§ 54.1-2516

Program established; practitioner participation; disciplinary action stayed under certain conditions

A. The Director of the Department of Health Professions shall maintain a health practitioners’ monitoring program that provides an alternative to disciplinary action for impaired health practitioners. The Director shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary for the implementation of this program after consulting with the various health regulatory boards.The Director may, in consultation and coordination with the Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program Committee, enter into contracts as may be necessary for the implementation of monitoring services. Such services may include education, assessment, referral for intervention and treatment, and monitoring of impaired practitioners. If the Director enters into an agreement with another agency of the Commonwealth pursuant to this section, that agency shall be immune from liability resulting from the good faith exercise of its obligations under the agreement.When evaluating such contracts, the Director shall consider the utilization of programs, as appropriate, that have been established by professional organizations for peer assistance of impaired practitioners.The Program’s operating costs, including any contractual obligations for services, shall be funded by special dedicated revenues consistent with the provisions of §§ 54.1-113, 54.1-2400, and 54.1-2505. However, this section shall not prohibit the Committee from charging participants a reasonable portion of a fee related to the costs of participation in the Program. No participant shall be denied entry into the Program due to the inability to pay a portion of the costs related to participation.Any monitoring program for individuals licensed or certified by the Board of Medicine, and any contract for the implementation of monitoring services with respect to any such individuals, shall be subject to the prior approval of that Board.

B. Any health practitioner who has an impairment as defined in this chapter, may, on a voluntary basis, participate in the Program regardless of whether the impairment constitutes grounds for disciplinary action.

C. Disciplinary action shall be stayed upon entry of the practitioner in the Program under the following conditions:

1. No report of a possible violation of law or regulation has been made against the practitioner other than impairment or the diversion of controlled substances for personal use and such use does not constitute a danger to patients or clients.

2. The practitioner has entered the Program by written contract with the Committee.

3. Disciplinary action against the practitioner has not previously been stayed in accordance with this section.

4. The practitioner remains in compliance with the terms of his contract with the Committee.

5. The Committee has consulted with the designated representative of the relevant health regulatory board.

History

1997, c. 439; 2009, c. 472.

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