CMS Issues Final Rules for Home Health Agencies and Patients’ Rights


Bill is considering bringing in a home health aide to help with his mother, Nancy, who has limited mobility from Parkinson’s disease. He was a little hesitant at first, because he was concerned about quality of care. He has been the one who has been solely caring for her for years, and was worried that she wouldn’t receive the same treatment from a stranger he hires through an agency. Now, for people like Bill and Nancy, there are new rules to ensure that home health care providers meet certain standards for in-home care, and patients have more rights.

Currently, there are more than 5 million Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries receiving home health care from nearly 12,600 Medicare and Medicaid-participating home health agencies nationwide. Home health care is designed to allow patients to receive needed health care and custodial care services within the comfort and safety of their own homes. Patients receive coordinated services including assistance with activities of daily living, skilled nursing, physical therapy, medical social services, and more — all under the direction of their physician.

This month, the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services finalized a rule that sets minimum standards for home health agencies. The rule is aimed at improving the quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and boosting patients’ rights. According to Kate Goodrich, MD, CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality for CMS, “Our priority is to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries who receive health services at home get the highest level of patient-centered care from home health agencies. The announcement was the first update in many years to Medicare and Medicaid home health agency rules and reflects current best practices for in-home care, based on recommendations from stakeholders and medical evidence.”

The 374-page rule sets out conditions for home health agencies to be able to participate in federal Medicare and joint federal-state Medicaid programs. The rule includes requirements in training, competency, and patient rights. The following is included in the final rule:

◾A comprehensive patient rights condition of participation that clearly enumerates the rights of home health agency patients and the steps that must be taken to assure those rights.

◾An expanded comprehensive patient assessment requirement that focuses on all aspects of patient wellbeing.

◾A requirement that assures that patients and caregivers have written information about upcoming visits, medication instructions, treatments administered, instructions for care that the patient and caregivers perform and the name and contact information of a home health agency clinical manager.

◾A requirement for an integrated communication system that ensures that patient needs are identified and addressed, care is coordinated among all disciplines and that there is active communication between the home health agency and the patient’s physician(s).

◾A requirement for a data-driven, agency-wide quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program that continually evaluates and improves agency care for all patients at all times.

◾A new infection prevention and control requirement that focuses on the use of standard infection control practices and patient/caregiver education and teaching.

◾A streamlined skilled professional services requirement that focuses on appropriate patient care activities and supervision across all disciplines.

◾An expanded patient care coordination requirement that makes a licensed clinician responsible for all patient care services, such as coordinating referrals and assuring that plans of care meet each patient’s needs at all times.

◾Revisions to simplify the organizational structure of home health agencies while continuing to allow parent agencies and their branches.

◾New personnel qualifications for home health agency administrators and clinical managers.

“We are revising the home health agency requirements to focus on a patient-centered, data-driven, outcome-oriented process that promotes high quality patient care at all times for all patients,” the final rule says.

Home health agencies must meet these requirements and others laid out in the rule to be eligible to provide services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The regulations are set to take effect July 13, 2017.

Choosing a Home Health Care Provider

There are many important factors to consider in choosing the best agency to meet your needs, most important of which is to assess what types of services you or your loved one will need.

When selecting an agency, it is important to ask the appropriate questions during your initial meeting. Below is a list of sample questions:

• How many years has the agency been serving your community?

• Does the agency offer printed material describing its services and costs? (i.e. brochures, flyers)

• Is the agency an approved Medicaid provider?

• Is the agency accredited? In other words, has their quality of care been surveyed and approved by an outside accrediting organization (such as CHAP, JCAHO or Medicare)?

• Will the agency provide a list of references?
• Is the agency licensed by your state (if required)?

• Does the agency provide patients with a “Bill of Rights” that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the agency, patient, and caregiver alike?

• Is there a written plan of care for the patient’s treatment that the patient, physician and family participate in developing?

• Is this plan updated over the course of the treatment?

• Does the patient get a copy of the plan?

• Does the agency staff educate the family members on the care being administered to the patient and ways they can assist?

