2018 Session


Three-year provisional licenses; extensions. Permits the Board of Education to extend, for up to two additional years, the three-year provisional license of any teacher who requires additional time to satisfy the requirements for a renewable license.


Teacher licensure by reciprocity; grace period. Permits teachers with a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth for up to one school year prior to applying for licensure by reciprocity.


Teacher licensure; prerequisites. Eliminates the requirements that teachers seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license (i) demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and (ii) receive professional development in instructional methods tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for the Standards of Learning end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments.


Education improvement scholarships tax credits; eligibility; payout penalty. Expands the education improvement scholarships tax credits program by including as eligible scholarship recipients children who are eligible to enter pre-kindergarten. In addition, the bill reduces the penalty for failure to fully disburse all donations received from 200 percent of the difference between 90 percent of the value of the donations it received and the amount disbursed to 100 percent of the difference. Under current law, foundations must spend at least 90 percent of donations on scholarships in order to avoid the penalty.


Provisional teacher licensure; grace period. Allows an individual who seeks a provisional teacher license to satisfy certain licensure requirements, such as demonstrating proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction and completing study in child abuse recognition and intervention, during the period of provisional licensure. Current law requires that such licensure requirements be met prior to the granting of a provisional teacher license.


Virginia Community College System. Makes several changes to the Virginia Community College System to ensure a standard quality of education at all comprehensive community colleges, and to ensure in the transfer of community college credit to four-year public institutions of higher education in order to provide higher education as efficiently and cost effective as possible. The bill requires the development of a standard Passport Program and a Uniform Certificate of General Studies program to be offered at each community college. Initially, the Passport Program course offerings would be accepted as credit at a four-year institution, unless a four-year institution had applied for and received a waiver from accepting a particular course for a particular major, with a goal of making all courses in the Uniform Certificate transferrable. Four-year institutions, in cooperation with the Community College System, would be required to map out career education pathways to allow students to see the classes necessary to complete a four-year degree in a particular field of study. The Virginia Community College System would be required to create a single online repository where the public may access all transfer agreements and dual enrollment agreements with four-year institutions. Finally, the State Board for Community Colleges is required to implement an annual review for each community college, and to standardize the course offerings across the community college system.
The bill adds the Virginia Community College System to the Virginia Online Network, and requires that all Passport Program courses be made available through the Network. A community college would be required to indicate whether dual enrollment courses offered at local school division would be eligible for transfer. The Community College system would also be required to maintain a database of all dual enrollment course offered across the Commonwealth.


Virginia Longitudinal Data System; workforce data. Requires the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), through the Virginia Longitudinal Data System, to report additional information regarding the alignment of postsecondary education and workforce in the Commonwealth. The bill also directs the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia Employment Commission, and the Department of Taxation to cooperate with SCHEV to further assist in the collection and sharing of data regarding workforce analysis.


Virginia Community College System continued as the Virginia College System. Renames the Virginia Community College System as the Virginia College System. The bill also renames the Chancellor and State Board for Community Colleges as the Chancellor of the Virginia College System and State Board for the College System.


Standards of Quality; mathematics intervention services. Requires local school divisions to identify students in grades 10, 11, and 12 who are at risk of graduating without the necessary skills to take college-level mathematics coursework, as demonstrated by their individual performance on a Standards of Learning assessment, the PreACT, PSAT/NMSQT, ACT, or SAT, the Virginia Placement Test, or any diagnostic test that has been approved by the Department and to provide mathematics intervention services to such students. The bill requires such intervention services to be aligned with the developmental math curriculum offered by the Virginia Community College System and provides that local school divisions may partner with a local comprehensive community college to provide such intervention services.


Online Virginia Network Authority. Adds the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System and one nonlegislative citizen member appointed by the State Board for Community Colleges to the members of the board of trustees of the Online Virginia Network Authority (Authority). The bill also provides that the Online Virginia Network, established by the Authority, will facilitate the completion of degrees at comprehensive community colleges as well as at George Mason University and Old Dominion University.


Clinics for the treatment of opioid addiction; location. Provides that the prohibition on locating clinics for the treatment of persons with opiate addiction through the use of methadone or opioid replacements other than opioid replacements approved for the treatment of opioid addiction by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within one-half mile of a public or private licensed day care center or a public or private K-12 school shall not apply to an applicant for a license to operate in its current location or to relocate an existing facility when the facility is currently located within one-half mile of a public or private licensed day care center or a public or private K-12 school in the City of Richmond, has been licensed and operated as a facility to provide treatment for persons with opiate addiction through the use of methadone or other opioid replacements by another provider immediately prior to submission of the application for a license, and, upon issuance of the license, will be operated by a behavioral health authority.


