§ 27-20-35.1. Third party reimbursement for services of registered nurse first assistants.
(a) Every individual or group health insurance contract, plan or policy delivered, issued or renewed by an insurer or nonprofit or for profit 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, provided, 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 of 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 nonprofit hospital service corporation has an alternative contractual relationship to fund the services of a registered nurse first assistant.
(b) It remains within the sole discretion of the nonprofit medical service corporation as to which registered nurse first assistant in surgery it contracts with. Reimbursement is provided according to the respective principles and policies of the nonprofit medical service corporation: provided, that no nonprofit medical service corporation is 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 precludes the nonprofit medical service corporations from conducting managed care, medical necessity or utilization review.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 509, § 3; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 39.)