• Is the patient’s course of treatment documented, detailing the specific tasks to be carried out by each professional? (i.e. medicines, exercises, daily activities)

• Are supervisors assigned to oversee care to ensure that the patient receive quality treatment?

• Are agency caregivers available seven days a week?

• Does the agency have a nursing supervisor on call and available 24 hours a day?

• Does the agency ensure patient confidentiality? How?

• How are agency employees hired and trained?

• Does the agency require criminal record background checks and communicable disease screens for its employees?

• What is the procedure for resolving issues that may arise between the patient/family and home healthcare staff?

• Who can you call with questions or complaints regarding patient care, caretaker issues or general questions?

• What happens if a staff member fails to make a scheduled visit?

• What should the patient do in this situation?

• Who does the agency call if the agency caretaker cannot come when scheduled? (i.e. patient or family member)

• What is the agency caretaker required to do? (i.e. inform patient, reschedule)

If you purchase home healthcare services from an individual rather than through an agency, it is important to screen the individual person(s) providing the scheduled care. Interview the caregiver to be sure he or she is qualified for the job. It is helpful to ask for references, as well as, to have a list of required tasks the caretaker may have to perform with the patient (i.e. getting in and out of a wheelchair, bathing, administering specific types of medicine). This way you know that he or she can indeed perform these tasks. It is also important to have a Caregiver Contract in place. Please see our article on this topic.

When Aging in Place is No Longer an Option

Most people want to stay in their home for as long as possible, with or without the assistance of a home health aide. However, if you or a loved one cannot live independently and are showing signs that living alone is a strain, it may be time to consider other alternatives.

Whether the outcome is assisted living or nursing home care in the future, it is always wise to plan ahead. Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting assets from having to be spent down in connection with entry into assisted living or nursing home care, while also helping ensure that you and your loved ones get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Please know that The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. is here when you need us — just call to make an appointment for a no-cost initial consultation:

Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 540-479-143
Rockville Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 301-519-8041
DC Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 202-587-2797

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Healthcare For All Virginians 2017 Platform

VPLC is part of the Healthcare for All Virginians coalition and below is the coalition’s 2017 Platform.

Both President-Elect Trump and the Republican Caucus in Congress have promised to drastically change many of the health programs that millions of Americans rely on.  In addition to plans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are threats to Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP (Virginia’s “FAMIS” program).

While only some details are available now, the Healthcare for All Virginians (HAV) Coalition is planning to actively engage at both the state and federal levels and continue to pursue the Mission and Guiding Principles we established in 2009.

As the new healthcare landscape unfolds, HAV will be engaged to:

(1) Prevent cuts to existing health programs; and

(2) Promote needed improvements.

Here is a brief description of the issues HAV will address in 2017.  More details and analysis will be provided as the debate over these issues unfolds.

State Issues:

Medicaid – Oppose cuts to current eligibility levels, services, and provider reimbursements.

  • About 1 million Virginians are enrolled in Medicaid, primarily children, pregnant women, parents, seniors over the age of 65, and people with disabilities.
  • Despite its size and cost, overall, Virginia’s program is very restrictive, ranking 47th in the country for per capita Medicaid spending.

Medicaid – Support broader coverage for low-income adults, including low-income parents, and people with substance use disorders and mental illness.

  • Use Medicaid expansion funding to the extent the option remains available.
  • Since 2014, Virginia has refused to expand coverage to very


    adults. Without expansion, parents must have income below 50% of the poverty line (FPL) to qualify; childless adults (who aren’t pregnant, elderly or disabled) cannot qualify no matter how poor they are.

  • The current Medicaid waiver for people with serious mental illness has limits on eligibility and covered services.  Without access to healthcare,

    uninsured adults with mental health and substance use disorders often end up in the criminal justice system.

Safety Net Programs – Support community health centers, free clinics and community services boards which continue to serve Virginia’s uninsured.

  • About 750,000 Virginians remain uninsured, and safety net programs cannot meet this need.
  •  50% of the patients served by Community Services Boards are uninsured.

Federal Issues:

Affordable Care Act – Oppose repeal without simultaneous “replacement”.

