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State Board Approves Clinic Licensing Emergency Regulations

Meeting in Roanoke this past week, the State Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services Board voted unanimously to adopt new emergency regulations to establish standards for licenses for providers of treatment for persons with opioid addiction.

SB 753 and HB 1778, enacted by the 2005 General Assembly directed the Department to review itsí existing regulations and respond to concerns about the growing number of clinics applying for licenses, particularly in Southwest Virginia.

The new requirements call on applicants to document the need for treatment in their proposed service area. That service area must be located entirely within the Commonwealth, and no further than 100 miles from the proposed clinic site. Virginia residents are to be given priority for clinic admissions and positions on waiting lists.

The Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services held 3 public comment sessions across the state, along with a stakeholders meeting in Lynchburg in August. It also invited public comment on line and by mail to the department, all of which were carefully considered when re-writing the regulations. The department is also currently taking steps to adopt permanent regulations to comply with this legislation.

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