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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    House Document No. 20
    PUBLICATION YEAR 2015

    Document Title
    Report on the Status of Implementation - HB 1956 Virginia General Assembly 2015 Session

    Author
    Department of Health

    Enabling Authority
    Chapter 113 Enactment Clause 1. (Regular Session, 2015)

    Executive Summary
    HB 1956 required the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to work with stakeholders to develop guidelines for hospitals to ensure that hospitals are complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and patients and family members with sensory disabilities are able to communicate effectively with health care providers. This report provides a status of progress in implementing the provisions of the legislation.

    Progress toward meeting the provisions of HB 1956 includes:

    • HB 1956, as introduced, focused on the needs of patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, however, the enacted legislation more broadly directed development of a guidance document for patients with sensory impairments. The stakeholder engagement and thus the initial focus of the effort have been to develop guidance for hospitals in meeting the needs of their patients who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    • The VDH’s Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC) convened a stakeholder panel (roster attached) which met on November 6, 2015. Discussion focused primarily on the identification of issues and the strategies for addressing those issues.

    • VDH OLC prepared a draft framework document (attached) and held a second meeting of the stakeholder panel on December 18, 2015. The panel:

    * Reviewed the draft framework document and provided recommended changes for a near-final Guidance Document focused on patients who are deaf or hard of hearing;

    * Discussed issues related to patients who are blind or visually impaired and discussed the need for a separate guidance document or independent chapter addressing the needs of those patients;

    * Identified additional areas of concern that can be addressed; and

    * Identified additional outside resources and a process for obtaining those resources for possible use in the development of the Guidance Document.

    • Several hospitals (Mary Washington Hospital, Inova Fairfax Hospital) with model “best practice” procedures in place have been identified. The stakeholder panel is reviewing those practices for inclusion, in part or in whole, in the VDH Guidance Document.

    • The stakeholder panel members have been provided the following resources for consideration in production of the Guidance Document:

    * The terms of Heisley and United States v. Inova Health System,
    * The VDH contacts and process for submitting a complaint about a hospital, and
    * The Department of Health Professions’ contacts and process for submitting a complaint about a licensed health care professional.

    Next Steps

    • OLC will compile the input from the December 18th stakeholder panel meeting and will prepare a near-final Guidance Document focused on patients who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    • VDH plans at least one additional meeting of the stakeholder panel in January 2016.

    • OLC will convene a second stakeholder panel to develop a companion guidance document or an independent chapter addressing the needs of the blind and visually impaired.

    VDH is confident that an initial Guidance Document focused on patients who are deaf or hard of hearing will be finalized and published in early spring of 2016.