  •  Replacement must ensure affordability and quality of insurance plans and include consumer protections (e.g. provide coverage of pre-existing conditions, no annual caps, and free preventive services.)
  • About 400,000 Virginians currently have ACA Marketplace insurance; most (84%) qualify for tax credits to help pay their premiums; and 220,000 also have reduced cost-sharing because their income is under 250% FPL.

Medicaid – Oppose “block grants” or “per capita caps”.

  • Those changes would shift costs to states and hamper their ability to improve programs and respond to changing demographics, economic circumstances, and medical innovations.
  • Because of Virginia’s restrictive eligibility and refusal to expand Medicaid, the state could be at a great disadvantage if such restructuring was enacted.

CHIP/FAMIS – Support reauthorization of the CHIP program for children and pregnant women.

  • This program is due to expire in 2017.
  • About 110,000 children and pregnant women rely on this program.

Medicare – Oppose proposals to turn Medicare into a private voucher program or to allow people to opt out. 

  •  Such proposals will end Medicare and turn it over to the private insurance industry.
  • Analysts conclude this would drastically increase out of pocket costs for the elderly and disabled.

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SUPPORT HB 1945 (Peace)


The Problem:
In the fiscal year 2015 alone, Virginia’s Adult Protective Services (APS) substantiated 1,016 claims of financial exploitation and estimates a potential collective loss of over $28 million. This calculation refers to substantiated claims, but research indicates adult financial exploitation is a significantly underreported issue. Taking underreporting into account, the estimated loss to Virginians could have exceeded $1.2 billion in SFY 2015.

The Solution:
2016 HB 676 directed the Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services to spearhead a study on adult financial exploitation in Virginia. The resulting report suggests, among others, two approaches to curbing the problem of financial exploitation:

1. Broaden the definition of “adult exploitation” in § 63.2-100 of the Code of Virginia to include “improper” and “unauthorized” use of an adult’s finances, including acts that breach a fiduciary duty to the adult and those involving undue influence

2. Broaden the definition of “financial institution staff” in § 63.2-1603 to increase the number of people who may report suspected financial exploitation to APS

HB 1945 adopts both of these recommendations.
Support HB 1945.

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Like everyone else, members of the armed services sign up for gym memberships, internet services, and security systems. 

What happens when they receive orders to deploy or orders for a permanent change of station?

Most providers of these services likely do what’s right and allow the service member to cancel the contract for services without penalty, but some, unfortunately, do not.  Therefore, the Department of Defense requested Virginia legislation.

VPLC supports Delegate Mark Coles’ Bill HB 1537 (Delegate Marcus Simon had a similar bill, HB 2147), to permit service members to cancel these contracts when they must relocate. The House Militia, Police and Public Safety morning so passed HB 1537 unanimously this morning. The Bill will now be on the House floor for a vote next week.

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Major Changes to Social Security Are Happening This Year

The amount of your Social Security benefit is calculated by averaging the earnings from your 35 highest income-generating years. The maximum monthly Social Security check that you can earn is $2,639 per month in 2016. To sign up for Social Security benefits, it is recommended that you apply three months prior to your retirement date.

When to Collect Social Security Benefits

Nearly six in 10 retirees claim Social Security benefits before they reach full retirement age, according to a recent survey by Franklin Templeton Investments. Only about 16% claim their benefits when they hit full retirement age. (7% of people surveyed delayed their benefits past full retirement age, 4% were eligible for benefits but haven’t taken them yet, and 14% weren’t eligible.)

Here are some things you should know:

• You may choose to retire as early as age 62, but doing so may result in a reduction of as much as 30% of your benefits, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
• For early retirees, the SSA reduces a retirement benefit by 5/9 of 1 percent for each month before normal (or full) retirement age, up to 36 months. If the number of months exceeds 36, then the benefit is further reduced by 5/12 of 1 percent per month.
• The Social Security Administration also imposes limits on income for early retirees. For instance, if early retirees earned more than $15,720 in 2016, their benefits would be reduced by $1 for every $2 they earn above the limit.
• Each year you wait past full retirement age to claim Social Security benefits up to age 70, you earn an 8 percent delayed retirement credit that will increase your Social Security benefits in addition to cost of living adjustments.

