Chapter 249

Chapter 249

2003 -- H 5820 AS AMENDED

Enacted 07/17/03





     Introduced By: Representatives Costantino, and Lewiss

     Date Introduced: February 11, 2003



It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     "SECTION 1. Sections 5-37-2.1, 5-37-5.1 and 5-37-10 of the General Laws in Chapter 5-

37 entitled "Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline" are hereby amended to read as follows:

     5-37-2.1. Recertification -- Continuing medical education. -- Every Effective

beginning in calendar year 2004, every physician licensed to practice medicine within this state

shall, in connection with biannual registration, on or before the first day of June of every third

year after the 1999 registration in each even-numbered year, provide satisfactory evidence to the

board of medical licensure and discipline that in the preceding three (3) two (2) years the

practitioner has completed a prescribed course of continuing medical education established by the

appropriate medical or osteopathic society and approved by rule or regulation of the director or

by the board of licensure and discipline. The board may extend for only one six (6) month period

these educational requirements if the board is satisfied that the applicant has suffered hardship

which prevented meeting the educational requirement. No recertification to practice medicine in

this state is refused, nor any certificate suspended or revoked except: (1) as provided for in this

chapter and, (2) for failure to provide satisfactory evidence of continuing medical education as

provided for in this section.

     5-37-5.1. Unprofessional conduct. -- The term "unprofessional conduct" as used in this

chapter includes, but not be limited to, the following items or any combination of these items and

may be further defined by regulations established by the board with the prior approval of the


      (1) Fraudulent or deceptive procuring or use of a license or limited registration;

      (2) All advertising of medical business which is intended or has a tendency to deceive

the public;

      (3) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude; conviction of a felony; conviction

of a crime arising out of the practice of medicine;

      (4) Abandoning a patient;

      (5) Dependence upon controlled substances, habitual drunkenness, or rendering

professional services to a patient while the physician or limited registrant is intoxicated or

incapacitated by the use of drugs;

      (6) Promotion by a physician or limited registrant of the sale of drugs, devices,

appliances, or goods or services provided for a patient in a manner as to exploit the patient for the

financial gain of the physician or limited registrant;

      (7) Immoral conduct of a physician or limited registrant in the practice of medicine;

      (8) Willfully making and filing false reports or records in the practice of medicine;

      (9) Willfully omitting 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;

      (10) Failing to furnish details of a patient's medical record to succeeding physicians,

health care facility, or other health care providers upon proper request pursuant to section 5-37.3-


      (11) Soliciting professional patronage by agents or persons or profiting from acts of

those representing themselves to be agents of the licensed physician or limited registrants;

      (12) Dividing fees or agreeing to split or divide the fees received for professional

services for any person for bringing to or referring a patient;

      (13) Agreeing with clinical or bioanalytical laboratories to accept payments from these

laboratories for individual tests or test series for patients;

      (14) Making willful misrepresentations in treatments;

      (15) Practicing medicine with an unlicensed physician except in an accredited

preceptorship or residency training program, or aiding or abetting unlicensed persons in the

practice of medicine;

      (16) Gross and willful overcharging for professional services; including filing of false

statements for collection of fees for which services are not rendered, or willfully making or

assisting in making a false claim or deceptive claim or misrepresenting a material fact for use in

determining rights to health care or other benefits;

      (17) Offering, undertaking, or agreeing to cure or treat disease by a secret method,

procedure, treatment or medicine;

      (18) Professional or mental incompetency;

      (19) Incompetent, negligent, or willful misconduct in the practice of medicine which

includes the rendering of medically unnecessary services, and any departure from, or the failure

to conform to, the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing medical practice in his or her

area of expertise as is determined by the board. The board need not establish actual injury to the

patient in order to adjudge a physician or limited registrant guilty of the unacceptable medical

practice in this subdivision;

      (20) Failing to comply with the provisions of chapter 4.7 of title 23;

