Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 74
Unlicensed Health Care Practices

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-74-1

§ 23-74-1. Definitions and applicability.

(a) As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Director” or “director of health” means the director of the department of health or the director’s designee;

(2) “Unlicensed health care client” means an individual who receives services from an unlicensed health care practitioner;

(3) “Unlicensed health care practices” means the broad domain of unlicensed healing methods and treatments, including, but not limited to: (i) acupressure; (ii) Alexander technique; (iii) aroma therapy; (iv) ayurveda; (v) cranial sacral therapy; (vi) crystal therapy; (vii) detoxification practices and therapies; (viii) energetic healing; (ix) rolfing; (x) Gerson therapy and colostrum therapy; (xi) therapeutic touch; (xii) herbology or herbalism; (xiii) polarity therapy; (xiv) homeopathy; (xv) nondiagnostic iridology; (xvi) body work; (xvii) reiki; (xviii) mind-body healing practices; (ixx) naturopathy; and (xx) Qi Gong energy healing. “Unlicensed health care practices” do not include surgery, x-ray radiation, prescribing, administering, or dispensing legend drugs and controlled substances, practices that invade the human body by puncture of the skin, setting fractures, any practice included in the practice of dentistry, the manipulation or adjustment of articulations of joints, or the spine, also known as chiropractic medicine as defined in chapter 30 of title 5, the healing art of acupuncture as defined in chapter 37.2 of title 5, or practices that are permitted under § 5-37-15 or § 5-34-31(6).

(4) “Unlicensed health care practitioner” means a person who:

(i) Is not licensed by a health-related licensing board or the director of health; or holds a license issued by a health-related licensing board or the department of health in this state, but does not hold oneself out to the public as being licensed or registered by the director or a health-related licensing board when engaging in unlicensed health care;

(ii) Has not had a license issued by a health-related licensing board or the director of health revoked or suspended without reinstatement unless the right to engage in unlicensed health care practices has been established by order of the director of health;

(iii) Is engaging in unlicensed health care practices; and

(iv) Is providing unlicensed health care services for remuneration or is holding oneself out to the public as a practitioner of unlicensed health care practices.

(b) This chapter does not apply to, control, prevent, or restrict the practice, service, or activity of lawfully marketing or distributing food products, including dietary supplements as defined in the federal Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act [see 21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)], educating customers about those products, or explaining the uses of those products. Under Rhode Island law, an unlicensed health care practitioner may not provide a medical diagnosis.

(c) A health care practitioner, licensed or registered by the director or a health-related licensing board, who engages in unlicensed health care while practicing under the practitioner’s license or registration, shall be regulated by and be under the jurisdiction of the applicable health-related licensing board with regard to the unlicensed health care practices.

(d) Subject to the provisions of this chapter, persons in Rhode Island are authorized to practice as unlicensed health care practitioners and receive remuneration for their services.

History of Section.
P.L. 2002, ch. 133, § 1.