contact information or consent to provide notice as described in subdivisions 1, 2, or 3 of this definition. Substitute notice consists of the following:

a. E-mail notice if the entity has e-mail addresses for the members of the affected class of residents;

b. Conspicuous posting of the notice on the website of the entity if the entity maintains a website; and

c. Notice to major statewide media.

Notice required by this section shall include a description of the following:

(1) The incident in general terms;

(2) The type of medical information that was subject to the unauthorized access and acquisition;

(3) The general acts of the entity to protect the personal information from further unauthorized access; and

(4) A telephone number that the person may call for further information and assistance, if one exists.

"Redact" means alteration or truncation of data such that no information regarding an individual's medical history, mental or physical condition, or medical treatment or diagnosis or no more than four digits of a health insurance policy number, subscriber number, or other unique identifier are accessible as part of the medical information.

B. If unencrypted or unredacted medical information was or is reasonably believed to have been accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person, an entity that owns or licenses computerized data that includes medical information shall disclose any breach of the security of the system following discovery or notification of the breach of the security of the system to the Office of the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Health, the subject of the medical information, and any affected resident of the Commonwealth without unreasonable delay. Notice required by this section may be reasonably delayed to allow the entity to determine the scope of the breach of the security of the system and restore the reasonable integrity of the system. Notice required by this section may be delayed if, after the entity notifies a law-enforcement agency, the law-enforcement agency determines and advises the entity that the notice will impede a criminal or civil investigation, or homeland or national security. Notice shall be made without unreasonable delay after the law-enforcement agency determines that the notification will no longer impede the investigation or jeopardize national or homeland security.

C. An entity shall disclose the breach of the security of the system if encrypted information is accessed and acquired in an unencrypted form, or if the security breach involves a person with access to the encryption key.

D. An entity that maintains computerized data that includes medical information that the entity does not own or license shall notify the owner or licensee of the information of any breach of the security of the system without unreasonable delay following discovery of the breach of the security of the system, if the medical information was accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person or the entity reasonably believes the medical information was accessed and acquired by an unauthorized person.

E. In the event an entity provides notice to more than 1,000 persons at one time, pursuant to this section, the entity shall notify, without unreasonable delay, the Office of the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Health of the timing, distribution, and content of the notice.

F. This section shall not apply to (i) a person or entity who is a "covered entity" or "business associate" under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 USC § 1320d et seq.) and is subject to requirements for notification in the case of a breach of protected health information (42 USC 17932 et seq.) or (ii) a person or entity who is a non-HIPAA-covered entity subject to the Health Breach Notification Rule promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to 42 USC § 17937 et seq.

G. An entity that complies with the notification requirements or procedures pursuant to the rules, regulations, procedures, and guidelines established by the entity's primary or functional state or federal regulator shall be in compliance with this section.

2010, c. 852.

§ 32.1-127.2. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 94.

§ 32.1-127.3. Immunity from liability for certain free health care services.

A. No hospital employee who renders health care services at his place of employment and within the limits of his licensure, certification, or multistate licensure privilege to practice nursing, or, if such employee is not required to be licensed or certified pursuant to Title 54.1, within the scope of his employment, shall be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from the rendering of such services to a patient of a clinic which is organized in whole or in part for the delivery of health care services without charge unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct. Such clinic shall have on record written agreements with each hospital providing such services, and immunity shall apply only to those services provided by the hospital without charge.

B. For the purposes of Article 5 (§ 2.2-1832 et seq.) of Chapter 18 of Title 2.2, any personnel employed by a hospital licensed pursuant to this article and rendering health care services pursuant to subsection A shall be deemed an agent of the Commonwealth and to be acting in an authorized governmental capacity with respect to delivery of such health care services if (i) the hospital has agreed in writing to provide health care services at no charge for patients referred by a clinic organized in whole or in part for the delivery of health care services without charge, (ii) the employing hospital is registered with the Division of Risk Management, and (iii) the employee delivering such services has no legal or financial interest in the clinic from which the patient is referred. The premium for coverage of such hospital employees under the Risk Management Plan shall be paid by the Department of Health.

C. The provisions of this section shall only apply to health care personnel providing care pursuant to subsections A and B during the period in which such care is rendered.

D. Moreover, no officer, director or employee of any such clinic, or the clinic itself, as described in subsection A shall, in the absence of gross negligence or willful misconduct, be liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission relating to the providing of health care services without charge to patients of the clinic.

E. For the purposes of this section and Article 5 (§ 2.2-1832 et seq.) of Chapter 18 of Title 2.2, "delivery of health care services without charge" shall be deemed to include the delivery of dental or medical services in a dental or medical clinic when a reasonable minimum fee is charged to cover administrative costs.

1993, c. 785; 1994, c. 444; 1996, c. 748; 2000, cc. 618, 632; 2004, c. 49.

§ 32.1-128. Applicability to hospitals and nursing homes for practice of religious tenets.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to authorize or require the interference with or prevention of the establishment or operation of a hospital or nursing home for the practice of religious tenets of any recognized church or denomination in the ministration to the sick and suffering by mental or spiritual means without the use of any drug or material remedy, whether gratuitously or for compensation, provided the statutes and regulations on environmental protection and life safety are complied with.

Code 1950, § 32-301; 1972, c. 36; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-129. Application for license.

Each application for a hospital or nursing home license shall be made on a form prescribed by the Board. The application shall specify the official name and the kind of hospital or nursing home, the location thereof, the name of the person in charge and such additional relevant information as the Board requires.

Code 1950, § 32-303; 1972, c. 824; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-130. Service charges.

A. A service charge of $1.50 per patient bed for which the hospital or nursing home is licensed, but not less than $75 nor more than $500, shall be paid for each license upon issuance and renewal. The service charge for a license for a hospital or nursing home which does not provide overnight inpatient care shall be $75.

B. All service charges received under the provisions of this article shall be paid into a special fund of the Department and are appropriated to the Department for the operation of the hospital and nursing home licensure and inspection program.

Code 1950, § 32-304; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-131. Expiration and renewal of licenses.

All licenses shall expire at midnight December 31 of the year issued, or as otherwise specified, and shall be required to be renewed annually.

Code 1950, § 32-304; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-132. Alterations or additions to hospitals and nursing homes; when new license required; use of inpatient hospital beds for furnishing skilled care services.

A. Any person who desires to make any substantial alteration or addition to or any material change in any hospital or nursing home shall, before making such change, alteration or addition, submit the proposal therefor to the Commissioner for his approval. The Commissioner shall review the proposal to determine compliance with applicable statutes and regulations of the Board and as soon thereafter as reasonably practicable notify the person that the proposal is or is not approved.

B. If any such alteration, addition or change has the effect of changing the bed capacity or classification of the hospital or nursing home, the licensee shall obtain a new license for the remainder of the license year before beginning operation of additional beds or in the new classification.

C. Notwithstanding any provision of state law to the contrary, any hospital, after sending such written notice as may be required by the Commissioner, may utilize, for a period not to exceed thirty days for any one patient, a maximum of ten percent of its 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 amend its plan of care and implement its plan as amended to ensure the overall well-being of patients occupying such beds. Only those hospitals which qualify under § 1883 of Title XVIII and § 1913 of Title XIX of the Social Security Act and are certified as skilled nursing facilities may be reimbursed for such services for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Code 1950, § 32-305; 1979, c. 711; 1983, c. 533; 1989, c. 618.

§ 32.1-133. Display of license.

The current license shall at all times be posted in each hospital or nursing home in a place readily visible and accessible to the public.

Code 1950, § 32-306; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-134. Family planning information in hospitals providing maternity care.

Every hospital providing maternity care shall, prior to releasing each maternity patient, make available to such patient family planning information and a list of family planning clinics located in the Commonwealth, unless medically contraindicated; provided, however, that any such hospital operated under the auspices of a religious institution objecting to distributing lists of family planning clinics on religious grounds shall not be required to distribute them. Such information and lists may include, but need not be limited to, such information and lists as shall be furnished by the Department.

Code 1950, § 32-154; 1960, c. 248; 1977, c. 680; 1978, c. 162; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-134.01. Certain information required for maternity patients.

Every licensed nurse midwife, licensed midwife, or hospital providing maternity care shall, prior to releasing each maternity patient, make available to such patient and, if present, to the father of the infant, other relevant family members, or caretakers, information about the incidence of postpartum blues and perinatal depression, information to increase awareness of shaken baby syndrome and the dangers of shaking infants, and information about safe sleep environments for infants that is consistent with current information available from the American Academy of Pediatrics. This information shall be discussed with the maternity patient and the father of the infant, other relevant family members, or caretakers who are present at discharge.

2003, c. 647; 2005, c. 518; 2015, c. 296.

§ 32.1-134.02. Infants; blood sample provided to parents.

Every hospital providing maternity care shall offer to obtain a sample of blood from an infant born at the hospital and provide that sample to the mother of the infant.

2011, c. 621.

§ 32.1-134.1. When denial, etc., to duly licensed physician of staff membership or professional privileges improper.

It shall be an improper practice for the governing body of a hospital which has twenty-five beds or more and which is required by state law to be licensed to refuse or fail to act within sixty days of a completed application for staff membership or professional privileges or deny or withhold from a duly licensed physician staff membership or professional privileges in such hospital, or to exclude or expel a physician from staff membership in such hospital or curtail, terminate or diminish in any way a physician's professional privileges in such hospital, without stating in writing the reason or reasons therefor, a copy of which shall be provided to the physician. If the reason or reasons stated are unrelated to standards of patient care, patient welfare, violation of the rules and regulations of the institution or staff, the objectives or efficient operations of the institution, or the character or competency of the applicant, or misconduct in any hospital, it shall be deemed an improper practice.

Any physician licensed in this Commonwealth to practice medicine who is aggrieved by any violation of this section shall have the right to seek an injunction from the circuit court of the city or county in which the hospital alleged to have violated this section is located prohibiting any such further violation. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to impair or affect any other right or remedy; provided that a violation of this section shall not constitute a violation of the provisions of this article for the purposes of § 32.1-135.

1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-134.2. Clinical privileges for certain practitioners.