      (21) Surrender, revocation, suspension, limitation of privilege based on quality of care

provided, or any other disciplinary action against a license or authorization to practice medicine

in another state or jurisdiction; or surrender, revocation, suspension, or any other disciplinary

action relating to a membership on any medical staff or in any medical or 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 described in this


      (22) Any Multiple adverse judgments, settlements or awards arising from a medical

liability claims related to acts or conduct which would constitute grounds for action as described

in this chapter;

      (23) Failing to furnish the board, its chief administrative officer, investigator or

representatives, information legally requested by the board;

      (24) Violating any provision(s) of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the board or

any rules or regulations promulgated by the director or of an action, stipulation, or agreement of

the board;

      (25) Cheating on or attempting to subvert the licensing examination;

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

      (27) Failing to maintain standards established by peer review boards, including, but not

limited to, standards related to proper utilization of services, use of nonaccepted procedure,

and/or quality of care;

      (28) Medical malpractice A pattern of medical malpractice, or willful or gross

malpractice on a particular occasion;

      (29) Agreeing to treat a beneficiary of health insurance under title XVIII of the Social

Security Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1395 et seq., and then charging or collecting from this beneficiary

any amount in excess of the reasonable charge for that service as determined by the United States

secretary of health and human services; or

      (30) Sexual contact between a physician and patient during the existence of the

physician/patient relationship; or.

      (31) A physician 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 by the insurer as a condition of providing or continuing to

provide services or treatment.

     5-37-10. Annual registration -- Physicians -- Hospitals. -- (a) On Effective beginning

in calendar year 2004, on or before the first day of March in each year, the board shall mail an

application for biannual registration to every person to whom a license to practice medicine in

this state has been granted by the licensing authority in the state. Every licensed person who

intends to engage in the practice of his or her profession during the ensuing two (2) year period

shall register his or her license by submitting to the board on or before June 1 the application

executed together with the registration form and fee as established by regulation by the director of

the department of health. Upon receipt of the application and fee the board issues a registration

certificate effective July 1 and expiring the two (2) years following on June 30, and the

registration certificate renders the holder a registered practitioner of medicine for that registration

period. Effective beginning in calendar year 2004, any references in this chapter to annual

registration or annual limited registration shall be interpreted to mean biannual registration and

biannual limited registration, respectively.

      (b) The registration certificate of all physicians whose renewals accompanied by the

prescribed fee are not completed and filed on or before the first day of July are automatically

lapse. The board may, in its discretion and upon the payment by the physician of the current

registration fee plus an additional fee of one hundred dollars ($100), reinstate any certificate

lapsed under the provisions of this section.

      (c) Hospitals shall, on or before the first day of December of each year, submit an

application and annual fee to the board as a condition of rendering hospital services in the state.

The form of application and fee are as the director, by regulation, establishes; provided, that the

ratio of payment between hospital per bed licensing fees and the combined licensing and board of

medical licensure and discipline fees paid by physicians remain the same as the ratio that existed

as of January 1, 1987. All fees collected pursuant to this section are deposited as general


     SECTION 2. Section 5-37-24 of the General Laws in Chapter 5-37 entitled "Board of

Medical Licensure and Discipline" is hereby repealed.

     5-37-24. Anesthesiologists -- Notice to patients. -- All anesthesiologists rendering

elective services to patients shall notify the patients prior to their admission to the hospital either

in person or through a written communication containing the anesthesiologist's name, address,

and telephone number (1) whether the anesthesiologist is a participating member of any third

party payor of medical plan(s); (2) whether the fee for services to be rendered are covered in full

under Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare, Plan 65, Medicaid, or other third party payors; and (3)

the method by which the anesthesiology fee is determined including what factors are taken into

consideration and a range of costs of anesthesiology for the anesthesiologist's ten (10) most

common medical procedures. A patient is not be liable for any fees charged which are not

covered by medical plan coverage, unless notified as stated in this section.

     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage."