As used in this chapter, the following words have the following meanings:

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 5-54-2

(1) “Administrator” means the administrator, division of professional regulation.

(2) “Approved program” means a program for the education and training of physician assistants formally approved by the American Medical Association’s (A.M.A.’s) Committee on Allied Health, Education and Accreditation, its successor, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or its successor.

(3) “Approved program for continuing medical education” means a program for continuing education approved by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) or the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA), or the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAPFP) or the American Osteopathic Association Committee on Continuing Medical Education (AOACCME) or any other board approved program.

(4) “Board” means the board of licensure of physician assistants.

(5) “Director” means the director of the department of health.

(6) “Division” means the division of professional regulation, department of health.

(7) [Deleted by P.L. 2013, ch. 320, § 1 and P.L. 2013, ch. 420, § 1].

(8) “Physician” means a person licensed under the provisions of chapter 29 or 37 of this title.

(9) “Physician assistant” means a person who is qualified by academic and practical training to provide those certain patient services under the supervision, control, responsibility and direction of a licensed physician.

(10) “Supervision” means overseeing the activities of, and accepting the responsibility for the medical services rendered by the physician assistants. Supervision is continuous, and under the direct control of a licensed physician expert in the field of medicine in which the physician assistants practice. The constant physical presence of the supervising physician or physician designee is not required. It is the responsibility of the supervising physician and physician assistant to assure an appropriate level of supervision depending on the services being rendered. Each physician or group of physicians, or other health care delivery organization excluding licensed hospital or licensed health care facilities controlled or operated by a licensed hospital employing physician assistants must have on file at the primary practice site a copy of a policy in the form of an agreement between the supervising physicians and physician assistants delineating:

(i) The level of supervision provided by the supervising physician or designee with particular reference to differing levels of supervision depending on the type of patient services provided and requirements for communication between the supervising physician or designee and the physician assistant.

(ii) A job description for the physician assistant listing patient care responsibilities and procedures to be performed by the physician assistant.

(iii) A program for quality assurance for physician assistant services including requirements for periodic review of the physician assistant services.

(iv) Requirements for supervision of physician assistants employed or extended medical staff privileges by licensed hospitals or other licensed health care facilities or employed by other health care delivery agencies shall be delineated by the medical staff by laws and/or applicable governing authority of the facility.

(v) The supervising physician or physician designee must be available for easy communication and referral at all times.

(11) “Unprofessional conduct” includes, but is not limited to, the following items or any combination and may be defined by regulations established by the board with prior approval of the director:

(i) Fraudulent or deceptive procuring or use of a license;

(ii) Representation of himself or herself as a physician;

(iii) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude; conviction of a felony; conviction of a crime arising out of the practice of medicine. All advertising of medical business, which is intended or has a tendency to deceive the public;

(iv) Abandonment of a patient;

(v) Dependence upon a controlled substance, habitual drunkenness, or rendering professional services to a patient while intoxicated or incapacitated by the use of drugs;

(vi) Promotion of the sale of drugs, devices appliances, or goods or services provided for a patient in a manner that exploits the patient for the financial gain of the physician assistant;

(vii) Immoral conduct of a physician assistant in the practice of medicine;

(viii) Willfully making and filing false reports or records;

(ix) Willful omission to file or record or willfully impeding or obstructing a filing or recording, or inducing another person to omit to file or record medical or other reports as required by law;

(x) Agreeing with clinical or bioanalytical laboratories to accept payments from these laboratories for individual tests or test series for patients;

(xi) Practicing with an unlicensed physician or physician assistant or aiding or abetting these unlicensed persons in the practice of medicine;

(xii) Offering, undertaking or agreeing to cure or treat a disease by a secret method, procedure, treatment or medicine;

(xiii) Professional or mental incompetence;

(xiv) Surrender, revocation, suspension, limitation of privilege based on quality of care provided, or any other disciplinary action against a license or authorization to practice in another state or jurisdiction; or surrender, revocation, suspension, or any other disciplinary action relating to membership on any medical staff or in any medical professional association, or society while under disciplinary investigation by any of those authorities or bodies for acts or conduct similar to acts or conduct which would constitute grounds for action as stated in this chapter;

(xv) Any adverse judgment, settlement, or award arising from a medical liability claim related to acts or conduct, which would constitute grounds for action as stated in this chapter;

(xvi) Failure to furnish the board, the administrator, investigator or representatives, information legally requested by the board;

(xvii) Violation of any provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated by the director or an action, stipulation, or agreement of the board;

(xviii) Cheating or attempting to subvert the certifying examination;

(xix) Violating any state or federal law or regulation relating to controlled substances;

(xx) Medical malpractice;

(xxi) Sexual contact between a physician assistant and patient during the existence of the physician assistant/patient relationship;

(xxii) Providing services to a person who is making a claim as a result of a personal injury, who charges or collects from the person any amount in excess of the reimbursement to the physician assistant by the insurer as a condition of providing or continuing to provide services or treatment.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1976, ch. 274, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 94, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 150, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 72, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 358, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 42, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 353, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 364, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 465, § 8; P.L. 2004, ch. 119, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 152, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 320, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 420, § 1.)