The grant or denial of clinical privileges to licensed podiatrists and certified nurse midwives licensed as nurse practitioners pursuant to § 54.1-2957 by any hospital licensed in this Commonwealth, and the determination by the hospital of the scope of such privileges, shall be based upon such practitioner's professional license, experience, competence, ability, and judgment, and the reasonable objectives and regulations of the hospital in which such privileges are sought.

Code 1950, § 32-301.1; 1979, c. 40; 1992, c. 452.

§ 32.1-134.3. Response to applications for clinical privileges.

Whenever a podiatrist or certified nurse midwife licensed as a nurse practitioner makes application to any hospital for clinical privileges, the hospital shall either approve or disapprove the application within 120 calendar days after it has received all necessary information to make a determination as provided in § 32.1-134.2 from the practitioner.

1981, c. 166; 1992, c. 452.

§ 32.1-134.4. Right of podiatrists or nurse practitioners to injunction.

Any licensed podiatrist or certified nurse midwife licensed as a nurse practitioner in Virginia who is aggrieved by any violation of § 32.1-134.2 or § 32.1-134.3 shall have the right to seek an injunction from the circuit court of the city or county in which the hospital alleged to have committed the violation is located, prohibiting any further such violation. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to impair or affect any other right or remedy. A violation of this section, however, shall not constitute a violation of the provisions of this article for the purposes of § 32.1-135.

1983, c. 259; 1992, c. 452.

§ 32.1-135. Revocation or suspension of license or certification; restriction or prohibition of new admissions to nursing home.

A. In accordance with applicable regulations of the Board, the Commissioner (i) may restrict or prohibit new admissions to any nursing home or certified nursing facility, or (ii) may petition the court to impose a civil penalty against any nursing home or certified nursing facility or to appoint a receiver for such nursing home or certified nursing facility, or both, or (iii) may revoke the certification or may revoke or suspend the license of a hospital or nursing home or the certification of any certified nursing facility for violation of any provision of this article or Article 2 (§ 32.1-138 et seq.) of this chapter or of any applicable regulation promulgated under this chapter or for permitting, aiding, or abetting the commission of any illegal act in the hospital or nursing home.

All appeals from notice of imposition of administrative sanctions shall be received in writing within fifteen days of the date of receipt of such notice. The provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) shall be applicable to such appeals.

B. If a license or certification is revoked as herein provided, a new license or certification may be issued by the Commissioner after satisfactory evidence is submitted to him that the conditions upon which revocation was based have been corrected and after proper inspection has been made and compliance with all provisions of this article and applicable state and federal law and regulations hereunder has been obtained.

C. Suspension of a license shall in all cases be for an indefinite time. The Commissioner may completely or partially restore a suspended license or certificate when he determines that the conditions upon which suspension was based have been completely or partially corrected and that the interests of the public will not be jeopardized by resumption of operation. No additional service charges shall be required for restoring such license.

Code 1950, § 32-307; 1979, c. 711; 1989, c. 618.

§ 32.1-135.1. Certain advertisements prohibited.

No hospital licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall include in any advertisement death rate statistics in such manner as to suggest the relative quality of health or hospital services.

1988, c. 85.

§ 32.1-135.2. Offer or payment of remuneration in exchange for referral prohibited.

No hospital licensed pursuant to this chapter shall knowingly and willfully offer or pay any remuneration directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce any practitioner of the healing arts or any clinical psychologist to refer an individual or individuals to such hospital. The Board shall adopt regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall be developed in conjunction with the State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and shall be consistent with regulations adopted by such Board pursuant to § 37.2-420. Such regulations shall exclude from the definition of "remuneration" any payments, business arrangements, or payment practices not prohibited by 42 U.S.C. § 1320a, as amended, or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

1990, c. 379; 1996, cc. 937, 980; 2009, cc. 813, 840.

§ 32.1-136. Violation; penalties.

Any person owning, establishing, conducting, maintaining, managing or operating a hospital or nursing home which is not licensed as required by this article shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 32-310; 1962, c. 551; 1979, c. 711.

§ 32.1-137. Certification of medical care facilities under Title XVIII of Social Security Act.

The Board shall constitute the sole agency of the Commonwealth to enter into contracts with the United States government for the certification of medical care facilities under Title XVIII of the United States Social Security Act and any amendments thereto and with the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services for the certification of medical care facilities under Title XIX of the United States Social Security Act and any amendments thereto.

1979, c. 711; 1989, c. 618.

§ 32.1-137.01. Posting of charity care policies.

All hospitals shall provide written information about the hospital's charity care policies, including policies related to free and discounted care. Such information shall be posted conspicuously in public areas of the hospital, including admissions or registration areas, emergency departments, and associated waiting rooms. Information regarding specific eligibility criteria and procedures for applying for charity care shall be (i) provided to a patient at the time of admission or discharge, or at the time services are provided, (ii) included with any billing statements sent to uninsured patients, and (iii) included on any website maintained by the hospital.

2009, c. 425.

§ 32.1-137.02. Hospital discharge procedures.

Before a hospital discharges a patient, it shall, to the extent allowed pursuant to state and federal law, inform and educate the patient, and his family when it is involved in decision making or ongoing care, about his follow-up care, treatment, and services.

2012, cc. 180, 813.

§ 32.1-137.03. Discharge planning; designation of individual to provide care.

A. Every hospital (i) shall provide each patient admitted as an inpatient or his legal guardian the opportunity to designate an individual who will care for or assist the patient in his residence following discharge from the hospital and to whom the hospital shall provide information regarding the patient's discharge plan and any follow-up care, treatment, and services that the patient may require and (ii) upon admission, shall record in the patient's medical record the name of the individual designated by the patient, the relationship between the patient and the person, and the person's telephone number and address. If the patient fails or refuses to designate an individual to receive information regarding his discharge plan and any follow-up care, treatment, and services, the hospital shall record the patient's failure or refusal in the patient's medical record. For the purposes of this subsection, "residence" does not include any rehabilitation facility, hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, or group home.

B. A patient may change the designated individual at any time prior to the patient's release, and the hospital shall record in the patient's medical record the name of the designated individual, the relationship between the patient and the person, and the person's telephone number and address, within 24 hours of such change.

C. Prior to discharging a patient who has designated an individual pursuant to subsection A or B, the hospital shall notify the designated individual of the patient's discharge and shall provide the designated individual with a copy of the patient's discharge plan and instructions and information regarding any follow-up care, treatment, or services that the designated individual will provide and consult with the designated individual regarding the designated individual's ability to provide the care, treatment, or services. Such discharge plan shall include (i) the name and contact information of the designated individual; (ii) a description of the follow-up care, treatment, and services that the patient requires; and (iii) information, including contact information, about any health care, long-term care, or other community-based services and supports necessary for the implementation of the patient's discharge plan. A copy of the discharge plan and any instructions or information provided to the designated individual shall be included in the patient's medical record.

D. The hospital shall provide each individual designated pursuant to subsection A or B the opportunity for a demonstration of specific follow-up care tasks that the designated individual will provide to the patient in accordance with the patient's discharge plan prior to the patient's discharge, including opportunity for the designated individual to ask questions regarding the performance of follow-up care tasks. Such opportunity shall be provided in a culturally competent manner and in the designated individual's native language.

E. Designation of an individual pursuant to subsection A or B shall not create any obligation on the part of the designated individual regarding the provision of any follow-up care, treatment, and services that the patient may require.

F. Nothing in this section shall create a private right of action against any hospital, its employees, or its contractors.

G. No hospital or its employees or contractors shall be liable for any civil damages for any injuries resulting from any act of an individual designated pursuant to subsection A or B related to the provision of or failure to provide follow-up care, treatment, or services pursuant to a patient's discharge plan.

H. Nothing in this section shall interfere with an individual acting under a valid health care directive.

I. The Department shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of this section.

2015, cc. 18, 106.

§ 32.1-137.04. Patient notice of observation or outpatient status.

A. A hospital shall provide oral and written notice to any patient placed under observation or in any other outpatient status, or to such patient's authorized representative, informing the patient of his placement in such status if (i) the patient receives onsite services from the hospital and (ii) such onsite services include a hospital bed and meals that are provided in an area of the hospital other than the emergency department. Such oral and written notice shall be provided not later than 24 hours after placement under observation or in any other outpatient status unless the patient has been discharged or has left the hospital prior to the expiration of such 24-hour period.

B. Such written notice shall be written in clear, understandable language and printed in at least 14-point type. The written notice shall include:

1. A statement that the patient is not admitted to the hospital as an inpatient but is under observation or in such other outpatient status;

2. A statement that such observation or other outpatient status may affect the patient's Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance coverage of (i) the current hospital services, including medications and pharmaceutical supplies, and (ii) care at a skilled nursing facility or home or community-based care upon the patient's discharge from the hospital; and

3. A statement that the patient should contact the identified hospital representative, his health insurance plan, or the appropriate Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization for more information on his observation or other outpatient status and any available recourse.

2015, c. 365.

§ 32.1-137.05. Advance disclosure of charge for elective procedure, test, or service.

Every hospital shall, upon request of a patient scheduled to receive an elective procedure, test, or service to be performed by the hospital, or upon request of such patient's legally authorized representative, made no less than three days in advance of the date on which such elective procedure, test, or service is scheduled to be performed, furnish the patient with an estimate of the payment amount for which the participant will be responsible for such elective procedure, test, or service.

2016, c. 448.

Article 1.1. Certificate of Quality Assurance of Managed Care Health Insurance Plan Licensees.

§ 32.1-137.1. Definitions.

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

"Agent" or "insurance agent," when used without qualification, means an individual, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation that solicits, negotiates, procures or effects contracts of insurance or annuity in this Commonwealth.

"Bureau of Insurance" means the State Corporation Commission acting pursuant to Title 38.2.

"Complaint" means any written communication from a covered person primarily expressing a grievance.

"Covered person" means an individual residing in the Commonwealth, whether a policyholder, subscriber, enrollee, or member of a managed care health insurance plan, who is entitled to health care services or benefits provided, arranged for, paid for or reimbursed pursuant to a managed care health insurance plan under Title 38.2.

