(a) As used in this section:

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-67

  • covered benefits: means coverage or benefits for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or amounts paid for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body including coverage or benefits for transportation primarily for and essential thereto, and including medical services as defined in R. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1.
  • insured: as used in this chapter , shall not be construed as preventing a person other than the insured with a proper insurable interest from making application for and owning a policy covering the insured or from being entitled under the policy to any indemnities, benefits, and rights provided in the policy. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-7.
  • provider: means a health care professional or a health care facility. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1.

(1) “Federal reimbursement rates” means the current listed fee schedule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, listing the current Healthcare Common Procedure Coding system (HCPCS) and the corresponding reimbursement rates.

(2) “Orthosis” means a custom fabricated brace or support that is designed based on medical necessity. Orthosis does not include prefabricated or direct-formed orthotic devices, as defined in this section, or any of the following assistive technology devices: commercially available knee orthoses used following injury or surgery; spastic muscle-tone inhibiting orthoses; upper extremity adaptive equipment; finger splints; hand splints; wrist gauntlets; face masks used following burns; wheelchair seating that is an integral part of the wheelchair and not worn by the patient independent of the wheelchair; fabric or elastic supports; corsets; low-temperature formed plastic splints; trusses; elastic hose; canes; crutches; cervical collars; dental appliances; and other similar devices as determined by the director of the department of health, such as those commonly carried in stock by a pharmacy, department store, corset shop, or surgical supply facility.

(3) “Orthotics” means the science and practice of evaluating, measuring, designing, fabricating, assembling, fitting, adjusting or servicing, as well as providing the initial training necessary to accomplish the fitting of, an orthosis for the support, correction, or alleviation of neuromuscular or musculoskeletal dysfunction, disease, injury, or deformity. The practice of orthotics encompasses evaluation, treatment, and consultation; with basic observational gait and postural analysis, orthotists assess and design orthoses to maximize function and provide not only the support but the alignment necessary to either prevent or correct a deformity or to improve the safety and efficiency of mobility or locomotion or both. Orthotic practice includes providing continuing patient care in order to assess its effect on the patient’s tissues and to assure proper fit and function of the orthotic device by periodic evaluation.

(4) “Prosthesis” means an artificial limb that is alignable or, in lower-extremity applications capable of weight bearing. Prosthesis means an artificial medical device that is not surgically implanted and that is used to replace a missing limb, appendage, or other external human body part including an artificial limb, hand, or foot. The term does not include artificial eyes, ears, noses, dental appliances, osotmy products, or devices such as eyelashes or wigs.

(5) “Prosthetics” means the science and practice of evaluation, measuring, designing, fabricating, assembling, fitting, aligning, adjusting or servicing, as well as providing the initial training necessary to accomplish the fitting of, a prosthesis through the replacement of external parts of a human body lost due to amputation or congenital deformities or absences. The practice of prosthetics also includes the generation of an image, form, or mold that replicates the patient’s body or body segment and that requires rectification of dimensions, contours and volumes for use in the design and fabrication of a socket to accept a residual anatomic limb to, in turn, create an artificial appendage that is designed either to support body weight or to improve or restore function or cosmesis, or both. Involved in the practice of prosthetics is observational gait analysis and clinical assessment of the requirements necessary to refine and mechanically fix the relative position of various parts of the prosthesis to maximize function, stability, and safety of the patient. The practice of prosthetics includes providing and continuing patient care in order to assess the prosthetic device’s effect on the patient’s tissues and to assure proper fit and function of the prosthetic device by periodic evaluation.

(6) “Private insurance company” means any insurance company, or management company hired by an insurance company, that is any of the following:

(i) Based in the state of Rhode Island; or

(ii) Provides coverage for citizens for the state of Rhode Island; or

(iii) Allows subscribing patients to seek prosthetic or orthotic services in the state of Rhode Island.

(b) Every individual or group health insurance contract, plan, or policy delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 2006, that provides medical coverage that includes coverage for physician services in a physician’s office and every policy that provides major medical or similar comprehensive type coverage shall provide coverage for benefits for orthotic and prosthetic devices that equal those benefits provided for under federal laws for health insurance for the aged and disabled pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1395k, 1395l and 1395m and 42 C.F.R. §§ 414.202, 414.210, 414.228, and 410.100 as applicable to this section.

(c) A health insurance contract, plan, or policy may require prior authorization for orthotic and prosthetic devices in the same manner that prior authorization is required for any other covered benefit.

(d) Covered benefits for orthotic or prosthetic devices shall be limited to the most appropriate model that adequately meets the medical needs of the patient as determined by the insured‘s treating physician.

(e) The repair and replacement of orthotic or prosthetic devices also shall be covered subject to co-payments and deductibles, unless necessitated by misuse or loss.

(f) An insurer may require, if coverage is provided through a managed care plan, that benefits mandated pursuant to this section be covered benefits only if the orthotic or prosthetic devices are provided by a vendor and orthotic or prosthetic services are rendered by a provider who is licensed by the state of Rhode Island to provide orthotics and prosthetics.

(g) This section shall not apply to insurance coverage providing benefits for: (1) Hospital confinement indemnity; (2) Disability income; (3) Accident only; (4) Long-term care; (5) Medicare supplement; (6) Limited benefit health; (7) Specified disease indemnity; (8) Sickness or bodily injury or death by accident or both; and (9) Other limited benefit policies.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 210, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 380, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 196, § 4; P.L. 2017, ch. 322, § 4.)