Virginia Reporting Statute

The information on this page was last updated by Horty, Springer & Mattern on January 31, 2019.

VIRGINIA

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Va. Code Ann. §54.1-2400.2 Confidentiality of information obtained during an investigation or disciplinary proceeding; penalty 

A. Any reports, information or records received and maintained by the Department of Health Professions or any health regulatory board in connection with possible disciplinary proceedings, including any material received or developed by a board during an investigation or proceeding, shall be strictly confidential. The Department of Health Professions or a board may only disclose such confidential information:

1. In a disciplinary proceeding before a board or in any subsequent trial or appeal of an action or order, or to the respondent in entering into a confidential consent agreement under §54.1-2400;

2. To regulatory authorities concerned with granting, limiting or denying licenses, certificates or registrations to practice a health profession, including the coordinated licensure information system, as defined in §54.1-3030;

3. To hospital committees concerned with granting, limiting or denying hospital privileges if a final determination regarding a violation has been made;

4. Pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction for good cause arising from extraordinary circumstances being shown;

5. To qualified personnel for bona fide research or educational purposes, if personally identifiable information relating to any person is first deleted. Such release shall be made pursuant to a written agreement to ensure compliance with this section; or

6. To the Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program within the Department of Health Professions in connection with health practitioners who apply to or participate in the Program.

B. In no event shall confidential information received, maintained or developed by the Department of Health Professions or any board, or disclosed by the Department of Health Professions or a board to others, pursuant to this section, be available for discovery or court subpoena or introduced into evidence in any civil action. This section shall not, however, be construed to inhibit an investigation or prosecution under Article 1 (§18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2.

C. Any claim of a physician-patient or practitioner-patient privilege shall not prevail in any investigation or proceeding by any health regulatory board acting within the scope of its authority. The disclosure, however, of any information pursuant to this provision shall not be deemed a waiver of such privilege in any other proceeding.

D. This section shall not prohibit the Director of the Department of Health Professions, after consultation with the relevant health regulatory board president or his designee, from disclosing to the Attorney General, or the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth, investigatory information which indicates a possible violation of any provision of criminal law, including the laws relating to the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, prescribing or administration of drugs, other than drugs classified as Schedule VI drugs and devices, by any individual regulated by any health regulatory board.

E. This section shall not prohibit the Director of the Department of Health Professions from disclosing matters listed in subdivision A 1, A 2, or A 3 of §54.1-2909; from making the reports of aggregate information and summaries required by §54.1-2400.3; or from disclosing the information required to be made available to the public pursuant to §54.1-2910.1.

F. This section shall not prohibit the Director of the Department of Health Professions, following consultation with the relevant health regulatory board president or his designee, from disclosing information about a suspected violation of state or federal law or regulation to other agencies within the Health and Human Resources Secretariat or to federal law-enforcement agencies having jurisdiction over the suspected violation or requesting an inspection or investigation of a licensee by such state or federal agency when the Director has reason to believe that a possible violation of federal or state law has occurred. Such disclosure shall not exceed the minimum information necessary to permit the state or federal agency having jurisdiction over the suspected violation of state or federal law to conduct an inspection or investigation. Disclosures by the Director pursuant to this subsection shall not be limited to requests for inspections or investigations of licensees. Nothing in this subsection shall require the Director to make any disclosure. Nothing in this section shall permit any agency to which the Director makes a disclosure pursuant to this section to re-disclose any information, reports, records, or materials received from the Department.

G. Whenever a complaint or report has been filed about a person licensed, certified, or registered by a health regulatory board, the source and the subject of a complaint or a report shall be provided information about the investigative and disciplinary procedures at the Department of Health Professions. Prior to interviewing a licensee who is the subject of a complaint or report, or at the time that the licensee is first notified in writing of the complaint or report, whichever shall occur first, the licensee shall be provided with a copy of the complaint or report and any records or supporting documentation, unless such provision would materially obstruct a criminal or regulatory investigation. If the relevant board concludes that a disciplinary proceeding will not be instituted, the board may send an advisory letter to the person who was the subject of the complaint or report. The relevant board may also inform the source of the complaint or report (i) that an investigation has been conducted, (ii) that the matter was concluded without a disciplinary proceeding, (iii) of the process the boards followed in making its determination, and (iv), if appropriate, that an advisory letter from the board has been communicated to the person who was the subject of the complaint or report. In providing such information, the board shall inform the source of the complaint or report that he is subject to the requirements of this section relating to confidentiality and discovery.