"Managed care health insurance plan" means an arrangement for the delivery of health care in which a health carrier as defined in § 38.2-5800 undertakes to provide, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services for a covered person on a prepaid or insured basis which (i) contains one or more incentive arrangements, including any credentialing requirements intended to influence the cost or level of health care services between the health carrier and one or more providers with respect to the delivery of health care services; and (ii) requires or creates benefit payment differential incentives for covered persons to use providers that are directly or indirectly managed, owned, under contract with or employed by the health carrier. Any health maintenance organization as defined in § 38.2-4300 or health carrier that offers preferred provider contracts or policies as defined in § 38.2-3407 or preferred provider subscription contracts as defined in § 38.2-4209 shall be deemed to be offering one or more managed care health insurance plans. For the purposes of this definition, the prohibition of balance billing by a provider shall not be deemed a benefit payment differential incentive for covered persons to use providers who are directly or indirectly managed, owned, under contract with or employed by the health carrier. A single managed care health insurance plan may encompass multiple products and multiple types of benefit payment differentials; however, a single managed care health insurance plan shall encompass only one provider network or set of provider networks.

"Managed care health insurance plan licensee" means a health carrier subject to licensure by the Bureau of Insurance under Title 38.2 who is responsible for a managed care health insurance plan in accordance with Chapter 58 (§ 38.2-5801 et seq.) of Title 38.2.

"Person" means any association, aggregate of individuals, business, company, corporation, individual, joint-stock company, Lloyds type of organization, other organization, partnership, receiver, reciprocal or inter-insurance exchange, trustee or society.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.2. Certification of quality assurance; application; issuance; denial; renewal.

A. Every managed care health insurance plan licensee shall request a certificate of quality assurance with reference to its managed care health insurance plans simultaneously with filing an initial application to the Bureau of Insurance for licensure. If already licensed by the Bureau of Insurance, every managed care health insurance plan licensee may file an application for quality assurance certification with the Department of Health by December 1, 1998, and shall file an application for quality assurance certification with the Department of Health by December 1, 1999, in order to obtain its certificate of quality assurance by July 1, 2000.

On or before July 1, 2000, the State Health Commissioner shall certify to the Bureau of Insurance that a managed care health insurance plan licensee has been issued a certificate of quality assurance by providing the Bureau of Insurance with a copy of each certificate at the time of issuance.

Application for a certificate of quality assurance shall be made on a form prescribed by the Board and shall be accompanied by a fee based upon a percentage, not to exceed one-tenth of one percent, of the proportion of direct gross premium income on business done in this Commonwealth attributable to the operation of managed care health insurance plans in the preceding biennium, sufficient to cover reasonable costs for the administration of the quality assurance program. Such fee shall not exceed $10,000 per licensee. Whenever the account of the program shows expenses for the past biennium to be more than ten percent greater or lesser than the funds collected, the Board shall revise the fees levied by it for certification so that the fees are sufficient, but not excessive, to cover expenses; provided that such fees shall not exceed the limits set forth in this section. Until July 1, 2014, the Department may utilize such certification funds as are needed in fulfilling its responsibilities pursuant to subsection B of § 32.1-16.

All applications, including those for renewal, shall require (i) a description of the geographic area to be served, with a map clearly delineating the boundaries of the service area or areas, (ii) a description of the complaint system required under § 32.1-137.6, (iii) a description of the procedures and programs established by the licensee to assure both availability and accessibility of adequate personnel and facilities and to assess the quality of health care services provided, and (iv) a list of the licensee's managed care health insurance plans.

B. Every managed care health insurance plan licensee certified under this article shall renew its certificate of quality assurance with the Commissioner biennially by July 1, subject to payment of the fee.

C. The Commissioner shall periodically examine or review each applicant for certificate of quality assurance or for renewal thereof.

No certificate of quality assurance may be issued or renewed unless a managed care health insurance plan licensee has filed a completed application and made payment of a fee pursuant to subsection A of this section and the Commissioner is satisfied, based upon his examination, that, to the extent appropriate for the type of managed care health insurance plan under examination, the managed care health insurance plan licensee has in place and complies with: (i) a complaint system for reasonable and adequate procedures for the timely resolution of written complaints pursuant to § 32.1-137.6; (ii) a reasonable and adequate system for assessing the satisfaction of its covered persons; (iii) a system to provide for reasonable and adequate availability of and accessibility to health care services for its covered persons; (iv) reasonable and adequate policies and procedures to encourage the appropriate provision and use of preventive services for its covered persons; (v) reasonable and adequate standards and procedures for credentialing and recredentialing the providers with whom it contracts; (vi) reasonable and adequate procedures to inform its covered persons and providers of the managed care health insurance plan licensee's policies and procedures; (vii) reasonable and adequate systems to assess, measure, and improve the health status of covered persons, including outcome measures, (viii) reasonable and adequate policies and procedures to ensure confidentiality of medical records and patient information to permit effective and confidential patient care and quality review; (ix) reasonable, timely and adequate requirements and standards pursuant to § 32.1-137.9; and (x) such other requirements as the Board may establish by regulation consistent with this article.

Upon the issuance or reissuance of a certificate, the Commissioner shall provide a copy of such certificate to the Bureau of Insurance.

D. Upon determining to deny a certificate, the Commissioner shall notify such applicant in writing stating the reasons for the denial of a certificate. A copy of such notification of denial shall be provided to the Bureau of Insurance. Appeals from a notification of denial shall be brought by a certificate applicant pursuant to the process set forth in § 32.1-137.5.

E. The State Corporation Commission shall give notice to the Commissioner of its intention to issue an order based upon a finding of insolvency, hazardous financial condition, or impairment of net worth or surplus to policyholders or an order suspending or revoking the license of a managed care health insurance plan licensee; and the Commissioner shall notify the Bureau of Insurance when he has reasonable cause to believe that a recommendation for the suspension or revocation of a certificate of quality assurance or the denial or nonrenewal of such a certificate may be made pursuant to this article. Such notifications shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena.

F. No certificate of quality assurance issued pursuant to this article may be transferred or assigned without approval of the Commissioner.

1998, c. 891; 2013, cc. 670, 679.

§ 32.1-137.3. Regulations.

Consistent with its duties to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, the Board shall promulgate regulations, consistent with this article, governing the quality of care provided to covered persons by a managed care health insurance plan licensee through its managed care health insurance plans on or before December 1, 1999. The regulations may incorporate or apply nationally recognized, generally accepted, quality standards developed by private accreditation entities, if such standards exist and as appropriate for the type of managed care health insurance plan. The regulations shall also include guidelines for the Commissioner to determine, in consultation with the Bureau of Insurance, when the imposition of administrative sanctions as set forth in § 32.1-137.5 or initiation of court proceedings or both are appropriate in order to ensure prompt correction of violations discovered on any examination, review, or investigation conducted by the Department pursuant to provisions of this article.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.4. Examination, review or investigation.

A. The Commissioner shall cause each managed care health insurance plan licensee subject to certification under this article to be examined or reviewed for each new application and to be periodically examined or reviewed at reasonable times thereafter, including both for complaint investigation and for renewal compliance. Such examinations or reviews shall consider the compliance of the managed care health insurance plan licensee with the regulations promulgated under § 32.1-137.3.

In lieu of or in addition to making his own examination of the managed care health insurance plan licensee, the Commissioner may accept the report of an examination of the licensee under similar laws of another state, similar regulatory agency, state health commissioner, or accreditation entity.

B. Any examiner authorized by the Commissioner shall, so far as necessary for the purposes of the examination or review, have access during regular business hours to the premises and to any books, records, files, or property of the licensee as far as they directly relate to the quality of care provided by the licensee. All material copied or recorded or received shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena.

C. Every person from whom information is sought, in an investigation of a complaint pursuant to this article against a managed care health insurance plan licensee, shall cooperate in producing or allowing reasonable access during regular business hours to the books, records, files, accounts, papers, documents, and any or all computer or other recordings of the licensee being examined or those of any person delivering health care services under contract, affiliation, delegation or other arrangement directly relevant to the investigation. Such information shall be limited to that which is relevant to the investigation in question, as specified in regulations promulgated pursuant to this article. All material copied or recorded or received shall be privileged and confidential, and shall not be subject to subpoena.

D. The refusal of any licensee, by its officers, directors, employees or agents, to submit to examination or review or to comply with any reasonable written request of the examiners shall be grounds for suspension, revocation, denial, or nonrenewal of any certificate of quality assurance held by the licensee. Any such proceedings for suspension, revocation, denial or nonrenewal of any certificate shall be conducted pursuant to § 32.1-137.5.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.5. Civil penalties; probation; suspension; restriction or prohibition of new enrollments to managed care health insurance plan licensee; revocation or nonrenewal of certificate of quality assurance; appeal process; correction.

A. In accordance with applicable regulations of the Board and in consultation with the Bureau of Insurance, the Commissioner (i) may impose civil penalties, which shall not exceed $1,000 per incident of noncompliance, to a maximum of $10,000 for a series of related incidents of noncompliance, (ii) may place a certificate holder on probation, (iii) may temporarily suspend a certificate of quality assurance of a managed care health insurance plan licensee, (iv) may, with the concurrence of the Bureau of Insurance, temporarily restrict or prohibit new enrollments into a managed care health insurance plan, or (v) may revoke or not renew a certificate of quality assurance and certify to the State Corporation Commission that a managed care health insurance plan licensee or its managed care health insurance plan is unable to fulfill its obligations to furnish quality health care services as set forth in this article. Fines payable under this section shall be paid into the Literary Fund.

B. When examination or review or complaint investigation by the Department results in a finding of noncompliance with the provisions of this article or the regulations of the Board, the managed care health insurance plan licensee or applicant shall be provided written notice and a report specifying the findings of noncompliance and providing an opportunity to be heard in no fewer than thirty days by the Commissioner's adjudication officer in a proceeding under § 2.2-4019. A copy of the notice and report shall be provided to the Bureau of Insurance. Such proceeding shall be separate from the regulatory office of the Department that conducted the examination, review, or investigation and shall be closed and confidential. The records of the proceedings shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be subject to subpoena.

The adjudication officer shall provide a recommendation to the Commissioner, including findings of fact, conclusions, and appropriate disciplinary action or sanction. The Commissioner shall promptly notify the Bureau of Insurance if the recommended disciplinary action or sanction proposes probation, suspension, nonrenewal, or revocation of a certificate of quality assurance, or the temporary restriction or prohibition of new enrollments in a managed care health insurance plan. The Commissioner may affirm, modify, or reverse such recommendation and shall issue a final decision.

