Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 29

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-29-18

§ 5-29-18. Reports relating to professional conduct and capacity — Regulations — Confidentiality — Immunity.

(a) The board, with the approval of the director, may adopt regulations requiring any person, including, but not limited to, corporations, healthcare facilities, health-maintenance organizations, organizations and federal, state, or local governmental agencies, or peer-review boards, to report to the board any conviction, determination, or finding that a licensed podiatrist has committed unprofessional conduct, or to report information that indicates that a podiatrist may not be able to practice podiatry with reasonable skill and safety to patients as the result of any mental or physical condition. The regulations shall include the reporting requirements set forth in subsections (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of this section.

(b) The following reports, in writing, shall be filed with the board:

(1) Every insurer providing professional liability insurance to the podiatrist licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall send a complete report to the board as to any formal notice of any claim, settlement of any claim or cause of actions, or final judgment rendered in any cause of action for damages for death or personal injury caused by the podiatrist’s negligence, error, or omission in practice or his or her rendering of unauthorized professional services. The report shall be sent within thirty (30) days after service of the complaint or notice, settlement, judgment, or arbitration award on the parties. All of those reports shall set forth an in-depth factual summary of the claim in question.

(2) All hospital and licensed healthcare facilities including, but not limited to, nursing homes and health maintenance organizations and the director of health, must report to the board within thirty (30) days of the action, any action, disciplinary or otherwise, taken for any reason, that limits, suspends, or revokes a podiatrist’s privilege to practice or requires supervision of a podiatrist either through formal action by the institution or faculty or through any voluntary agreement with the podiatrist.

(3) Within ten (10) days after a judgment by a court of this state that a podiatrist licensed under the provisions of this chapter has been convicted of a crime or is civilly liable for any death or personal injury caused by his or her negligence, error, or omission in his or her practice or his or her rendering of unauthorized professional services, the clerk of the court that rendered such judgment shall report the judgment to the board.

(c) The board shall report any changes of privileges of which it is aware to the board of trustees or other appropriate body of all licensed hospitals and health maintenance organizations within thirty (30) days.

(d) The contents of any report file shall be confidential and exempt from public disclosure, except that it may be reviewed:

(1) By the licensee involved or his or her counsel or authorized representative who may submit any additional exculpatory or explanatory statements or other information, which statement or other information shall be included in the file; or

(2) By the director, a representative of the board, or an investigator for the board who has been assigned to review the activities of a licensed podiatrist.

(e) Upon determination that a report is without merit, the board’s records may be purged of information relating to the report.

(f) If any person refuses to furnish a required report, the board may petition the superior court of any county in which that person resides or is found, and the superior court shall issue to that person an order to furnish the required report. Any failure to comply with that order constitutes civil contempt.

(g) Every individual, podiatry association, podiatry society, hospital, healthcare facility, health-maintenance organizations, peer-review board, health insurance carrier or agent, professional standards review organization, and agency of the federal, state, or local government is immune from civil liability, whether direct or derivative, for providing information to the board in good faith pursuant to this statute or the regulations outlined in subsection (a) of this section or requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

(h) Nondisclosure agreements are prohibited insofar as they forbid parties from making reports regarding competency or unprofessional conduct to the board of examiners in podiatry.

History of Section.
P.L. 1988, ch. 274, § 2; P.L. 1997, ch. 30, art. 28, § 1.