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Virginia Legal Information

Virginia Reporting Laws

Statutory Reporting Requirements for Virginia Mental Health Professionals as of 2013.
(NOTE: See also Virginia Licensing Board Regulations Requiring Reports of Provider Misconduct )

STATUTE ACTION REQUIRED DETAILS: DEADLINE/
PENALTY/
IMMUNITY
§ 63.2-1509 Abuse or neglect of child:
Report required if you have “reason to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected child,” disclosing all information which is the basis for the suspicion.” Report may be oral; “records or reports which document the basis for the report” may be requested.
Report to Department of Social Services (DSS) of the city or county wherein the child resides, or wherein the abuse or neglect is believed to have occurred. If neither locality is know, then report shall be made to the local DSS of the county or city where the abuse or neglect was discovered, or to the DSS toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline: 1-800-552-7096. Immediately: Penalty applies if not reported within 24 hours of first suspicion.
Penalty: Not more than $500 for the first failure and not less than $100 or more than $1000 for subsequent failures to report.
Immunity “unless it is proven” that reporter acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.
(See § 63.2-1512)
§ 63.2-1606 Abuse or neglect of aged or incapacitated adult:
Reporting required if you know “matters giving reason to suspect abuse, neglect, or exploittion” unless you have “actual knowledge that the same matter has already been reported.” Report may be “orally or in writing and shall disclose all information that is the basis for the suspicion;” records my be requested
Report to Department of Social Services (DSS) of county or city wherein the adult resides or wherein the abuse, neglect, or exploitation is believed to have occurred. If neither locality is known, then the report shall be made to the local DSS of the county or city where the abuse, neglect, or exploitation was discovered. Immediately: Penalty applies if not reported within 24 hours of first suspicion.
Penalty: Not more than $500 for the first failure and not less than $100 or more than $1000 for subsequent failures to report.
Immunity “unless such person acted in bad faith or with a malicious purpose.”
(See § 63.2-1606 – E)
§ 54.1-2400.1 Threat to harm third party: This “duty to protect” statute applies whenever a “client orally, in writing, or via sign language communicates a specific and immediate threat to cause serious bodily injury or death to an identified or readily identifiable person or persons.” if the provider “reasonably believes, or should believe according to the standards of his profession, that the client has the intent and ability to carry out that threat immediately oir imminently.” (Applies only if threat is communicated while pactitioner is “engaged in his professional duties.”) Actions Which Fulfill This Legal Requirement:
1.
Seek civil commitment;
2. Make reasonable attempts to warn potential victim(s) or parent/ guardian if victim is under 18.
3. Make reasonable efforts to notify law enforcement official having jurisdiction in client’s or potential victim’s place of work or residence; place of work or residence of minor victim’s parent/guardian; or both.
4. Take reasonably available steps to prevent client from using physical violence or other means of harm until law-enforcement agency is summoned and takes custody of the client;
5. Provide therapy/counseling in the session in which the threat was communicated until provider reasonably believes the client no longer has intent or the ability to carry out the threat.
 

Immunity: Provider “shall not be held civilly liable for:
1. Breaching confidentiality with the limited purpose of protecting third parties by communicating the threats described. . . .
2. Failing to predict, in the absence of a threat as described . . . .
3. Failing to take precautions other than those enumerated. . . .

§ 54.1-2400.4 If mental health patient/client describes misconduct by a mental health care provider:
1. Advise patient of his/her right to report;
2. Provide relevant information about making a report (e.g., by providing Health Regulatory Board Complaint Hotline number (1-800-533-1560) or giving directions for filing complaints as described on the Health Regulatory Board website or as described on this website here.
3. Document in patient’s record the alleged misconduct, the category of licensure, and approximate dates of treatment with that provider.

[NOTE: This statute does not require providers to report. Instead, it requires providers to INFORM PATIENT HOW TO REPORT provider misconduct, and to document as described. This statute applies whether or not the provider will be making a legally-required report [e.g., as legally required by statutes described on this page; or as legally required by licensing board regulations (see chart) ); or if provider is reporting voluntarily with the patient’s consent when no report is legally required.]
Timing: “upon learning of evidence that indicates a reasonable probability that another mental health provider is or may be guilty of a violation of standards of conduct as defined in statute or regulation”
Penalty:civil penalty not to exceed $100.
Immunity “unless acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.”
§ 54.1-2400.6 Mental Health Care Provider
in psychiatric hospitalization:
Chief of staff of hospitals must report if a health professional is in need of treatment or is committed or admitted as a psychiatric patient, or undergoes disciplinary action by hospital for unprofessional conduct.
Report must be sent in writing to the Director of the Dept. of Health Professions, giving 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. Timing: within 5 days.
Penalty: civil penalty not to exceed $25,000.
Immunity
unless reporter “acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.”
§ 54.1-2400.7 Mental Health Care Provider is in therapy: Any licensed provider who treats another licensed provider for “mental disorders, chemical dependency or alcoholism” must report to the Director of the Department of Health Professions that the provider is in treatment 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 danger to himself or to the health and welfare of his patients or the public.” (NOTE: This statute requires the treating provider to make this assessment; but it requires no report that the licensed provider is in treatment if the treating provider determines that there are no issues of competence or danger to self or to the public.) Immunity unless reporter “acted in bad faith or with malicious intent.”
§ 54.1-2909;
§ 54.1-2914
Unprofessional conduct reports required by
Board of Medicine licensees
See separate chart
Licensing board
reporting requirements
Unprofessional conduct reports required by
other licensing boards

See separate chart
For Licensing Board Regulations requiring reports of provider misconduct, see separate chart
Also see: Legal Immunity granted whether reporting about a provider was legally required or voluntary.
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