Designated Support Persons

Chapter 220 (2021 Acts of Assembly, Special Session I) requires every medical care facility to allow a person with a disability who requires support and assistance necessary due to the specifics of their disability to be accompanied by a designated support person who will provide support and assistance necessary during an admission. In any case in which the duration of the admission lasts more than 24 hours, the person with a disability may designate more than one designated support person. However, medical care facilities are not required to allow more than one designated support person to be present with a person with a disability at any time. This legislation builds on the previously enacted Item 300(F) in Chapter 56 (2020 Acts of Assembly, Special Session I) that addressed designated support person requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regulations in Development

Though Code of Virginia § 32.1-137.08 lays out the general designated support requirements, the State Board of Health is developing more specific requirements in regulation. Information about this regulatory work and others that the OLC is working on is linked below.

Current Regulatory Projects

Current Guidance

While regulations are being developed, an interim guidance document has been published to help medical care facilities understand their obligations and VDH's expectations for the designated support person requirement. Your may review the guidance by clicking on the link below.

Interim Guidance

File a Complaint

The Office of Licensure and Certification carries out enforcement activities for medical care facilities. If you believe that a general hospital, outpatient surgical hospital, or hospice facility has not complied with all the requirements for a designated support person, please file a complaint with us.

Complaint Unit

Frequently Asked Questions