The Commissioner's decision may be appealed directly to a circuit court under Article 4 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act. The only parties to the case shall be the managed care health insurance plan licensee and the Department. The Commissioner shall promptly notify the Bureau of Insurance of the commencement and final determination of an appeals proceeding.

C. If a certificate of quality assurance has been revoked or suspended or a certificate holder has been placed on probation, a new certificate may be issued or the suspension may be terminated or the probation removed by the Commissioner after satisfactory evidence is submitted to him that the conditions upon which revocation, suspension, or probation was based have been corrected and after proper examination has been made and compliance with all provisions of this article and the regulations of the Board has been shown.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.6. Complaint system.

A. Each managed care health insurance plan licensee subject to § 32.1-137.2 shall establish and maintain for each of its managed care health insurance plans a complaint system approved by the Commissioner and the Bureau of Insurance to provide reasonable procedures for the resolution of written complaints in accordance with the requirements established under this article and Title 38.2, and shall include the following:

1. A record of the complaints shall be maintained for the period set forth in § 32.1-137.16 for review by the Commissioner.

2. Each managed care health insurance plan licensee shall provide complaint forms and/or written procedures to be given to covered persons who wish to register written complaints. Such forms or procedures shall include the address and telephone number of the managed care licensee to which complaints shall be directed and the mailing address, telephone number, and the electronic mail address of the Office of the Managed Care Ombudsman established pursuant to § 38.2-5904 and shall also specify any required limits imposed by or on behalf of the managed care health insurance plan. Such forms and written procedures shall include a clear and understandable description of the covered person's right to appeal adverse determinations pursuant to § 32.1-137.15.

B. The Commissioner, in cooperation with the Bureau of Insurance, shall examine the complaint system. The effectiveness of the complaint system of the managed care health insurance plan licensee in allowing covered persons, or their duly authorized representatives, to have issues regarding quality of care appropriately resolved under this article shall be assessed by the State Health Commissioner under this article. Compliance by the health carrier and its managed care health insurance plans with the terms and procedures of the complaint system, as well as the provisions of Title 38.2, shall be assessed by the Bureau of Insurance.

C. As part of the renewal of a certificate, each managed care health insurance plan licensee shall submit to the Commissioner and to the Office of the Managed Care Ombudsman an annual complaint report in a form agreed and prescribed by the Board and the Bureau of Insurance. The complaint report shall include, but shall not be limited to (i) a description of the procedures of the complaint system, (ii) the total number of complaints handled through the complaint system, (iii) the disposition of the complaints, (iv) a compilation of the nature and causes underlying the complaints filed, (v) the time it took to process and resolve each complaint, and (vi) the number, amount, and disposition of malpractice claims adjudicated during the year with respect to any of the managed care health insurance plan's health care providers.

The Department of Human Resource Management and the Department of Medical Assistance Services shall file similar periodic reports with the Commissioner, in a form prescribed by the Board, providing appropriate information on all complaints received concerning quality of care and utilization review under their respective health benefits program and managed care health insurance plan licensee contractors.

D. The Commissioner shall examine the complaint system under subsection B for compliance of the complaint system with respect to quality of care and shall require corrections or modifications as deemed necessary.

E. The Commissioner shall have no jurisdiction to adjudicate individual controversies arising under this article.

F. The Commissioner of Health or the nonprofit organization pursuant to § 32.1-276.4 may prepare a summary of the information submitted pursuant to this provision and § 32.1-122.10:01 to be included in the patient level data base.

1998, cc. 744, 891; 1999, cc. 643, 649; 2000, cc. 66, 657, 922; 2011, c. 788.

Article 1.2. Utilization Review Standards and Appeals.

§ 32.1-137.7. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Adverse determination" means a determination by the managed care health insurance plan or its designee utilization review entity that, based upon information provided, a request for a benefit upon application of any utilization review technique does not meet the managed care health insurance plan's requirements for medical necessity, appropriateness, health care setting, level of care, or effectiveness or is determined to be experimental or investigational and the requested benefit is therefore denied, reduced, or terminated or payment is not provided or made, in whole or in part, for the benefit. When the policy, contract, plan, certificate, or evidence of coverage includes coverage for prescription drugs and the health service rendered or proposed to be rendered is a prescription for the alleviation of cancer pain, any adverse determination shall be made within 24 hours of the request for coverage.

"Commission" means the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

"Covered person" means a subscriber, policyholder, member, enrollee or dependent, as the case may be, under a policy or contract issued or issued for delivery in Virginia by a managed care health insurance plan licensee, insurer, health services plan, or preferred provider organization.

"Evidence of coverage" includes any certificate, individual or group agreement or contract, or identification card or related documents issued in conjunction with the certificate, agreement or contract, issued to a subscriber setting out the coverage and other rights to which a covered person is entitled.

"Final adverse determination" means an adverse determination involving a covered benefit that has been upheld by a managed care health insurance plan, or its designee utilization review entity, at the completion of the managed care health insurance plan's internal appeal process.

"Medical director" means a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia who is an employee of a utilization review entity responsible for compliance with the provisions of this article.

"Peer of the treating health care provider" means a physician or other health care professional who holds a nonrestricted license in the Commonwealth of Virginia or under a comparable licensing law of a state of the United States and in the same or similar specialty as typically manages the medical condition, procedure or treatment under review.

"Physician advisor" means a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia or under a comparable licensing law of a state of the United States who provides medical advice or information to a private review agent or a utilization review entity in connection with its utilization review activities.

"Private review agent" means a person or entity performing utilization reviews, except that the term shall not include the following entities or employees of any such entity so long as they conduct utilization reviews solely for subscribers, policyholders, members or enrollees:

1. A health maintenance organization authorized to transact business in Virginia; or

2. A health insurer, hospital service corporation, health services plan or preferred provider organization authorized to offer health benefits in this Commonwealth.

"Treating health care provider" or "provider" means a licensed health care provider who renders or proposes to render health care services to a covered person.

"Utilization review" means a system for reviewing the necessity, appropriateness and efficiency of hospital, medical or other health care services rendered or proposed to be rendered to a patient or group of patients for the purpose of determining whether such services should be covered or provided by an insurer, health services plan, managed care health insurance plan licensee, or other entity or person. For purposes of this article, "utilization review" shall include, but not be limited to, preadmission, concurrent and retrospective medical necessity determination, and review related to the appropriateness of the site at which services were or are to be delivered. "Utilization review" shall not include (i) any review of issues concerning insurance contract coverage or contractual restrictions on facilities to be used for the provision of services, (ii) any review of patient information by an employee of or consultant to any licensed hospital for patients of such hospital, or (iii) any determination by an insurer as to the reasonableness and necessity of services for the treatment and care of an injury suffered by an insured for which reimbursement is claimed under a contract of insurance covering any classes of insurance defined in §§ 38.2-117, 38.2-118, 38.2-119, 38.2-124, 38.2-125, 38.2-126, 38.2-130, 38.2-131, 38.2-132, and 38.2-134.

"Utilization review entity" or "entity" means a person or entity performing utilization review.

"Utilization review plan" or "plan" means a written procedure for performing review.

1998, cc. 129, 891; 1999, c. 857; 2000, c. 564; 2011, c. 788.

§ 32.1-137.8. Application to and compliance by utilization review entities.

A. No utilization review entity shall perform utilization review with regard to hospital, medical or other health care resources rendered or proposed to be rendered to a covered person except in accordance with the requirements and standards set forth in this article.

B. This article shall not apply to utilization review performed under contract with the federal government for utilization review of patients eligible for hospital services under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act or under contract with a plan otherwise exempt from operation of this chapter pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

C. This article shall not apply to private review agents subject to Article 2.1 (§ 32.1-138.6 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 32.1 of the Code of Virginia.

D. This article shall not apply to programs administered by the Department of Medical Assistance Services or under contract with the Department of Medical Assistance Services.

1998, cc. 129, 891.

§ 32.1-137.9. Requirements and standards for utilization review entities.

A. Each entity shall establish reasonable and prudent standards and criteria to be applied in utilization review determinations with input from physician advisors representing major areas of specialty and certified by the boards of the various American medical specialties. Such standards shall be objective, clinically valid, and compatible with established principles of health care. Such standards shall further be established so as to be sufficiently flexible to allow deviations from norms when justified on case-by-case bases.

The entity shall make available to any provider or covered person, upon written request, a list of such physician advisors and their major areas of specialty, as well as the standards and criteria established in accordance with this section except as prohibited in accordance with copyright laws.

B. An adverse determination shall be made only in accordance with § 32.1-137.13.

C. Each entity shall have a process for reconsideration of an adverse determination in accordance with § 32.1-137.14 and an appeals process in accordance with § 32.1-137.15.

D. Each entity shall make arrangements to use the services of physician advisors who are specialists in the various categories of health care on "per need" or "as needed" bases in conducting utilization review.

E. Each entity shall have review staff who are properly qualified, trained and supervised, and supported by a physician advisor, to carry out its review determinations.

F. Each entity shall notify its covered persons of the review process, including the appeals process, and shall so notify the covered person's provider upon written request by the provider. An Evidence of Coverage shall contain a clear and complete statement, if a contract, or a reasonably complete summary, if a certificate, of the process for reconsideration of an adverse determination rendered under § 32.1-137.13, as required by § 32.1-137.14, and the process for internal appeal from an adverse determination under § 32.1-137.15.

G. Each entity shall communicate its utilization review decision no later than two business days after receipt by the entity of all information necessary to complete the review.

H. Each entity shall have a representative, authorized to approve utilization review determinations, available to covered persons and providers in accordance with § 32.1-137.11.

I. The Commissioner shall have the right to determine that an entity has complied with the requirement that the entity establish reasonable and prudent requirements and standards pursuant to this section.

1998, c. 891; 2011, c. 788.

§ 32.1-137.10. Utilization review plan required.

