A N A C T
RELATING TO BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS -- PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Sections 5-54-5 and 5-54-13.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 5-54 entitled "Physician Assistants" are hereby amended to read as follows:
5-54-5. Board of licensure -- Composition -- Appointment, terms, removal of members -- (a) The director of health, with the approval of the governor, appoints a board consisting of
seven (7) nine (9) persons, residents of the state, to constitute a board of licensure for physician assistants with the duties, powers, and authority as stated in this chapter, and that board is composed of the following:
(1) Two (2) members are licensed physicians under the provisions of chapter 37 of this title who have been actively engaged in the practice of medicine;
(2) Two (2) members are chief executive officers of a health care facility located and licensed in the state or their designees who are not licensed in any health care profession;
One member Three (3) members is a representative who are representatives of the general public not employed in any health-related field; and
(4) Two (2) members are physician assistants.
(b) Members are appointed for terms of three (3) years each with no member serving more than two (2) consecutive terms.
(c) In his or her initial appointment, the director designates the members of the board of licensure for physician assistants as follows: two (2) members to serve for terms of three (3) years; two (2) members to serve for a term of two (2) years; and three (3) members to serve for a term of one year. Any additional appointments shall serve for one year.
(d) The director of health may remove any member of the board for cause.
(e) Vacancies are filled for the unexpired portion of any term in the same manner as the original appointment.
5-54-13.1. Non-disciplinary alternative -- (a)
The board may provide for a non-disciplinary alternative in situations involving alcohol and drug abuse; The board may permit a licensee to enter into a nondisciplinary alternative program. provided, that the physician assistant agrees voluntarily to participate in a program of treatment and rehabilitation. All records pertaining to the physician assistant's participation in the non-disciplinary program are confidential and not subject to discovery, subpoena, or public disclosure ;. provided, that information related to the non-disciplinary program is provided to the physician assistant's employer to ensure adequate worksite monitoring and compliance.
(b) (1) A physician assistant is considered for a non-disciplinary program in the following ways:
(2) By self referral;
(3) By employer referral;
(4) By identification of chemical dependency in conjunction with a sworn complaint filed against the physician assistant; or
(5) By referral from a family member, friend, physician, physician assistant, or other health care professional, or physician assistant/medical professional association.
(c) If the physician assistant does not agree to voluntarily participate in a treatment protocol approved by the board, or fails to satisfactorily complete a treatment program, the board is informed and institutes disciplinary proceedings.
(d) following criteria disqualify a physician assistant from participation in a non-disciplinary substance abuse program:
(1) Diversion of drugs;
(2) Conviction of the sale, distribution or manufacture of illegal substances;
(3) Severity of a chemical dependency problem that could represent a clear and present danger to patient health and safety;
(4) Any other criteria established by the board by regulation.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.