What’s Your Full Retirement Age? 
If you’re born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. Then the full retirement age increases in two-month increments each year for those born between 1955 and 1959. For example, if you were born in 1956, your retirement age is 66 and 4 months. For those born in 1960 and later, the full retirement age is currently 67. (The SSA offers a calculator to help with the math.)

For additional information about how and where to apply for Social Security benefits, go to

Changes in 2017

The nation’s more than 65 million Social Security recipients will get a 0.3 percent cost of living increase in payments in 2017. For the average retired worker, who has a monthly benefit of $1,355, this translates to an increase of just over $4 per month.

Cost of living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and low inflation rates and gas prices means smaller increases. The cost of living change also affects the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax, which will increase to $127,200 from $118,500. For highly paid employees, this means that the maximum Social Security tax in 2017 is increasing by about $540. For self-employed individuals, who pay both the employer and employee portion, the maximum Social Security tax bill is increasing by twice that amount.

These are some additional changes:

• Full retirement age is increasing: For seniors reaching the age of Social Security eligibility over the past decade or so, full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security has been 66 years old. In 2017, however, full retirement age will begin to increase for eligible beneficiaries.

Specifically, for people born in 1955 — and therefore turning 62 in 2017 — full retirement age will increase by two months, to 66 years and 2 months. Why is this important? It’s a well-known fact that claiming Social Security before full retirement age results in a permanently reduced benefit. Now, people who claim Social Security as early as possible won’t be four years early — they’ll be four years and two months early, which results in an even bigger reduction.

As an example, let’s say that your Social Security benefit at full retirement age is estimated to be $1,500 per month. If you turned 62 in 2016, you would be entitled to $1,125 per month if you claimed your benefit as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you’ll turn 62 in 2017, your benefit at that age would drop to $1,112.50.

• People who claim Social Security before full retirement age and continue to work are subject to the “earnings test.” If these beneficiaries earn more than a certain threshold, their benefits can be reduced. Fortunately, both thresholds of the earnings test have increased significantly for 2017.Beneficiaries who will reach full retirement age after 2017 can earn up to $16,920 for the year ($1,410 per month) with no benefit reduction. Beyond this amount, $1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 in earnings. Beneficiaries who will reach full retirement age during 2017 can earn up to $44,880 per year ($3,740 per month) with no benefit reduction. Beyond this amount, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings. This test only applies in the months prior to the month the beneficiary will reach full retirement age. These annual income thresholds are up from $15,720 and $41,880, respectively, so this could make a big difference for working Social Security recipients.

• New retirees could get a higher maximum benefit: The maximum initial Social Security benefit for a worker retiring at full retirement age has increased, thanks to the higher taxable wage limits of recent years.Specifically, the highest possible benefit a new retiree can get if they claim at full retirement age is now $2,687 per month, $48 higher than last year. Keep in mind that to get this amount, the worker would need to have earned more than the Social Security taxable wage limit for 35 years.

Social Security is Complex

As you can see, Social Security rules and strategies are very complex. Before making any decisions, be sure to educate yourself. Below are tools related to Social Security and retirement planning, that can provide more details:

• For lots of additional details about Social Security, including spousal benefits, please visit our Social Security FAQ page.
• Read our articles: Ask the Expert: Can You Explain Social Security, please?,  Can You Retire On Social Security Alone?, and What She Doesn’t Know About Social Security Could Cost Her Thousands.
• Check out AARP’s Social Security Planning guide.

It’s important to consider your options when filing for Social Security benefits. It is also important to keep in mind what could happen if you are living on Social Security alone and you or a loved one becomes incapacitated. You must take this into account when planning for retirement.  Every adult over the age of 18 should have an Incapacity Plan that includes a Financial Power of Attorney, an Advance Medical Directive, and an Advance Care Plan. If you don’t have an Incapacity Plan in place, now is the time to get started.  Please call the Farr Law Firm as soon as possible to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation:

Fairfax Retirement Planning: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Retirement Planning:: 540-479-1435
Rockville Retirement Planning:: 301-519-8041
DC Retirement Planning:: 202-587-2797

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Critter Corner: Social Security Ends Annual Mailings

Dear Commander Bun Bun,
I heard that Social Security will no longer be sending statements in the mail? Is that true, and if so, how can we find out about our benefits?
Nomar Statemenz

—-Dear Nomar,

As of this year, Social Security will end its annual mailings that detail how much you can expect to receive in benefits. After several years of mailing the reports sporadically, the agency announced this month that it’s discontinuing the practice to save an estimated $11.3 million a year.

