Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

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Update Regulations to Conform to Provisions of the Virginia Drug ...
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12VAC5-391-350. Home attendant services.

A. Services of the home attendants may include, but are not limited to:

1. Assisting patients with (i) activities of daily living; (ii) ambulation and prescribed exercise; (iii) other special duties with appropriate training and demonstrated competency;

2. Assisting with oral or topical medications that the patient can normally self-administer Administration of normally self-administered drugs in a 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);

3. Taking and recording vital signs as indicated in the plan of care;

4. Measuring and recording fluid intake and output;

5. Recording and reporting to the health care professional changes in the patient's physical condition, behavior or appearance;

6. Documenting services and observations in the medical record; and

7. Performing any other duties that the attendant is qualified to do by additional training and demonstrated competency, within state guidelines.

B. Prior to the initial delivery of services, the home attendant shall receive specific written instructions for the patient's care from the appropriate health care professional responsible for the care.

C. Home attendants shall work under the supervision of the appropriate health care professional responsible for the patient's care.

D. The nurse responsible for supervising the home attendant shall make visits to the patient's home as frequently as necessary, but not less than every two weeks. The results of each visit shall be documented in the medical record.

E. Relevant in-service education or training for home attendants shall consist of at least 12 hours annually. In-service training may be in conjunction with on-site supervision.

F. Home attendants shall be able to speak, read and write English and shall meet one of the following qualifications:

1. Have satisfactorily completed a nursing education hospice program preparing for registered nurse licensure or practical nurse licensure;

2. Have satisfactorily completed a nurse aide education hospice program approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing;

3. Have certification as a nurse aide issued by the Virginia Board of Nursing;

4. Be successfully enrolled in a nursing education hospice program preparing for registered nurse or practical nurse licensure and have currently completed at least one nursing course that includes clinical experience involving patient care;

5. Have satisfactorily passed a competency evaluation that meets the criteria of 42 CFR 484.36 (b); or

6. Have satisfactorily completed training using the "Personal Care Aide Training Curriculum," dated 2003, of the Department of Medical Assistance Services. However, the training is permissible for volunteers only.


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 assist only with those topical and oral medications that the patient would normally self 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.