THC-A oil; dispensing. Requires the Board of Pharmacy to promulgate regulations that (i) ensure the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol in dispensed THC-A oil is within 10 percent of the level of tetrahydrocannabinol measured for labeling and (ii) require stability testing of any pharmaceutical processor producing THC-A oil.


Limits on prescription of controlled substances containing opioids. Eliminates the surgical or invasive procedure treatment exception to the requirement that a prescriber request certain information from the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) when initiating a new course of treatment that includes prescribing opioids for a human patient to last more than seven days. Under current law, a prescriber is not required to request certain information from the PMP for opioid prescriptions of up to 14 days to a patient as part of treatment for a surgical or invasive procedure. The provisions of the bill will expire on July 1, 2022.


All-Payer Claims Database. Provides that participation in the All-Payer Claims Database by (i) issuers of individual or group accident and sickness insurance policies providing hospital, medical and surgical, or major medical coverage on an expense-incurred basis; corporations providing individual or group accident and sickness subscription contracts; and health maintenance organizations providing a health care plan for health care services; (ii) third-party administrators and any other entities that receive or collect charges, contributions, or premiums for, or adjust or settle health care claims for, Virginia residents; (iii) the Department of Medical Assistance Services with respect to services provided under programs administered pursuant to Titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act; and (iv) federal health insurance plans, if available, including but not limited to Medicare, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, shall be mandatory, to the extent permitted by federal law. Currently, participation is optional.


Prescribers; notice of administration of naloxone. Requires every hospital that operates an emergency department to develop and implement a protocol for (i) identifying every prescriber who has prescribed opioids to a patient to whom naloxone is administered for the purpose of reversing an opioid overdose in the emergency department or by emergency medical services personnel or a law-enforcement officer prior to admission to the emergency department and (ii) notifying each such prescriber that the patient has been treated with naloxone for the purpose of reversing an opioid overdose. Such notification shall be made in each case in which naloxone is administered for the purpose of reversing an opioid overdose by a health care provider in a hospital emergency department, emergency medical services personnel, or a law-enforcement officer to a patient to whom opioids have been prescribed by a prescriber.


Health care shared savings; incentive programs. Requires health carriers to establish a comparable health care service incentive program under which savings are shared with a covered person who elects to receive a covered health care service from a lower-cost provider. Incentive payments shall be at least 50 percent of the saved cost compared to the average cost. Incentive payments are not required for savings of $25 or less. Programs are required to be approved by the Commissioner of Insurance. The measure also requires health carriers to make available an interactive mechanism on their website that enables a covered person to compare costs between providers in-network, calculate estimated out-of-pocket costs, and obtain quality data for those providers, to the extent available. The measure authorizes covered persons to obtain health care services from out-of-network providers if their costs are below the average of in-network providers. The measure requires health care facilities and practitioners to provide a covered person an estimate of charges prior to an admission, procedure, or service. All health care providers are required to post in a visible area notification of the patient’s ability to obtain information in order to get an estimate of out-of-pocket costs from his health carrier and to compare providers.


Data sharing; substance abuse data. Establishes a Substance Abuse Data Sharing and Analytics Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), to be administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources in consultation with the Substance Abuse Data Sharing and Analytics Advisory Committee (the Advisory Committee), also created by the bill. To the extent allowed by federal law, state and local health and human services and public safety agencies are required to provide data to the Clearinghouse to be used for data analytics and analysis related to improving the efficiency and efficacy of the treatment and prevention of substance abuse, with a focus on opioid addiction and abuse. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources may also enter into agreements with private entities and public institutions of higher education to further the goals of the Clearinghouse. The bill requires the Secretary to report annually to the Governor and the General Assembly regarding the results achieved through the use of the Clearinghouse, including the identification of cost savings and policy recommendations.
The Advisory Committee shall have 14 members, consisting of three members of the House of Delegates, two members of the Senate, the Secretaries of Health and Human Resources, Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Technology, and six nonlegislative citizen members representing local government, the medical profession, and community services boards. The Advisory Committee is charged with advising on all matters related to the Clearinghouse.
The bill also makes changes to the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act to codify that data sharing among state and local agencies in certain circumstances is a proper use of personal data.


Prescription Monitoring Program; prescriber and dispenser patterns. Requires the Director of the Department of Health Professions to annually review controlled substance prescribing and dispensing patterns. The bill requires the Director to conduct such review in consultation with an advisory panel consisting of representatives from the relevant health regulatory boards, the Department of Health, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The bill requires the Director to make any necessary changes to the criteria for unusual patterns of prescribing and dispensing and report any findings and recommendations for best practices to the Joint Commission on Health Care by November 1 of each year.