A. Each utilization review entity subject to this article shall adopt a utilization review plan that contains procedures for complying with the requirements and standards of § 32.1-137.9 and other applicable provisions of this article. Such plan shall contain, at a minimum, the following:

1. Specific procedures to be used in review determinations, including an expedited review of no more than twenty-four hours for review determinations relating to prescriptions for the alleviation of cancer pain;

2. A provision for advance notice to covered persons of any requirements for certification of the health care setting or pre-approval of the necessity of health care service or any other prerequisites to approval of payment;

3. A provision for advance notice to covered persons that compliance with the review process is not a guarantee of benefits or payment under the health benefit plan;

4. A provision for a process for reconsideration of adverse decisions in accordance with § 32.1-137.14 and an appeals process in accordance with § 32.1-137.15; and

5. Policies and procedures designed to ensure confidentiality of patient-specific medical records and information in accordance with subsection C of § 32.1-137.12.

B. Each utilization review entity subject to this chapter shall make available to providers and covered persons, upon written request, a copy of those portions of its utilization review plan relevant to the specific request.

C. The Commissioner shall have the right to determine that an entity has complied with the requirement that the entity adopt a utilization review plan in accordance with subsection A.

1998, c. 891; 1999, c. 857.

§ 32.1-137.11. Accessibility of utilization review entity.

A utilization review entity shall provide accessibility for covered persons and providers by free telephone at least forty hours per week during normal business hours. Entities located outside of the eastern time zone shall provide covered persons advance written notification of the eastern time zone hours during which those entities are accessible; however, such hours shall be no less than forty hours per week during normal business hours. The entity shall install and maintain an adequate telephone system that accepts and records messages or accepts and provides recorded business hour information for incoming calls outside of normal business hours.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.12. Emergencies; extensions; access to and confidentiality of patient-specific medical records and information.

A. For emergency health care, authorization may be requested by the covered person, his representative, or his provider either within forty-eight hours of or by the end of the first business day following the rendering of the emergency health care, whichever is later.

B. An entity shall promptly review a request from the covered person, his representative, or his provider for an extension of the original approved duration of health care or hospitalization. If the entity fails to confirm that termination of health care or hospitalization will occur on the original date authorized, the entity shall review retrospectively whether the extension of health care or hospitalization was medically appropriate.

C. Each entity shall have reasonable access to patient-specific medical records and information.

1998, c. 891.

§ 32.1-137.13. Adverse determination.

A. The treating provider shall be notified in writing of any adverse determination within two working days of the determination; however, the treating provider shall be notified orally by telephone within 24 hours of any adverse determination for a prescription known to be for the alleviation of cancer pain. Any such notification shall include instructions for the provider on behalf of the covered person to (i) seek a reconsideration of the adverse determination pursuant to § 32.1-137.14, including the contact name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for making the adverse determination, and (ii) seek an appeal of the adverse determination pursuant to § 32.1-137.15, including the contact name, address, and telephone number to file and perfect such appeal.

B. No entity shall render an adverse determination unless it has made a good faith attempt to obtain information from the provider. At any time before the entity renders its determination, the provider shall be entitled to review the issue of medical necessity with a physician advisor or peer of the treating health care provider who represents the entity. For any adverse determination relating to a prescription to alleviate cancer pain, a physician advisor shall review the issue of medical necessity with the provider.

1998, c. 891; 1999, c. 857; 2001, c. 22; 2010, c. 395; 2011, c. 788.

§ 32.1-137.14. Reconsideration of adverse determination.

A. A treating provider may request reconsideration of an adverse determination pursuant to this section or may appeal an adverse determination pursuant to § 32.1-137.15. Any reconsideration of an adverse determination shall only be requested by the treating provider on behalf of the covered person. A determination on reconsideration shall be made by a physician advisor, peer of the treating health care provider, or a panel of other appropriate health care providers with at least one physician advisor or peer of the treating health care provider on the panel.

B. The treating provider on behalf of the covered person shall be (i) notified verbally at the time of the determination of the reconsideration of the adverse determination and in writing following the determination of the reconsideration of the adverse determination, in accordance with § 32.1-137.9, including the criteria used and the clinical reason for the adverse determination and the alternate length of treatment of the alternate treatment setting or settings, if any, that the entity deems to be appropriate, and (ii) notified verbally at the time of the determination of the reconsideration of the adverse determination of the process for an appeal of the determination pursuant to § 32.1-137.15 and the contact name, address, and telephone number to file and perfect an appeal. If the treating provider on behalf of the covered person requests that the adverse determination be reviewed by a peer of the treating provider at any time during the reconsideration process, the request for reconsideration shall be vacated and considered an appeal pursuant to § 32.1-137.15. In such cases, the covered person shall be notified that the reconsideration has been vacated and an appeal initiated, all documentation and information provided or relied upon during the reconsideration process pursuant to this section shall be converted to the appeal process, and no additional actions shall be required of the treating provider to perfect the appeal.

C. Any reconsideration shall be rendered and the determination provided to the treating provider and the covered person in writing within 10 working days of receipt of the request for reconsideration.

1998, c. 891; 2010, c. 395; 2011, c. 788.

§ 32.1-137.15. Adverse determination; appeal.

Each entity shall establish an internal appeals process, including a process for urgent care appeals, to consider any adverse determination that is appealed by a covered person, his representative, or his provider in accordance with the provisions of § 38.2-3558.

1998, c. 891; 1999, cc. 643, 649, 857; 2000, c. 922; 2010, c. 395; 2011, c. 788.

§ 32.1-137.16. Records.

Every entity subject to Article 1.1 (§ 32.1-137.1 et seq.) of Chapter 5 and this article shall maintain or cause to be maintained, in writing and at a location accessible to employees of the Department, records of review procedures; the health care qualifications of the entity's staff; the criteria used by the entity to make its determinations; records of complaints received, including the manner in which the complaints were resolved; the number and type of adverse determinations and reconsiderations; the number and outcome of final adverse determinations and appeals thereof, including a separate record for expedited appeals; and procedures to ensure confidentiality of medical records and personal information. Records of complaints under Article 1.1 (§ 32.1-137.1 et seq.) shall be maintained from the date of the entity's last examination and for no less than six years.

Every entity subject to utilization review under this article shall provide, upon request of the Commissioner, data and records pertaining to utilization review from which patient and provider identifiers have been removed. Records shall be maintained or caused to be maintained by the utilization review entity for a period of six years, and all such records shall be subject to examination by the Commissioner or his designee.

1998, c. 891; 2011, c. 788.

§ 32.1-137.17. Limitation on Commissioner's jurisdiction.

The Commissioner shall have the right to determine compliance with this article; however, the Commissioner shall have no jurisdiction to adjudicate individual controversies arising out of or incidental to this article.

1998, c. 891.

Article 2. Rights and Responsibilities of Patients in Nursing Homes.

§ 32.1-138. Enumeration; posting of policies; staff training; responsibilities devolving on guardians, etc.; exceptions; certification of compliance.

A. The governing body of a nursing home facility required to be licensed under the provisions of Article 1 (§ 32.1-123 et seq.) of this chapter, through the administrator of such facility, shall cause to be promulgated policies and procedures to ensure that, at the minimum, each patient admitted to such facility:

1. Is fully informed, as evidenced by the patient's written acknowledgment, prior to or at the time of admission and during his stay, of his rights and of all rules and regulations governing patient conduct and responsibilities;

2. Is fully informed, as evidenced by the patient's written acknowledgment, prior to or at the time of admission and during his stay, of services available in the facility, the terms of such services, and related charges, including any charges for services not covered under Titles XVIII or XIX of the United States Social Security Act or not covered by the facility's basic per diem rate;

3. Is fully informed in summary form of the findings concerning the facility in federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services surveys and investigations, if any;

4. Is fully informed by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner of his medical condition unless medically contraindicated as documented by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in his medical record and is afforded the opportunity to participate in the planning of his medical treatment and to refuse to participate in experimental research;

5. Is transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, or for his welfare or that of other patients, or for nonpayment for his stay except as prohibited by Titles XVIII or XIX of the United States Social Security Act, and is given reasonable advance notice as provided in § 32.1-138.1 to ensure orderly transfer or discharge, and such actions are documented in his medical record;

6. Is encouraged and assisted, throughout the period of his stay, to exercise his rights as a patient and as a citizen and to this end may voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff and to outside representatives of his choice, free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal;

7. May manage his personal financial affairs, or may have access to records of financial transactions made on his behalf at least once a month and is given at least a quarterly accounting of financial transactions made on his behalf should the facility accept his written delegation of this responsibility to the facility for any period of time in conformance with state law;

8. Is free from mental and physical abuse and free from chemical and, except in emergencies, physical restraints except as authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited period of time or when necessary to protect the patient from injury to himself or to others;

9. Is assured confidential treatment of his personal and medical records and may approve or refuse their release to any individual outside the facility, except in case of his transfer to another health care institution or as required by law or third-party payment contract;

10. Is treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of his dignity and individuality, including privacy in treatment and in care for his personal needs;

11. Is not required to perform services for the facility that are not included for therapeutic purposes in his plan of care;

12. May associate and communicate privately with persons of his choice and send and receive his personal mail unopened, unless medically contraindicated as documented by his physician in his medical record;

13. May meet with and participate in activities of social, religious and community groups at his discretion, unless medically contraindicated as documented by his physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in his medical record;

14. May retain and use his personal clothing and possessions as space permits unless to do so would infringe upon rights of other patients and unless medically contraindicated as documented by his physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in his medical record;

15. If married, is assured privacy for visits by his or her spouse and if both are inpatients in the facility, is permitted to share a room with such spouse unless medically contraindicated as documented by the attending physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in the medical record; and

16. Is fully informed, as evidenced by the written acknowledgment of the resident or his legal representative, prior to or at the time of admission and during his stay, that he should exercise whatever due diligence he deems necessary with respect to information on any sexual offenders registered pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 9.1-900 et seq.) of Title 9.1, including how to obtain such information. Upon request, the nursing home facility shall assist the resident, prospective resident, or the legal representative of the resident or prospective resident in accessing this information and provide the resident, prospective resident, or the legal representative of the resident or prospective resident with printed copies of the requested information.

B. All established policies and procedures regarding the rights and responsibilities of patients shall be printed in at least 12-point type and posted conspicuously in a public place in all nursing home facilities required to be licensed under the provisions of Article 1 (§ 32.1-123 et seq.) of this chapter. These policies and procedures shall include the name and telephone number of the complaint coordinator in the Division of Licensure and Certification of the Virginia Department of Health, the Adult Protective Services' toll-free telephone number, as well as the toll-free telephone number for the Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and any substate ombudsman program serving the area. Copies of such policies and procedures shall be given to patients upon admittance to the facility and made available to patients currently in residence, to any guardians, responsible party as defined in regulation, next of kin, or sponsoring agency or agencies, and to the public.

C. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to restrict any right that any patient in residence has under law.

D. Each facility shall provide appropriate staff training to implement each patient's rights included in subsection A hereof.

E. All rights and responsibilities specified in subsection A hereof and § 32.1-138.1 as they pertain to (i) a patient adjudicated incapacitated in accordance with state law, (ii) a patient who is found, by his physician, to be medically incapable of understanding these rights, or (iii) a patient who is unable to communicate with others shall devolve to such patient's guardian, responsible party as defined in regulation, next of kin, sponsoring agency or agencies, or representative payee, except when the facility itself is representative payee, selected pursuant to section 205(j) of Title II of the United States Social Security Act. The persons to whom such rights and responsibilities have devolved shall be deemed to have legal authority to act on the patient's behalf with respect to the matters specified in this section.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prescribe, regulate, or control the remedial care and treatment or nursing service provided to any patient in a nursing institution to which the provisions of § 32.1-128 are applicable.

G. It shall be the responsibility of the Commissioner to insure that the provisions of this section and the provisions of § 32.1-138.1 are observed and implemented by nursing home facilities. Each nursing home facility to which this section and § 32.1-138.1 are applicable shall certify to the Commissioner that it is in compliance with the provisions of this section and the provisions of § 32.1-138.1 as a condition to the issuance or renewal of the license required by Article 1 (§ 32.1-123 et seq.) of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 32-296.1; 1976, c. 349; 1979, c. 711; 1987, c. 221; 1997, c. 801; 1999, c. 783; 2000, c. 177; 2004, c. 855; 2006, c. 396; 2007, cc. 120, 163; 2010, c. 57.

§ 32.1-138.1. Implementation of transfer and discharge policies.

A. To implement and conform with the provisions of subdivision A 4 of § 32.1-138, a facility may discharge the patient, or transfer the patient, including transfer within the facility, only:

1. If appropriate to meet that patient's documented medical needs;

2. If appropriate to safeguard that patient or one or more other patients from physical or emotional injury;

3. On account of nonpayment for his stay except as prohibited by Titles XVIII or XIX of the United States Social Security Act and the Virginia State Plan for Medical Assistance Services; or

4. With the informed voluntary consent of the patient, or if incapable of providing consent, with the informed voluntary consent of the patient's authorized decision maker pursuant to § 54.1-2986 acting in the best interest of the patient, following reasonable advance written notice.

B. Except in an emergency involving the patient's health or well being, no patient shall be transferred or discharged without prior consultation with the patient, the patient's family or responsible party and the patient's attending physician. If the patient's attending physician is unavailable, the facility's medical director in conjunction with the nursing director, social worker or another health professional, shall be consulted. In the case of an involuntary transfer or discharge, the attending physician of the patient or the medical director of the facility shall make a written notation in the patient's record approving the transfer or discharge after consideration of the effects of the transfer or discharge, appropriate actions to minimize the effects of the transfer or discharge, and the care and kind of service the patient needs upon transfer or discharge.

C. Except in an emergency involving the patient's health or well being, reasonable advance written notice shall be given in the following manner. In the case of a voluntary transfer or discharge, notice shall be reasonable under the circumstances. In the case of an involuntary transfer or discharge, reasonable advance written notice shall be given to the patient at least five days prior to the discharge or transfer.

D. Nothing in this section or in subdivision A 4 of § 32.1-138 shall be construed to authorize or require conditions upon a transfer within a facility that are more restrictive than Titles XVIII or XIX of the United States Social Security Act or by regulations promulgated pursuant to either title.

1987, c. 221; 1993, c. 692.

§ 32.1-138.2. Certain contract provisions prohibited.

No contract or agreement for nursing home care shall contain any provisions which restrict or limit the ability of a resident to apply for and receive Medicaid or which require a specified period of residency prior to applying for Medicaid. The resident may be required to notify the facility when an application for Medicaid has been made. No contract or agreement may require a deposit or other prepayment from Medicaid recipients. No contract or agreement shall contain provisions authorizing the facility to refuse to accept retroactive Medicaid benefits.

1987, c. 221.

§ 32.1-138.3. Third party guarantor prohibition.

Any facility certified under Title XVIII or XIX of the United States Social Security Act shall not require a third party guarantee of payment to the facility as a condition of admission or of expedited admission to, or continued stay in, the facility. This section shall not be construed to prevent a facility from requiring an individual who has legal access to a resident's income or resources which are available to pay for care in the facility to sign a contract without incurring personal financial liability except for breach of the duty to provide payment from the resident's income or resources for such care.

For purposes of this section, the resident's income or resources shall include any amount deemed to be income or resources of the resident for purposes of Medicaid eligibility and any resources transferred by the resident to a third party if the transfer disqualifies the resident from Medicaid coverage for nursing facility services.

1989, c. 193.

§ 32.1-138.4. Retaliation or discrimination against complainants.

No nursing facility may retaliate or discriminate in any manner against any person who (i) in good faith complains or provides information to, or otherwise cooperates with, the Department or any other agency of government or any person or entity operating under contract with an agency of government, having responsibility for protecting the rights of patients of nursing facilities or (ii) attempts to assert any right protected by state or federal law.

1994, c. 941.

§ 32.1-138.5. Confidentiality of complainant's identity.

Whenever the Department conducts inspections and investigations in response to complaints received from the public, the identity of the complainant and the identity of any patient who is the subject of the complaint, or identified therein, shall be treated as confidential and shall not be open to inspection by members of the public. Identities of the complainant and patient who is the subject of the complaint shall be revealed only if a court order so requires. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Department, in its discretion, from disclosing to the nursing facility the nature of the complaint or the identity of the patient who is the subject of the complaint. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Department or its employees from making reports under § 63.2-1603 et seq. If the Department intends to rely, in whole or in part, on any statements made by the complainant, at any administrative hearing brought against the nursing facility, the Department shall disclose the identity of the complainant to the nursing facility a reasonable time in advance of such hearing.

1994, c. 941.

Article 2.1. Private Review Agents.

§ 32.1-138.6. Definitions.

In this chapter the following terms have the meanings indicated:

"Certificate of registration" means a certificate of registration granted by the Department of Health to a private review agent.

"Medical director" means a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia who is an employee of a utilization review organization responsible for compliance with the provisions of this article.

"Physician advisor" means a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia or under a comparable licensing law of a state of the United States who provides medical advice or information to a private review agent or a utilization review entity in connection with its utilization review activities.

"Private review agent" means a person or entity performing utilization reviews, except that the term shall not include the following entities or employees of any such entity so long as they conduct utilization reviews solely for subscribers, policyholders, members or enrollees:

1. A health maintenance organization authorized to transact business in Virginia; or

2. A health insurer, hospital service corporation, health services plan or preferred provider organization authorized to offer health benefits in this Commonwealth.

"Utilization review" means a system for reviewing the necessity, appropriateness and efficiency of hospital, medical or other health care resources rendered or proposed to be rendered to a patient or group of patients for the purpose of determining whether such services should be covered or provided by an insurer, health services plan, health maintenance organization, or other entity or person. For purposes of this article, "utilization review" shall include, but not be limited to, preadmission, concurrent and retrospective medical necessity determination, and review related to the appropriateness of the site at which services were or are to be delivered. "Utilization review" shall not include (i) any review of issues concerning insurance contract coverage or contractual restrictions on facilities to be used for the provision of services, (ii) any review of patient information by an employee of or consultant to any licensed hospital for patients of such hospital, or (iii) any determination by an insurer as to the reasonableness and necessity of services for the treatment and care of an injury suffered by an insured for which reimbursement is claimed under a contract of insurance covering any classes of insurance defined in §§ 38.2-117, 38.2-118, 38.2-119, 38.2-124, 38.2-125, 38.2-126, 38.2-130, 38.2-131, 38.2-132 and 38.2-134.

"Utilization review program" means a program for conducting utilization reviews by a private review agent.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5300; 1995, c. 745; 1996, c. 259; 1998, c. 129; 2000, c. 564.

§ 32.1-138.7. Certificates of registration required; issuance; transferability; regulations.

A private review agent may not conduct utilization reviews in the Commonwealth unless the Department has granted the private review agent a certificate of registration. The Department shall issue a certificate of registration to an applicant that has met the minimum standards required by this article and applicable regulations of the Department. A certificate of registration issued under this article is not transferable.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5301; 1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.8. Consultation with health regulatory boards.

If in the administration of this article a question concerning compliance with standards of practice governing any health care profession arises pursuant to Subtitle III (§ 54.1-2400 et seq.) of Title 54.1, the Commissioner or his designee shall consult with the appropriate health regulatory board within the Department of Health Professions.

1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.9. Standards for approval.

Each private review agent shall file an application with the Department which shall meet the following minimum standards and any additional standards established by regulation pursuant to § 32.1-138.15, and pay a filing fee established by the Department, in order to be approved by the Department:

1. A description of the procedures to be used in evaluating proposed or delivered hospital, medical, or other health care services;

2. The procedures by which patients or providers may seek reconsideration of determinations by private review agents;

3. The type and qualifications of the personnel either employed or under contract to perform the utilization review;

4. Procedures and policies which ensure that patient-specific medical records and information shall be kept strictly confidential except as authorized by the patient or by regulations adopted pursuant to this article; and

5. Assurances that reviewers be readily accessible by telephone to patients and providers at least forty hours per week during normal business hours.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5302; 1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.10. Expiration; renewal.

Each certificate of registration shall expire on the second anniversary of its effective date unless the certificate of registration is renewed for a two-year term as provided in this section. The Department shall renew the certificate of registration for an additional two-year term if the applicant is otherwise entitled to the certificate of registration, pays to the Department the renewal fee set by regulations, submits to the Department a renewal application on a form prescribed by the Department, submits satisfactory assurances of compliance with the requirements of this article and updates information on file with the Department pursuant to this section.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5303; 1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.11. Denial; revocation.

A. The Department may deny a certificate of registration to any applicant if, upon review of the application, it finds that the applicant proposing to conduct utilization review does not meet the standards required by this article or by any regulations promulgated pursuant to this article.

