Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text


Amend Regulation to Conform to Chapter 846 of the 2020 Acts of ...
Stage: Final

Part I
Definitions and General Information

12VAC5-391-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in these regulations shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Activities of daily living" means bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, bowel control, bladder control and eating/feeding.

"Administer" means the direct application of a controlled substance, whether by injection, inhalation, ingestion, or any other means, to the body of a patient by (i) a practitioner or by his authorized agent and under his supervision or (ii) the patient at the direction and in the presence of the practitioner as defined in § 54.1-3401 of the Code of Virginia.

"Administrator" means a person designated, in writing, by the governing body as having the necessary authority for the day-to-day management of the hospice program. The administrator must be a member of the hospice staff. The administrator, director of nursing, or another clinical director may be the same individual if that individual is dually qualified.

"Adverse outcome" means the result of drug or health care therapy that is neither intended nor expected in normal therapeutic use and that causes significant, sometimes life-threatening conditions or consequences at some future time. Such potential future adverse outcome may require the arrangement of appropriate follow-up surveillance and perhaps other departures from the usual plan of care.

"Attending physician" means a physician licensed in Virginia, according to Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, or licensed in an adjacent state and identified by the patient as having the primary responsibility in determining the delivery of the patient's medical care. The responsibilities of physicians contained in this chapter may be implemented by nurse practitioners or physician assistants as assigned by the supervising physician and within the parameters of professional licensing.

"Available at all times during operating hours" means an individual is available on the premises or by telecommunications.

"Barrier crimes" means certain offenses specified in § 32.1-162.9:1 of the Code of Virginia that automatically bar an individual convicted of those offenses from employment with a hospice program.

"Bereavement service" means bereavement counseling as defined in 42 CFR 418.3.

"Cannabidiol oil" means the same as that term is defined in subsection A of § 54.1-3408.3 of the Code of Virginia.

"Commissioner" means the State Health Commissioner.

"Coordinated program" means a continuum of palliative and supportive care provided to a terminally ill patient and his the patient's family, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Core services" means those services that must be provided by a hospice program. Such services are: (i) nursing services, (ii) physician services, (iii) counseling services, and (iv) medical social services.

"Counseling services" means the provision of bereavement services, dietary services, spiritual and any other counseling services for the patient and family while the person is enrolled in the program.

"Criminal record report" means the statement issued by the Central Criminal Records Exchange, Virginia Department of State Police.

"Dispense" means to deliver a drug to the ultimate user by or pursuant to the lawful order of a practitioner, including the prescribing and administering, packaging, labeling or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for that delivery as defined in § 54.1-3401 of the Code of Virginia.

"Employee" means an individual who is appropriately trained and performs a specific job function for the hospice program on a full full-time or part-time basis with or without financial compensation.

"Governing body" means the individual, group, or governmental agency that has legal responsibility and authority over the operation of the hospice program.

"Home attendant" means a nonlicensed individual performing personal care and environmental services, under the supervision of the appropriate health professional, to a patient in the patient's residence. Home attendants are also known as certified nursing assistants or CNAs, home care aides, home health aides, and personal care aides.

"Hospice" means a hospice as defined in § 32.1-162.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Hospice facility" means an institution, place, or building as defined in § 32.1-162.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"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 group" means the group responsible for assessing the health care and special needs of the patient and the patient's family. Providers of special services, such as mental health, pharmacy, and any other appropriate associated health services may also be included on the team as the needs of the patient dictate. The interdisciplinary group is often referred to as the IDG.

"Licensee" means a licensed hospice program provider.

"Medical director" means a physician currently licensed in Virginia, according to Chapter 29 (§ 54.1-2900 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, and responsible for the medical direction of the hospice program.

"Medical record" means a continuous and accurate documented account of services provided to a patient, including the prescription and delivery of the treatment or care.

"Medication error" means one or more violations of the five principles of medication administration: the correct drug to the right patient at the prescribed time in the prescribed dose via the prescribed route.

"Nursing services" means the patient care performed or supervised by a registered nurse according to a plan of care.

"OLC" means the Office of Licensure and Certification of the Virginia Department of Health.

"Operator" means any individual, partnership, association, trust, corporation, municipality, county, local government agency, or any other legal or commercial entity responsible for the day-to-day administrative management and operation of the hospice.