Health insurance plans; prior authorization for drug benefits or surgical procedures. Provides that prior authorization requirements currently applicable to drug benefits are applicable to the process for a carrier’s approval of surgical procedures. The measure requires contracts between an insurance carrier and a participating health care provider that require the carrier’s prior authorization to include provisions that prohibit the carrier, after it has approved a prior authorization request submitted by a participating health care provider, from (i) withdrawing or retracting its approval of the request or (ii) declining or refusing to pay a claim submitted for the drug benefit or surgical procedure. The measure provides that if a health plan or provider contract states that prior authorization is not required for a specific drug benefit or surgical procedure, the carrier shall not refuse to pay a claim submitted for the drug benefit or surgical procedure. The measure addresses the standards applicable to electronic submissions of requests for prior authorization and specifies that requests may be submitted in paper if the provider meets certain criteria. Finally, the measure exempts a drug benefit from prior authorization requirements if prior authorization has been approved for the drug benefit in 90 percent or more of the requests for prior authorization submitted by the provider in the preceding 12 months or if the drug is a generic medication. These provisions apply to provider contracts entered into, amended, extended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2019.


Prescription Monitoring Program; disclosure of information; Department of Medical Assistance Services. Allows the Director of the Department of Health Professions to disclose information about a specific recipient of covered substances who is a recipient of medical assistance services to a physician or pharmacist licensed in the Commonwealth or his designee who holds a multistate licensure privilege to practice nursing or a license issued by a health regulatory board within the Department of Health Professions and is employed by the Department of Medical Assistance Services, for the purpose of determining eligibility for and managing the care of the recipient in a Patient Utilization Management Safety or similar program.


Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Secretary of Commerce and Trade; global reform waiver. Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to apply for a waiver to allow for transformation of the Commonwealth’s existing program of medical assistance services through the implementation of a person-centered model of medical assistance services that improves outcomes and reduces costs by (i) integrating medical and behavioral health care, (ii) implementing a value-based payment model, and (iii) promoting personal choice and responsibility, including cost-sharing and incentives that encourage healthy behaviors, prevention, and wellness. Such waiver may include provisions for an aggregate cap on federal funds for a specified period of time with adequate tools to manage state financing of the program. The Secretary of Health and Human Resources shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the status of the waiver by December 1, 2018.
The bill also directs the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, together with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, to submit a request to the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (i) to receive all federal funds made available to the Commonwealth from the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a single annual grant and (ii) for flexibility in the administration of such funds to better align medical assistance and housing support services to better support low-income individuals receiving medical assistance. The Secretaries of Health and Human Resources and Commerce and Trade shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the status of such request by December 1, 2018.


CBD oil and THC-A oil; certification for use; dispensing. Provides that a practitioner may issue a written certification for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit from such use. Under current law, a practitioner may only issue such certification for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of intractable epilepsy. The bill also reduces the minimum amount of cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol acid per milliliter for a dilution of the Cannabis plant to fall under the definition of CBD oil or THC-A oil, respectively.


Health insurance; active participation in health benefit exchange condition to government contracting. Bars a health carrier that does not actively participate in the health benefit exchange from entering into or renewing a contract with the Commonwealth or any agency or political subdivision thereof related to the administration, sponsorship, sale, offering, or provision of services or benefits under a Medicaid managed care program or a health insurance program for current or retired state or local government employees.


Premium Security Plan. Creates the Premium Security Plan (the Plan), a state-based reinsurance program to stabilize premiums for individual health benefit plans sold on the exchange. The measure provides that moneys provided from general fund appropriations and federal funding provided by a state innovation waiver under ยง 1332 of the Affordable Care Act would be used to partially reimburse insurers for high-cost claims by initially covering 80 percent of an enrolled individual’s annual claims costs between $50,000 and $250,000. The Plan will be overseen by the Virginia Health Reinsurance Association, created by this measure. An enactment clause provides that the measure, other than the requirement that the Commissioner of Insurance apply for the state innovation waiver, will become effective 30 days after notice of approval of the waiver request.


Mental health services in local and regional correctional facilities. Requires the Board of Corrections to adopt standards for mental health services in local and regional correctional facilities, which shall include a requirement that (i) the sheriff of every county and city in which a local correctional facility is located enter into an agreement with the community services board serving that county or city for the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services in the local correctional facility and (ii) the administrator of every regional correctional facility enter into an agreement with the community services board or boards serving the counties and cities participating in the regional correctional facility for the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services in the regional correctional facility. The bill also requires community services boards to provide mental health and substance abuse services to individuals in local and regional correctional facilities and establishes a procedure for the delivery of services to individuals released from local and regional correctional facilities by the community services board serving the local or regional correctional facility or the community services board serving the county or city in which the individual will reside upon his release.


