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Virginia Health Care Association | Virginia Center for Assisted Living

General Assembly Update

General Assembly Update

capitol building on a sunny dayCommittees continue to consider legislation as the General Assembly nears completion of its third week of session. Committees must act on bills that originated in their chamber by the end of next week. VHCA-VCAL’s advocacy work has been focused on the two staffing bills, while the association is also tracking other measures related to visitation, workforce, and liability issues. 

Highlights of Bills Tracked by VHCA-VCAL

Here are highlights of some the more than 50 bills VHCA-VCAL is tracking this session:

Visitation by clergy: SB 1356 would require that regulations governing nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and other health care providers include requirements for these providers to have policies allowing patients or residents to receive visits from clergy upon request during a declared public health emergency. Any such visitors must comply with all reasonable requirements of the facility to protect the safety and health of the residents, patients or staff. VHCA-VCAL worked with bill patron Sen. Jennifer Kiggans to ensure the language was consistent with visitation language passed during the 2020 special session. The bill passed the Senate Education and Health Committee on a unanimous vote. 

Virtual visitation: Del. Matthew Fariss (R-Campbell) made a motion to “pass by indefinitely” his bill, HB 2107, on virtual visitation in nursing facilities after VHCA-VCAL explained that this issue had been addressed by legislation passed during the 2020 special session and existing state and federal regulations.

Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Fund and Program: VHCA-VCAL supports SB 1405 and HB 2204, which would establish the G3 program and provide financial assistance from the fund to students who are enrolled in an educational program at an associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education that leads to an occupation in a certain high-demand field. The bills have been unanimously endorsed by the House and Senate education committees.

Medical malpractice cap: VHCA-VCAL opposes SB 1107, which would eliminate the cap on the recovery in actions against medical providers for medical malpractice. The bill is awaiting a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.