Instead, the federal agency is encouraging people to sign up to get the information at
The statements typically include estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivor benefits, as well as your total earnings per year and how much you have paid toward Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Please keep in mind that the change in statement policy will not affect people aged 60 and older who are not yet receiving Social Security and have not signed up on the website; they will continue to receive mailed statements.
“We know that our cutbacks will affect many of you, but we have no choice,” agency spokesman Doug Walker wrote in a blog announcing the change. Walker said, “(a)fter adjusting for inflation, Social Security has 10% less money to run its programs since 2010, while the number of beneficiaries has gone up 13%.”

Please note that it’s still important to check your statement regularly, so you should download it at least once a year from the Social Security website. Benefits are based on earnings, but Social Security sometimes makes mistakes, and there’s a seven-year window to correct them by submitting W-2s or tax returns. After that, any errors are set in stone, potentially depriving people of benefits they should have received. It’s also a good to get an idea how much you can expect to receive in benefits, to get a head start on retirement planning.

Setting up an account on the website and accessing the report requires a valid email address, Social Security number, and U.S. mailing address. Applicants will also be asked questions that only they should be able to answer and to provide several different types of information, the agency says. Those who do not know the required information or prefer not to answer them online may apply in person at a local Social Security office, where they will be required to prove their identity.

Hop this is helpful!

Commander Bun Bun

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2017 Child Welfare and Family Law Bills

This session, the main priority is a pair of bills, HB1786, and SB1086, relating to substance-exposed newborns. The bills modify Virginia Code sections 63.2-1505, 63.2-1506, and 63.2-1509. The main purpose of the bill is to bring Virginia’s code sections in line with changes made last year to the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). These changes require that additional drugs, specifically prescription opioids, be included in required reporting to Child Protective Services of infants who are affected by maternal substance abuse at birth. The problem with the language as drafted by the Department of Social Services is that the bills would require reporting of mothers who are not abusing drugs—if they have taken any amount of any controlled substance that is detectable in toxicology screenings of the newborn. As written, this would even include drugs provided to the mother through an epidural or spinal anesthetic during delivery. VPLC is working with the patrons of the bills, DSS, and the Office of the Attorney General, along with other advocacy organizations, to make sure the language focuses specifically on abuse, and not any clinical use, of prescribed medications.

Child protection: A bill presented be Senator Favola, SB868, was amended by the patron in response to concerns expressed by VPLC. The bill would have required an investigation by CPS of all reports alleging abuse of infants even if the reports did not meet the four factors for validity in the code. As amended, the bill now only prioritizes CPS response within 24 hours of children under two, when the report meets the validity standard.

School discipline: VPLC supports all the bills that would reduce the incidence of children being suspended from school for minor behavioral issues.  These include bills SB955, SB996, SB997 & SB1163; and HB1534, HB1535, HB1536, HB1843, & HB1839.

Support for families: We support legislation from Sen. Favola that would provide monetary support for kinship guardians, who take in and care for children of other family members, so they do not need to enter the foster care system. This bill is not likely to pass due to funding issues.

Foster children: VPLC supports the empowerment of children in the foster care system. HB1604 was modified during a subcommittee hearing to weaken this important goal. VPLC worked closely with the patron, the Supreme Court Office of the Executive Secretary, and DSS to ensure that children in the foster system have a chance to be heard in court regarding decisions that affect their future.

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VPLC supports HB 1851 as a bill that supports victim safety and holds offenders accountable for their crimes.