Priority Needs Access Program. Directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services to amend the Medicaid demonstration project (Project Number 11-W-00297/3) to create the Priority Needs Access Program to (i) increase the income eligibility for adults with serious mental illness from 100 to 138 percent of the federal poverty level; (ii) include in the benefit package inpatient hospital and emergency room services; (iii) expand program eligibility to individuals with a diagnosis of mental illness, substance use disorder, or a life-threatening or complex chronic medical condition; (iv) and include the entire population of the demonstration project in the Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus managed care program. The bill also creates an annual hospital assessment for private acute care hospitals.


Certificate of public need; exception. Authorizes the State Health Commissioner to accept, review, and issue a certificate of public need for the establishment of a new ambulatory surgery center located in Planning District 23 that will provide orthopedic services.


Benefits consortium. Authorizes an association organized as a nonstock corporation whose members are employers conducting business in the Commonwealth to sponsor a trust. The measure authorizes the trust, called a benefits consortium, to sell benefits plans to its members. To be eligible to sponsor a plan, the association is required to have been actively in existence for 10 years, have at least five members, have been formed for purposes other than obtaining or providing health benefits, and operate as a nonprofit entity. The benefits plans may provide medical prescription drug, dental, and vision coverage for the employees of members and the sponsoring association and their dependents. The benefits may be self-funded or purchased from an insurer. The benefits consortium will be a multiple employer welfare arrangement subject to the provisions of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The measure exempts the benefits consortium from state taxation and insurance regulations.


Group health benefit plans; bona fide associations. Removes the definition of and references to “bona fide association” as used in provisions applicable to health care plans in the small employer market. The measure also excludes plans provided by a multiple employer welfare arrangement from the scope of the definition of a health benefit plan.


Personal property tax; computer equipment and peripherals used in data centers. Creates a separate classification of tangible personal property, for valuation purposes, for computer equipment and peripherals used in a data center. The classification specifies that the computer equipment and peripherals shall be valued by means of a percentage or percentages of original cost.


Common Interest Community Board; disclosure packets; registration of associations. Requires the Common Interest Community Board to include information regarding the meaning of developer control in its current one-page form that accompanies association disclosure packets that are required to be provided to all prospective purchasers of lots located within a development that is subject to the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act. The bill also requires the developer to file an annual report for the association of the development with the Common Interest Community Board within 30 days after the recordation of the declaration.


Virginia taxable income; deduction for personal exemptions. Increases the deduction, for purposes of computing Virginia taxable income, for personal exemptions. For taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 2019, a taxpayer may deduct $1,000 for each personal exemption allowable to the taxpayer on federal income taxes; current law allows a deduction of $930 per exemption. A taxpayer who is blind or aged may deduct an additional personal exemption in the amount of $900; current law allows an additional deduction of $800.


Auditor of Public Accounts; Commonwealth Data Point; employee compensation information. Adds state employee bonuses, total compensation, and the name of the employee associated with each position for which the annual rate of pay is more than $10,000 to the list of data that must be maintained on the Auditor of Public Accounts online database.


Kinship Guardianship Assistance program. Creates the Kinship Guardianship Assistance program (the program) to facilitate child placements with relatives and ensure permanency for children for whom adoption or being returned home are not appropriate permanency options. The bill sets forth eligibility criteria for the program, payment allowances to kinship guardians, and requirements for kinship guardianship assistance agreements. The bill also requires the Board of Social Services to promulgate regulations for the program.


Posting human trafficking hotline information; civil penalty. Requires local departments of health, the Department of Transportation, at each rest area in the Commonwealth, and each library board or governing body, at each public library, to post notice of the existence of a human trafficking hotline to alert possible witnesses or victims of human trafficking to the availability of a means to report crimes or gain assistance. The bill also provides that any employer who operates a facility in which basic health care services are provided and fails to post notice of the existence of a human trafficking hotline to alert possible witnesses or victims of human trafficking to the availability of a means to report crimes or gain assistance is subject to a civil penalty of $100 per facility in which the notice is not posted.


City of Richmond; Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system permit; James River outfalls. Directs the State Water Control Board (Board) to include in the next renewal of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system of the City of Richmond (City) a requirement that the City complete by January 1, 2020, an assessment of the discharges from each of its Combined Sewer Outfalls into the James River. The bill requires the assessment to incorporate any improvements meant to address discharges from any part of the City’s CSO system and to determine what control technologies may be required to meet applicable regulations. The bill requires copies of the completed assessment to be delivered to the Board and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources. The bill also directs the Board, to the extent necessary and with the consent of the City, to modify an existing consent order or issue a new consent order between itself and the City regarding the CSO system. The bill contains an emergency clause.

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