H. Orders and notices of the health regulatory boards relating to disciplinary actions, other than confidential exhibits described in subsection K, shall be disclosed.  Information on the date and location of any disciplinary proceeding, allegations against the respondent, and the list of statutes and regulations the respondent is alleged to have violated shall be provided to the source of the complaint or report by the relevant board prior to the proceeding. The source shall be notified of the disposition of a disciplinary case.

I. This section shall not prohibit investigative staff authorized under § 54.1-2506 from interviewing fact witnesses, disclosing to fact witnesses the identity of the subject of the complaint or report, or reviewing with fact witnesses any portion of records or other supporting documentation necessary to refresh the fact witnesses’ recollection.

J. Any person found guilty of the unlawful disclosure of confidential information possessed by a health regulatory board shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

K. In disciplinary actions in which a practitioner is or may be unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients and the public because of a mental or physical disability, a health regulatory board shall consider whether to disclose and may decide not to disclose in its notice or order the practitioner’s health records, as defined in § 32.1–127.1:03, or his health services, as defined in § 32.1–127.1:03. Such information may be considered by the relevant board in a closed hearing in accordance with subsection A 16 of § 2.2–3711 and included in a confidential exhibit to a notice or order. The public notice or order shall identify, if known, the practitioner’s mental or physical disability that is the basis for its determination. In the event that the relevant board, in its discretion, determines that this subsection should apply, information contained in the confidential exhibit shall remain part of the confidential record before the relevant board and is subject to court review under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2–4000 et seq.) and to release in accordance with this section.

54.1-2400.6 Hospitals, other health care institutions, home health and hospice organization, and assisted living facilities required to report disciplinary actions against and certain disorders of health professionals; immunity from liability; failure to report

A. The chief executive officer and the chief of staff of every hospital or other health care institution in the Commonwealth, the director of every licensed home health or hospice organization, the director of every accredited home health organization exempt from licensure,  the administrator of every licensed assisted living facility, and the administrator of every provider licensed by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in the Commonwealth shall report within 30 days, except as provided in subsection B, to the Director of the Department of Health Professions, or in the case of a director of a home health or hospice organization, to the Office of Licensure and Certification at the Department of Health (the Office), the following information regarding any person (i) licensed, certified, or registered by a health regulatory board or (ii) holding a multistate licensure privilege to practice nursing or an applicant for licensure, certification or registration unless exempted under subsection E:

1. Any information of which he may become aware in his official capacity indicating that such a health professional is in need of treatment or has been committed or admitted as a patient, either at his institution or any other health care institution, for treatment of substance abuse or a psychiatric illness that may render the health professional a danger to himself, the public or his patients.

2. Any information of which he may become aware in his official capacity indicating, after reasonable investigation and consultation as needed with the appropriate internal boards or committees authorized to impose disciplinary action on a health professional, that there is a reasonable probability that such health professional may have engaged in unethical, fraudulent or unprofessional conduct as defined by the pertinent licensing statutes and regulations. The report required under this subdivision shall be submitted within 30 days of the date that the chief executive officer, chief of staff, director, or administrator determines that a reasonable probability exists.

3. Any disciplinary proceeding begun by the institution, organization, facility, or provider as a result of conduct involving (i) intentional or negligent conduct that causes or is likely to cause injury to a patient or patients, (ii) professional ethics, (iii) professional incompetence, (iv) moral turpitude, or (v) substance abuse. The report required under this subdivision shall be submitted within 30 days of the date of written communication to the health professional notifying him of the initiation of a disciplinary proceeding.