VPLC Supports HB 1851 as Closing a Loophole Available to 1st Offense Domestic Violence Abusers Who Have Benefited from Deferred Sentencing Provisions

§18.2-57.3 is the deferred sentencing provision available to first-time domestic violence abusers. It is only available to first-time offenders over 18 years of age who acknowledge that the Commonwealth of Virginia has enough evidence to convict him/her of “simple assault” (violation of §18.2-57) or “Assault Against a Family or Household Member” (§18.2-57.2). Deferred sentencing allows a first-time offender to avoid having a conviction on his/her record in exchange for abiding by terms or conditions of probation.

HB 1851 would prevent a defendant who violates terms or conditions of his/her deferred sentencing from being able to return to court to ask for an appeal of the underlying conviction that is being deferred in order to avoid a conviction of the probation violation. It requires the defendant to waive his/her right of appeal after the 10-day appeal period has expired in exchange for the benefits of deferred sentencing, namely, avoiding a conviction of Assault or Assault of a Family or Household Member. Pertinent language states:

“Any person placed on probation pursuant to this section who is subsequently adjudicated guilty upon a violation of a term or condition of his probation shall have no right of appeal on such adjudication.”

VPLC supports HB 1851 as a bill that supports victim safety and holds offenders accountable for their crimes.


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VPLC supports HB 1344 to make it easier on children presenting evidence in court

Sometimes it can be very difficult for children to testify in court.  For example, a child was willing to testify against his father for (alleged) abuse, but could not do so in open court and instead had a breakdown on the witness stand. It is hard enough for anyone to testify about physical, sexual or emotional abuse at the hands of another, especially a close relative. Imagine how hard it would be for a minor child to do so against a parent who is sitting just feet away at the defendant’s table.  Judges can sometimes use their discretion to allow a child to testify “in camera” meaning that the judge interviews the child in his office.  This Bill gives more judges the discretion to take testimony in camera.

Double-click the fact sheet below for additional specifics.  Fact sheets may be printed for personal distribution

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VPLC Opposes SB 861 Because It May Have a Chilling Effect on PPO Petitioners Seeking Protection Against an Act of Violence, Force or Threat

Preliminary Protective Orders (PPOs) are emergency orders designed to protect the “health and safety of the petitioner or any family or household member of the petitioner” against an act of violence, force or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. In most jurisdictions in Virginia, a PPO petitioner may provide ore tenus (oral testimony) evidence about recent acts of violence, force or threat and his/her fear of future such acts to a judge in an ex parte (only PPO petitioner giving testimony) proceeding.

If the PPO is issued based on oral testimony as opposed to a written affidavit, SB 861 would require a judge to “state the basis upon which the order [the PPO] was entered, including a summary of the allegations made and the court’s findings.” In some more populous jurisdictions, this burden to judges will clog up their dockets and result in them eliminating the ore tenus option in favor of affidavits only for PPO petitioners:

  1. In Fairfax County, which only recently allowed for PPOs based on ore tenus evidence, Spanish-speaking Family Abuse PPO petitioners were required to wait until a third party translator translated their affidavits into English before they were allowed to make an appointment to ask for a PPO, a temporary (up-to-15 days), emergency order! This practice is discriminatory to those Spanish-speaking PPO petitioners because non-English-speaking PPO petitioners who were not Spanish-speaking were allowed to present oral testimony to judges through real-time interpreters. Additionally, this practice of having to wait, sometimes for up to a week, for translations to return, had a chilling effect on Spanish-speaking petitioners coming back to court to seek protection against criminal acts.
  2. If SB 861 passes and PPOs are issued with a judge’s findings, will PPO petitioners be impeached based on the judge’s findings about the petitioner’s testimony as opposed to the petitioner’s own words?
  3. Pro Bono attorneys, worried about much more litigious hearings, may be less likely to represent PPO petitioners. Many PPO petitioners are unable to afford legal representation in their full Protective Order (up-to-2-year) hearings and rely on pro bono representation.

VPLC understands the patron’s desire to ensure that PPO respondents have notice of the allegations made against them. Respondents have that now by being able to go to court to review allegations or by being able to request a continuance to prepare fully. The need to prevent violence by restricting alleged abusers’ actions on a temporary basis trumps inconveniences to Respondents.

Susheela Varky, Staff Attorney for Domestic and Sexual Violence, Virginia Poverty Law Center,, (804) 351-5274.

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