§ 27-18-48.1. Third party reimbursement for services of registered nurse first assistants.
(a) Every individual or group hospital or medical services plan contract delivered, issued or renewed by an insurer or nonprofit health service corporation which provides benefits to individual subscribers and members within the state, or to all group members having a principal place of employment within the state, shall provide benefits for services rendered by a registered nurse first assistant designated as a registered nurse first assistant provided, however, that the following conditions are met:
(1) The registered nurse first assistant provides certain health care services under the supervision of a licensed physician; is currently licensed as a registered nurse in Rhode Island; has successfully completed a course in preparing the registered nurse as a first assistant in accordance with the Association of Operating Room Nurses core curriculum guide for the registered nurse first assistant and includes a minimum of one academic year in a college or university with didactic instruction and clinical internship programs; and is certified in perioperative nursing by the Certification Board Perioperative Nursing (minimum of two years perioperative experience);
(2) The policy or contract currently provides benefits for identical services rendered by a provider of health care licensed by the state; and
(3) The registered nurse first assistant is not a salaried employee of the licensed hospital or facility for which the accident and sickness insurer has an alternative contractual relationship to fund the services of a registered nurse first assistant.
(b) It shall remain within the sole discretion of the accident and sicknesses insurer as to which registered nurse first assistant it shall contract with. Reimbursement shall be provided according to the respective principles and policies of the health maintenance organization; provided, however, that no accident and sicknesses insurer may be required to provide direct reimbursement, or pay for duplicative services actually rendered by a registered nurse first assistant and any other health care provider. Nothing contained in this section shall preclude the health maintenance organization from conducting managed care, medical necessity or utilization review.
(c) This section shall not apply to insurance coverage providing benefits for: (1) hospital confinement indemnity; (2) disability income; (3) accident only; (4) long term care; (5) Medicare supplement; (6) limited benefit health; (7) specified disease indemnity; (8) sickness or bodily injury or death by accident or both; and (9) other limited benefit policies.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 509, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 33.)