4. Any disciplinary action taken during or at the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings or while under investigation, including but not limited to denial or termination of employment, denial or termination of privileges or restriction of privileges that results from conduct involving (i) intentional or negligent conduct that causes or is likely to cause injury to a patient or patients, (ii) professional ethics, (iii) professional incompetence, (iv) moral turpitude, or (v) substance abuse. The report required under this subdivision shall be submitted within 30 days of the date of written communication to the health professional notifying him of any disciplinary action.

5. The voluntary resignation from the staff of the health care institution, home health or hospice organization, assisted living facility, or provider, or voluntary restriction or expiration of privileges at the institution, organization, facility, or provider, of any health professional while such health professional is under investigation or is the subject of disciplinary proceedings taken or begun by the institution, organization, facility, or provider or a committee thereof for any reason related to possible intentional or negligent conduct that causes or is likely to cause injury to a patient or patients, medical incompetence, unprofessional conduct, moral turpitude, mental or physical impairment, or substance abuse.

Any report required by this section shall be in writing directed to the Director of the Department of Health Professions or to the Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification at the Department of Health, shall give the name and address of the person who is the subject of the report and shall fully describe the circumstances surrounding the facts required to be reported. The report shall include the names and contact information of individuals with knowledge about the facts required to be reported and the names and contact information of individuals from whom the hospital or health care institution, organization, facility, or provider sought information to substantiate the facts required to be reported. All relevant medical records shall be attached to the report if patient care or the health professional’s health status is at issue. The reporting hospital, health care institution, home health or hospice organization, assisted living facility, or provider shall also provide notice to the Department or the Office that it has submitted a report to the National Practitioner Data Bank under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (42 U.S.C. § 11101 et seq.). The reporting hospital, health care institution, home health or hospice organization, assisted living facility, or provider shall give the health professional who is the subject of the report an opportunity to review the report. The health professional may submit a separate report if he disagrees with the substance of the report.

This section shall not be construed to require the hospital, health care institution, home health or hospice organization, assisted living facility, or provider to submit any proceedings, minutes, records, or reports that are privileged under § 8.01-581.17, except that the provisions of § 8.01-581.17 shall not bar (i) any report required by this section or (ii) any requested medical records that are necessary to investigate unprofessional conduct reported pursuant to this subtitle or unprofessional conduct that should have been reported pursuant to this subtitle. Under no circumstances shall compliance with this section be construed to waive or limit the privilege provided in § 8.01-581.17. No person or entity shall be obligated to report any matter to the Department or the Office if the person or entity has actual notice that the same matter has already been reported to the Department or the Office.

B. Any report required by this section concerning the commitment or admission of such health professional as a patient shall be made within five days of when the chief executive officer, chief of staff, director, or administrator learns of such commitment or admission.

C. The State Health Commissioner, Commissioner of Social Services, and Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services shall report to the Department any information of which their agencies may become aware in the course of their duties that a health professional may be guilty of fraudulent, unethical, or unprofessional conduct as defined by the pertinent licensing statutes and regulations. However, the State Health Commissioner shall not be required to report information reported to the Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification pursuant to this section to the Department of Health Professions.

D. Any person making a report by this section, providing information pursuant to an investigation or testifying in a judicial or administrative proceeding as a result of such report shall be immune from any civil liability alleged to have resulted therefrom unless such person acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.

E. Medical records or information learned or maintained in connection with an alcohol or drug prevention function that is conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by any department or agency of the United States shall be exempt from the reporting requirements of this section to the extent that such reporting is in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2 or regulations adopted thereunder.

F. Any person who fails to make a report to the Department as required by this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 assessed by the Director. The Director shall report the assessment of such civil penalty to the Commissioner of Health, Commissioner of Social Services, or Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, as appropriate. Any person assessed a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall not receive a license or certification or renewal of such unless such penalty has been paid pursuant to § 32.1-125.01. The Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and the University of Virginia Hospitals shall not receive certification pursuant to § 32.1-137 or Article 1.1 (§ 32.1-102.1 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 32.1 unless such penalty has been paid.