"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. Palliative care means treatment to enhance comfort and improve the quality of a patient's life during the last phase of his life.

"Patient" means a hospice patient as defined in § 32.1-162.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Patient's family" means a hospice patient's family as defined in § 32.1-162.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Patient's residence" means the place where the individual or patient makes his home.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, association, trust, corporation, municipality, county, local government agency, or any other legal or commercial entity that operates a hospice.

"Plan of care" means a written plan of services developed by the interdisciplinary group to maximize patient comfort by symptom control to meet the physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and other special needs that are experienced during the final stages of illness, during dying, and bereavement.

"Primary caregiver" means an individual that, through mutual agreement with the patient and the hospice program, assumes responsibility for the patient's care.

"Progress note" means a documented statement contained in a patient's medical record, dated and signed by the person delivering the care, treatment, or service, describing the treatment or services delivered and the effect of the care, treatment, or services on the patient.

"Quality improvement" means ongoing activities designed to objectively and systematically evaluate the quality of care and services, pursue opportunities to improve care and services, and resolve identified problems. Quality improvement is an approach to the ongoing study and improvement of the processes of providing services to meet the needs of patients and their families.

"Separate and distinct entrance" means an entrance to the hospice facility other than the formal public entrance used by patients and family members.

"Staff" means an employee who receives financial compensation.

"Supervision" means the ongoing process of monitoring the skills, competencies, and performance of the individual supervised and providing regular face-to-face guidance and instruction.

"Terminally ill" means a medical prognosis that life expectancy is six months or less if the illness runs its usual course.

"THC-A oil" means the same as that term is defined in subsection A of § 54.1-3408.3 of the Code of Virginia.

"Volunteer" means an employee who receives no financial compensation.


12VAC5-391-430. Pharmacy services.

A. All prescription drugs shall be prescribed and properly dispensed to the patient according to the provisions of Chapters 33 (§ 54.1-3300 et seq.) and 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and the regulations of the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, except for prescription drugs authorized by § 54.1-3408 of the Drug Control Act, such as epinephrine for emergency administration, normal saline and heparin flushes for the maintenance of IV lines, and adult immunizations, which may be given by a nurse pursuant to established protocol.

B. Home attendants may administer normally self-administered drugs in the patient's private residence as allowed by § 54.1-3408 of the Virginia Drug Control Act (Chapter 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia). Any other drug shall be administered only by a licensed nurse or physician assistant.

C. The hospice program shall develop written policies and procedures for the administration of infusion therapy medications that include, but are not limited to:

1. Developing a plan of care;

2. Initiation of medication administration based on a prescriber's order and monitoring of the patient for response to the treatment and any adverse reactions or side effects;

3. Assessment of any factors related to the home environment that may affect the prescriber's decisions for initiating, modifying, or discontinuing medications;

4. Communication with the prescriber concerning assessment of the patient's response to therapy, any other patient specific needs, any significant change in the patient's condition;

5. Communication with the patient's provider pharmacy concerning problems or needed changes in a patient's medication;

6. Maintaining a complete and accurate record of medications prescribed, medication administration data, patient assessments, any laboratory tests ordered to monitor response to drug therapy and results, and communications with the prescriber and pharmacy provider;

7. Educating or instructing the patient, family members, or other caregivers involved in the administration of infusion therapy in the proper storage of medication, in the proper handling of supplies and equipment, in any applicable safety precautions, in recognizing potential problems with the patient, and actions to take in an emergency; and

8. Initial training and retraining of all hospice program staff providing infusion therapy.

D. The hospice program shall employ a registered nurse who holds a current active license with the Virginia Board of Nursing, has completed training in infusion therapy and has the knowledge, skills, and competencies to safely administer infusion therapy to supervise medication administration by staff. This person shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, adherence to the policies and procedures related to administration of medications, and conducting periodic assessments of staff competency in performing infusion therapy.

E. Hospice and hospice facility employees who are authorized to possess, distribute, or administer medications to patients may store, dispense, or administer cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil to a patient who has:

1. Been issued a valid written certification for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil in accordance with subsection B of § 54.1-3408.3 of the Code of Virginia; and

2. Registered with the Board of Pharmacy.