R 360
2017 -- S 1002
Enacted 06/30/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, Miller, and Crowley
Date Introduced: June 29, 2017

     WHEREAS, Rhode Island continues to experience a shortage of physicians in several
specialties, particularly in mental and behavioral health; and
     WHEREAS, Pressures from a growing, aging and increasingly insured population are
calling on Rhode Island to address current and growing demand for physicians to adequately meet
health care needs; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island continues to face difficulties recruiting new physicians to
practice in the state; and
     WHEREAS, The Federation of State Medical Boards has recognized that many states
also suffer shortages in certain medical specialties; and
     WHEREAS, The Federation of State Medical Boards and the constituent state licensing
boards, including the Rhode Island Department of Health Board of Medical Licensure and
Discipline, established the Interstate Physician Compact to create a pathway for licensure for
qualified physicians; and
     WHEREAS, The Federation of State Medical Boards aims to provide a comprehensive
process that complements existing licensing and regulating authority of state boards, ensure the
safety of patients, and enhance the portability of a medical license; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island would retain its licensing and disciplinary authority, but
would agree to share information and processes essential to the licensing and regulation for
physicians who practice across state borders; and
     WHEREAS, The Rhode Island General Assembly passed the Telemedicine Coverage Act
of 2016 to provide a reimbursement mechanism for telemedicine to enable the diagnosis,
consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of patients; and
     WHEREAS, The appropriate application of telemedicine can enhance medical care and
by streamlining licensure, Rhode Island can provide an advanced solution to the physician
shortage in Rhode Island; and
     WHEREAS, Telemedicine allows for health care to be delivered right at a patient’s home
and without an effective licensure program across state lines, telehealth advancement is impeded;
     WHEREAS, The Compact would help expedite the licensure process by allowing static
information, such as medical education, and results of examinations, not have to have primary
source verification again if there has already been primary source verification by the principal
state of licensure, further providing a streamlined approached to licensure; therefore, be it
     RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is hereby created
consisting of nine (9) members: three (3) of whom shall be members of the Senate, not more than
two (2) shall from the same political party, to be appointed by the President of the Senate; one of
whom shall be the Director of Health, or designee; one of whom shall be the Director of the
Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, or
designee; one of whom shall be the Health Insurance Commissioner, or designee; one of whom
shall be the President of the Rhode Island Medical Society, or designee; one of whom shall be a
member of the Rhode Island Society of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, to be appointed by
the President of the Senate; and one of whom shall be the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Rhode Island, or designee.
     The purpose of said commission shall be to examine the advisability of Rhode Island
joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
     Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet at
the call of the Chair, who shall be appointed by the President of the Senate from among the
commission's membership.
     Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.
     The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
     All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information,
documentary or otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable
by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.
     The Joint Committee on Legislative Services is hereby authorized and directed to provide
suitable quarters for said commission; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the
President of the Senate on or before March 1, 2018, and said commission shall expire on June 1,