B. The Department may revoke a certificate of registration, or place the holder on probation with terms and conditions, if the holder demonstrates that it is unable or unwilling to meet the requirements of this chapter or of regulations adopted pursuant to this article.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5304; 1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.12. Waiver of requirements of article.

The Department shall waive the requirements of this article for a private review agent that operates under contract with the federal government for utilization review of patients eligible for hospital services under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act or under contract with a plan otherwise exempt from operation of this chapter pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5306; 1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.13. Access to and confidentiality of patient-specific medical records and information.

Private review agents who have been granted a certificate of registration by the Department shall have reasonable access to patient-specific medical records and information to the extent and in the manner authorized by regulation.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5307; 1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.14. No private right of action created.

This article shall not be construed to create a private right of action against a private review agent on behalf of a subscriber, policyholder, member, enrollee or other person.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5308; 1998, c. 129.

§ 32.1-138.15. Regulations.

The Department shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), to implement the provisions of this article, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following items:

1. Minimum qualifications to perform review;

2. Procedures which require the private review agent to provide the attending physician an opportunity to consult with a physician advisor prior to issuance of a final denial in any case in which there is an initial recommendation to deny coverage;

3. Guidelines regarding access to and confidentiality of patient-specific medical records and information; and

4. Setting the amount of any fees required by this article, which shall be sufficient to pay for the administrative costs of regulation under this article.

1990, c. 826, § 38.2-5309; 1998, c. 129.

Article 3. Blood Banks.

§ 32.1-139. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1993, c. 203.

Article 4. Midwives.

§ 32.1-145. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, c. 641, cl. 2.

Article 5. Emergency Medical Service Vehicles.

§ 32.1-148. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, c. 899.

Article 6. Home Health Agency Licensing.

§ 32.1-157. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 497.

Article 7. Hospice Program Licensing.

§ 32.1-162.1. Definitions.

As used in this article unless a different meaning or construction is clearly required by the context or otherwise:

"Hospice" means a coordinated program of home and inpatient care provided directly or through an agreement under the direction of an identifiable hospice administration providing palliative and supportive medical and other health services to terminally ill patients and their families. A hospice utilizes a medically directed interdisciplinary team. A hospice program of care provides care to meet the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and other special needs which are experienced during the final stages of illness, and during dying and bereavement. Hospice care shall be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

"Hospice facility" means an institution, place, or building owned or operated by a hospice provider and licensed by the Department to provide room, board, and appropriate hospice care on a 24-hour basis, including respite and symptom management, to individuals requiring such care pursuant to the orders of a physician. Such facilities with 16 or fewer beds are exempt from Certificate of Public Need laws and regulations. Such facilities with more than 16 beds shall be licensed as a nursing facility or hospital and shall be subject to Certificate of Public Need laws and regulations.

"Hospice patient" means a diagnosed terminally ill patient, with an anticipated life expectancy of six months or less, who, alone or in conjunction with designated family members, has voluntarily requested admission and been accepted into a licensed hospice program.

"Hospice patient's family" shall mean the hospice patient's immediate kin, including a spouse, brother, sister, child or parent. Other relations and individuals with significant personal ties to the hospice patient may be designated as members of the hospice patient's family by mutual agreement among the hospice patient, the relation or individual, and the hospice team.

"Identifiable hospice administration" means an administrative group, individual or legal entity that has a distinct organizational structure, accountable to the governing authority directly or through a chief executive officer. This administration shall be responsible for the management of all aspects of the program.

"Inpatient" means the provision of services, such as food, laundry, housekeeping, and staff to provide health or health-related services, including respite and symptom management, to hospice patients, whether in a hospital, nursing facility, or hospice facility.

"Interdisciplinary team" means the patient and the patient's family, the attending physician, and the following hospice personnel: physician, nurse, social worker, and trained volunteer. Providers of special services, such as clergy, mental health, pharmacy, and any other appropriate allied health services may also be included on the team as the needs of the patient dictate.

"Palliative care" means treatment directed at controlling pain, relieving other symptoms, and focusing on the special needs of the patient and family as they experience the stress of the dying process, rather than the treatment aimed at investigation and intervention for the purpose of cure or prolongation of life.

1981, c. 346; 2007, c. 397.

§ 32.1-162.2. Exemptions from article.

The provisions of this article shall not be applicable to:

1. A hospice established or operated for the practice of religious tenets of any recognized church or denomination which provides care and treatment for the sick by spiritual means without the use of any drug or material remedy, whether gratuitously or for compensation. Such a hospice shall comply with the statutes and regulations governing environmental protection and life safety.

2. Any hospice located in the Commonwealth that after initial licensure is accredited by any organization recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the purposes of Medicare certification.

1981, c. 346; 2010, c. 790.

§ 32.1-162.3. License required for hospice programs; notice of denial of license; renewal thereof.

A. No person shall establish or operate a hospice or a hospice facility without a license issued pursuant to this article unless he is exempt from licensure pursuant to § 32.1-162.2.

B. The Commissioner shall issue or renew a license to establish or operate a hospice or a hospice facility upon application therefor on a form and accompanied by a fee prescribed by the Board if the Commissioner finds that the hospice or hospice facility is in compliance with the provisions of this article and regulations of the Board. The Commissioner shall notify by certified mail any applicant denied a license of the reasons for such denial.

C. Every such license shall expire at midnight December 31 of the year issued, or as otherwise specified by the Board, and shall be required to be renewed annually.

D. The activities and services of each applicant for issuance or renewal of a hospice license shall be subject to an inspection and examination by the Commissioner to determine if the hospice is in compliance with the provisions of this article and regulations of the Board.

E. No license issued pursuant to this article may be transferred or assigned.

1981, c. 346; 2003, c. 526; 2007, c. 397; 2010, c. 790.

§ 32.1-162.4. Inspections.

The Commissioner may cause each hospice licensed under this article to be periodically inspected at reasonable times. However, no hospice shall receive additional inspections until all other hospices in the Commonwealth have also 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 hospice, or (iv) otherwise deemed necessary by the Commissioner or his designee to protect the health and safety of the public.

Notwithstanding the foregoing or any other provision of this article, any hospice organization that has obtained accreditation as provided in subdivision 2 of § 32.1-162.2, may be subject to inspection so long as such accreditation is maintained but only to the extent necessary to ensure the public health and safety. If any such hospice fails to comply with the provisions of this article or with the regulations of the Board relating to public health and safety, the Commissioner may revoke the exemption from licensure and require such hospice to be relicensed before it can again qualify for an exemption pursuant to § 32.1-162.2.

1981, c. 346; 2010, c. 790; 2017, c. 465.

§ 32.1-162.5. Regulations.

The Board shall prescribe such regulations governing the activities and services provided by hospices as may be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to, the requirements for: the qualifications and supervision of licensed and nonlicensed personnel; the standards for the care, treatment, health, safety, welfare, and comfort of patients and their families served by the program; the management, operation, staffing and equipping of the hospice program or hospice facility; clinical and business records kept by the hospice or hospice facility; and procedures for the review of utilization and quality of care. To avoid duplication in regulations, the Board shall incorporate regulations applicable to facilities licensed as hospitals or nursing homes under § 32.1-123 et seq. and to organizations licensed as home health agencies under Article 7.1 (§ 32.1-162.7 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of this title which are also applicable to hospice programs in the regulations to govern hospices. A person who seeks a license to establish or operate a hospice and who has a preexisting valid license to operate a hospital, nursing home or home health agency shall be considered in compliance with those regulations which are applicable to both a hospice and the facility for which it has a license.

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

1981, c. 346; 2007, c. 397.

§ 32.1-162.5:1. Notice to dispenser of patient's death.

Any hospice licensed by the Department or exempt from licensure pursuant to § 32.1-162.2 with a hospice patient residing at home at the time of death shall notify every pharmacy that has dispensed partial quantities of a Schedule II controlled substance for a patient with a medical diagnosis documenting a terminal illness, as authorized by federal law, within 48 hours of the patient's death.

2015, c. 668.

§ 32.1-162.6. Revocation or suspension of license.

A. The Commissioner is authorized to revoke or suspend any license issued hereunder if the holder of the license fails to comply with the provisions of this article or with the regulations of the Board.

B. If a license is revoked as herein provided, the Commissioner may issue a new license upon application therefor if, when, and after the conditions upon which revocation was based have been corrected and all provisions of this article and applicable regulations have been complied with.

C. Suspension of a license shall in all cases be for an indefinite time and the suspension may be lifted and rights under the license fully or partially restored at such time as the Commissioner determines that the rights of the licensee appear to so require and the interests of the public will not be jeopardized by resumption of operation.

1981, c. 346.

Article 7.1. Home Care Organization Licensing.

§ 32.1-162.7. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Health care professional" means any professional who is licensed, certified or registered to practice by a board within the Department of Health Professions under Title 54.1 or is licensed, certified or registered by a nationally recognized professional organization specified in Board regulations.

"Home care organization" means a public or private organization, whether operated for profit or not for profit, that provides, at the residence of a patient or individual in the Commonwealth of Virginia, one or more of the following services:

1. Home health services, including services provided by or under the direct supervision of any health care professional under a medical plan of care in a patient's residence on a visit or hourly basis to patients who have or are at risk of injury, illness, or a disabling condition and require short-term or long-term interventions;

2. Personal care services, including assistance in personal care to include activities of daily living provided in an individual's residence on a visit or hourly basis to individuals who have or are at risk of an illness, injury or disabling condition; or

3. Pharmaceutical services, including services provided in a patient's residence, which include the dispensing and administration of a drug or drugs, and parenteral nutritional support, associated patient instruction, and such other services as identified by the Board of Health by regulation.

"Person" includes any partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity, public or private.

"Residence" means the place where the individual or patient makes his home such as his own apartment or house, a relative's home or an assisted living facility, but shall not include a hospital, nursing facility or nursing home or other extended care facility.

1986, c. 633; 1991, c. 695; 1993, cc. 957, 993.

§ 32.1-162.8. Exemptions from article.

The provisions of this article shall not be applicable to:

1. A natural person who provides services to a patient or individual on an individual basis if such person is (i) acting alone under a medical plan of care and is licensed to provide such services pursuant to Title 54.1 or (ii) retained by the individual or by another individual acting on the individual's behalf.