§54.1-2400.7 Practitioners treating other practitioners for certain disorders to make reports; immunity from liability

A. Every practitioner in the Commonwealth who is registered, certified, or licensed by a health regulatory board or who holds a multistate licensure privilege to practice nursing who treats professionally any person registered, certified, or licensed by a health regulatory board or who holds a multistate licensure privilege shall report, unless exempted by subsection C hereof, to the Director of the Department of Health Professions whenever any such health professional is treated for mental disorders, chemical dependency or alcoholism, unless the attending practitioner has determined that there is a reasonable probability that the person being treated is competent to continue in practice or would not constitute a danger to himself or to the health and welfare of his patients or the public.

B. Any person making a report required by this section or testifying in a judicial or administrative proceeding as a result of such report shall be immune from any civil liability alleged to have resulted therefrom unless such person acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.

C. Medical records or information learned or maintained in connection with an alcohol or drug abuse prevention function which is conducted, regulated, or directly or indirectly assisted by any department or agency of the United States shall be exempt from the reporting requirements of this section to the extent that such reporting is in violation of 42 U.S.C. §290dd-2 or regulations adopted thereunder.

§54.1-2400.8. Immunity for reporting

In addition to the immunity for reporting as provided by §54.1-2400.6 and §54.1-2400.7, any person (i) making a report regarding the conduct or competency of a health care practitioner as required by law or regulation, (ii) making a voluntary report to the appropriate regulatory board or to the Department of Health Professions regarding the unprofessional conduct or competency of any practitioner licensed, certified, or registered by a health regulatory board, or (iii) providing information pursuant to an investigation or testifying in a judicial or administrative proceeding as a result of such reports shall be immune from any civil liability resulting there from unless such person acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.

§54.1-2909 Further reporting requirements; civil penalty; disciplinary action

A. The following matters shall be reported within 30 days of their occurrence to the Board:

1. Any disciplinary action taken against a person licensed under this chapter in another state or in a federal health institution or voluntary surrender of a license in another state while under investigation;

2. Any malpractice judgment against a person licensed under this chapter;

3. Any settlement of a malpractice claim against a person licensed under this chapter; and

4. Any evidence that indicates a reasonable probability that a person licensed under this chapter is or may be professionally incompetent; has engaged in intentional or negligent conduct that causes or is likely to cause injury to a patient or patients; has engaged in unprofessional conduct; or may be mentally or physically unable to engage safely in the practice of his profession.

The reporting requirements set forth in this section shall be met if these matters are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act, 42 U.S.C. §11101 et seq., and notice that such a report has been submitted is provided to the Board.

B. The following persons and entities are subject to the reporting requirements set forth in this section:

1. Any person licensed under this chapter who is the subject of a disciplinary action, settlement, judgment or evidence for which reporting is required pursuant to this section;

2. Any other person licensed under this chapter, except as provided in the protocol agreement entered into by the Medical Society of Virginia and the Board for the Operation of the Impaired Physicians Program;

3. The presidents of all professional societies in the Commonwealth, and their component societies whose members are regulated by the Board, except as provided for in the protocol agreement entered into by the Medical Society of Virginia and the Board for the Operation of the Impaired Physicians Program;

4. All health care institutions licensed by the Commonwealth.

5. The malpractice insurance carrier of any person who is the subject of a judgment or settlement; and

6. Any health maintenance organization licensed by the Commonwealth.

C. No person or entity shall be obligated to report any matter to the Board if the person or entity has actual notice that the matter has already been reported to the Board.

D. Any report required by this section shall be in writing directed to the Board, shall give the name and address of the person who is the subject of the report and shall describe the circumstances surrounding the facts required to be reported. Under no circumstances shall compliance with this section be construed to waive or limit the privilege provided in §8.01-581.17.

E. Any person making a report required by this section, providing information pursuant to an investigation or testifying in a judicial or administrative proceeding as a result of such report shall be immune from any civil liability or criminal prosecution resulting therefrom unless such person acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.

F. The clerk of any circuit court or any district court in the Commonwealth shall report to the Board the conviction of any person known by such clerk to be licensed under this chapter of any (i) misdemeanor involving a controlled substance, marijuana or substance abuse or involving an act of moral turpitude or (ii) felony.

G. Any person who fails to make a report to the Board as required by this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000. The Director shall report the assessment of such civil penalty to the Commissioner of the Department of Health or the Commissioner of Insurance at the State Corporation Commission. Any person assessed a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall not receive a license, registration or certification or renewal of such unless such penalty has been paid.

H. Disciplinary action against any person licensed, registered or certified under this chapter shall be based upon the underlying conduct of the person and not upon the report of a settlement or judgment submitted under this section.

§ 54.1-2915. Unprofessional conduct; grounds for refusal or disciplinary action

A. The Board may refuse to issue a certificate or license to any applicant; reprimand any person; place any person on probation for such time as it may designate; impose a monetary penalty or terms as it may designate on any person; suspend any license for a stated period of time or indefinitely; or revoke any license for any of the following acts of unprofessional conduct:

1. False statements or representations or fraud or deceit in obtaining admission to the practice, or fraud or deceit in the practice of any branch of the healing arts;

2. Substance abuse rendering him unfit for the performance of his professional obligations and duties;

3. Intentional or negligent conduct in the practice of any branch of the healing arts that causes or is likely to cause injury to a patient or patients;

4. Mental or physical incapacity or incompetence to practice his profession with safety to his patients and the public;

5. Restriction of a license to practice a branch of the healing arts in another state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory, or a foreign jurisdiction, or for an entity of the federal government;

6. Undertaking in any manner or by any means whatsoever to procure or perform or aid or abet in procuring or performing a criminal abortion;

7. Engaging in the practice of any of the healing arts under a false or assumed name, or impersonating another practitioner of a like, similar, or different name;

8. Prescribing or dispensing any controlled substance with intent or knowledge that it will be used otherwise than medicinally, or for accepted therapeutic purposes, or with intent to evade any law with respect to the sale, use, or disposition of such drug;

9. Violating provisions of this chapter on division of fees or practicing any branch of the healing arts in violation of the provisions of this chapter;

10. Knowingly and willfully committing an act that is a felony under the laws of the Commonwealth or the United States, or any act that is a misdemeanor under such laws and involves moral turpitude;

11. Aiding or abetting, having professional connection with, or lending his name to any person known to him to be practicing illegally any of the healing arts;

12. Conducting his practice in a manner contrary to the standards of ethics of his branch of the healing arts;

13. Conducting his practice in such a manner as to be a danger to the health and welfare of his patients or to the public;

14. Inability to practice with reasonable skill or safety because of illness or substance abuse;

15. Publishing in any manner an advertisement relating to his professional practice that contains a claim of superiority or violates Board regulations governing advertising;

16. Performing any act likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public;

17. Violating any provision of statute or regulation, state or federal, relating to the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or administration of drugs;

18. Violating or cooperating with others in violating any of the provisions of Chapters 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.), 24 (§ 54.1-2400 et seq.) and this chapter or regulations of the Board;

19. Engaging in sexual contact with a patient concurrent with and by virtue of the practitioner and patient relationship or otherwise engaging at any time during the course of the practitioner and patient relationship in conduct of a sexual nature that a reasonable patient would consider lewd and offensive;

20. Conviction in any state, territory, or country of any felony or of any crime involving moral turpitude;

21. Adjudication of legal incompetence or incapacity in any state if such adjudication is in effect and the person has not been declared restored to competence or capacity; or

22. Performing the services of a medical examiner as defined in 49 C.F.R. § 390.5 if, at the time such services are performed, the person performing such services is not listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners as provided in 49 C.F.R. § 390.109 or fails to meet the requirements for continuing to be listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners as provided in 49 C.F.R. § 390.111.

B. The commission or conviction of an offense in another state, territory, or country, which if committed in Virginia would be a felony, shall be treated as a felony conviction or commission under this section regardless of its designation in the other state, territory, or country.

C. The Board shall refuse to issue a certificate or license to any applicant if the candidate or applicant has had his certificate or license to practice a branch of the healing arts revoked or suspended, and has not had his certificate or license to so practice reinstated, in another state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory, or a foreign jurisdiction.