2. Any organization providing only housekeeping, chore or beautician services.

3. Any home care organization located in the Commonwealth that after initial licensure is:

a. Certified by the Department of Health under provisions of Title XVIII or Title XIX of the Social Security Act;

b. Accredited by any organization recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the purposes of Medicare certification; or

c. Licensed for hospice services under Article 7 (§ 32.1-162.1 et seq.) of this chapter.

1986, c. 633; 1991, c. 695; 1995, c. 455; 2001, c. 515; 2010, c. 790.

§ 32.1-162.9. Licenses required; renewal thereof.

A. No person shall establish or operate a home care organization without a license issued pursuant to this article unless he is exempt from licensure pursuant to § 32.1-162.8. No license to establish or operate a home care organization shall be issued to any person who has been sanctioned pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b.

B. The Commissioner shall issue or renew a license to establish or operate a home care organization upon application therefor on a form and accompanied by a fee prescribed by the Board if the Commissioner finds that the home care organization is in compliance with the provisions of this article and regulations of the Board, unless the Commissioner determines that no reciprocal agreement for the licensing of home care organizations has been entered into by the Commonwealth with the state in which the applicant resides or with the state in which the applicant's home care organization is licensed to operate. The Commissioner shall not issue or renew a license to establish or operate a home care organization to any applicant who has been sanctioned pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b.

C. The Commissioner may issue a license to a home care organization authorizing the licensee to provide services at one or more branch offices serving portions of the total geographic area served by the licensee, provided each branch office operates under the supervision and administrative control of the licensee. The address of each branch office at which services are provided by the licensee shall be included on any license issued to the licensee.

D. Every applicant for an initial license to establish or operate a home care organization shall include as part of his application proof of initial reserve operating funds in an amount determined by the Board, which shall be sufficient to ensure operation of the home care organization for the three-month period after a license to operate has been issued. Such funds may include cash, cash equivalents that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and that present insignificant risk of change in value, borrowed funds that are immediately available to the applicant, or a line of credit that is immediately available to the applicant. Proof of funds sufficient to meet the requirements of this subsection shall include a current balance sheet demonstrating availability of cash or cash equivalents, including all borrowed funds, sufficient to meet the requirement for initial reserve operating funds together with a letter from the officer of the bank or other financial institution where the funds are held or a letter of credit from a lender demonstrating the current availability of a line of credit and the amount thereof.

E. Every such license shall expire on the anniversary of its issuance or renewal.

F. The activities and services of each applicant for issuance or renewal of a home care organization license shall be subject to an inspection or examination by the Commissioner to determine if the home care organization is in compliance with the provisions of this article and regulations of the Board.

G. No license issued pursuant to this article may be transferred or assigned.

1986, c. 633; 1991, c. 695; 1994, c. 902; 2012, c. 139; 2013, cc. 184, 505.

§ 32.1-162.9:1. Employment for compensation of persons convicted of barrier crimes prohibited; criminal records check required; drug testing; suspension or revocation of license.

A. A licensed home care organization as defined in § 32.1-162.7 or any home care organization exempt from licensure under subdivision 3 a or b of § 32.1-162.8 or any licensed hospice as defined in § 32.1-162.1 shall not hire for compensated employment, persons who have been convicted of any offense set forth in clause (i) of the definition of barrier crime in § 19.2-392.02.

However, a home care organization or hospice may hire an applicant who has been convicted of one such offense punishable as a misdemeanor that does not involve abuse or neglect if five years have elapsed since the conviction.

Any person desiring to work at a licensed home care organization as defined in § 32.1-162.7 or any home care organization exempt from licensure under subdivision 3 a or b of § 32.1-162.8 or any licensed hospice as defined in § 32.1-162.1 shall provide the hiring facility with a sworn statement or affirmation disclosing any criminal convictions or any pending criminal charges, whether within or outside the Commonwealth. Any person making a materially false statement when providing such sworn statement or affirmation regarding any such offense is guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Further dissemination of the information provided pursuant to this section is prohibited other than to a federal or state authority or court as may be required to comply with an express requirement of law for such further dissemination.

Such home care organization or hospice shall, within 30 days of employment, obtain for any compensated employees an original criminal record clearance with respect to convictions for offenses specified in this section or an original criminal history record from the Central Criminal Records Exchange. However, no employee shall be permitted to work in a position that involves direct contact with a patient until an original criminal record clearance or original criminal history record has been received, unless such person works under the direct supervision of another employee for whom a background check has been completed in accordance with the requirements of this section. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Commissioner. If an applicant is denied employment because of convictions appearing on his criminal history record, the home care organization or hospice shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the applicant.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to volunteers who work with the permission or under the supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to this section.

B. A licensed home care organization as defined in § 32.1-162.7 or any home care organization exempt from licensure under subdivision 3 a or b of § 32.1-162.8 shall establish policies for maintaining a drug-free workplace, which may include drug testing when the employer has cause to believe that the person has engaged in the use of illegal drugs and periodically during the course of employment. All positive results from drug testing administered pursuant to this section shall be reported to the health regulatory boards responsible for licensing, certifying, or registering the person to practice, if any.

C. A person who complies in good faith with the provisions of this section shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission in the performance of duties under this section unless the act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

D. A licensed home care organization or hospice shall notify and provide all students a copy of the provisions of this section prior to or upon enrollment in a certified nurse aide program operated by such home care organization or hospice.

1992, c. 844; 1993, cc. 17, 657; 1999, c. 637; 2003, c. 517; 2006, cc. 701, 764; 2010, cc. 415, 790; 2012, c. 383; 2014, c. 129; 2017, c. 809.

§ 32.1-162.10. Inspections; fees.

State agencies shall make or cause to be made only such inspections of home care organizations as are necessary to carry out the various obligations imposed on each agency by applicable state and federal laws and regulations. However, no home care organization shall receive additional inspections until all other home care organizations in the Commonwealth have also 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 home care organization, or (iv) otherwise deemed necessary by the Commissioner or his designee to protect the health and safety of the public.

Any on-site inspection by a state agency or a division or unit thereof that substantially complies with the inspection requirements of any other state agency or any other division or unit of the inspecting agency charged with making similar inspections shall be accepted as an equivalent inspection in lieu of an on-site inspection by said agency or by a division or unit of the inspecting agency. A state agency shall coordinate its inspections of home care organizations both internally and with those required by other state agencies so as to ensure that the requirements of this section are met.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, all home care organizations licensed by the Department of Health that have been certified under the provisions of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act for home care services or have obtained accreditation by any organization recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the purposes of Medicare certification may be subject to inspection so long as such accreditation or certification is maintained but only to the extent necessary to ensure the public health and safety. If any such home care organization fails to comply with the provisions of this article or with the regulations of the Board relating to public health and safety, the Commissioner is authorized to revoke the exemption from licensure and require such organization to be relicensed before it can again qualify for an exemption pursuant to § 32.1-162.8.

1986, c. 633; 1991, c. 695; 2010, c. 790; 2014, c. 324; 2017, c. 465.

§ 32.1-162.11. Liability insurance required.

Every licensed home care organization shall obtain and maintain a liability insurance policy and third-party crime insurance policy or blanket fidelity bond in accordance with regulations of the Board. Such insurance policy or bond shall provide coverage in an amount sufficient to compensate patients or individuals for injuries and losses resulting from the negligent or criminal acts of the licensee. Failure to maintain these requirements shall result in revocation of the home care organization's license.

1986, c. 633; 1991, c. 695; 2013, c. 184.

§ 32.1-162.12. Regulations.

The Board shall prescribe such regulations governing the activities and services provided by home care organizations as may be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to, an informed consent contract, the qualifications and supervision of licensed and nonlicensed personnel, a complaint procedure for consumers, the provision and coordination of treatment and services provided by the organization, clinical records kept by the organization, utilization and quality control review procedures and arrangements for the continuing evaluation of the quality of care provided. Regulations shall be appropriate for the categories of service defined in § 32.1-162.7.

1986, c. 633; 1991, c. 695.

§ 32.1-162.13. Revocation or suspension of license.

A. The Commissioner is authorized to revoke or suspend any license issued hereunder if the holder of the license fails to comply with the provisions of this article or with the regulations of the Board.

B. If a license is revoked as herein provided, the Commissioner may issue a new license upon application therefor if, when, and after the conditions upon which revocation was based have been corrected and all provisions of this article and applicable regulations have been complied with.

C. Whenever a license is revoked or suspended the Commissioner may request the Office of the Attorney General to petition the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which the home care organization is located for an injunction to cause such home care organization to cease providing services.

D. Suspension of a license shall in all cases be for an indefinite time and the suspension may be lifted and rights under the license fully or partially restored at such time as the Commissioner determines that the rights of the licensee appear to so require and the interests of the public will not be jeopardized by resumption of operation.

E. The Commissioner shall notify the Department of Medical Assistance Services whenever any license is revoked, suspended, or expired for the purpose of terminating or suspending the licensee Medicaid provider agreement.

1986, c. 633; 1991, c. 695; 2010, c. 790.

§ 32.1-162.14. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, c. 449.

§ 32.1-162.15. Violation; penalties.

Any person owning, establishing, conducting, maintaining, managing or operating a home care organization which is not licensed as required by this article shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The Commissioner may request the Office of the Attorney General to petition the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which the nonlicensed home care organization is located for an injunction to cause such nonlicensed home care organization to cease providing services.

1991, c. 695; 2010, c. 790.

§ 32.1-162.15:1. Unlawful advertising as a home care organization.

It shall be unlawful for any person not licensed as a home care organization pursuant to this article or exempt from licensure pursuant to subsection 3 of § 32.1-162.8, or whose license as a home care organization has been suspended or revoked, or whose license as a home care organization has lapsed and has not been renewed to knowingly advertise or market himself as or otherwise hold himself out to be a home care organization under § 32.1-162.7 or to otherwise assert or imply that he is licensed to provide home health, personal care, or pharmaceutical services. For the purposes of this section, a person who solely offers referrals of independent providers of home care or personal care services, and who advertises or markets himself as such, shall not be deemed to be holding himself out as, or asserting or implying that he is, a home care organization or otherwise licensed to provide home health or personal care services.

2015, c. 304.

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