Businesses and Professions

CHAPTER 5-37.7
Rhode Island Health Information Exchange Act of 2008

SECTION 5-37.7-3

§ 5-37.7-3. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(a) "Agency" means the Rhode Island department of health.

(b) "Authorized representative" means:

(1) A person empowered by the patient participant to assert or to waive the confidentiality, or to disclose or authorize the disclosure of confidential information, as established by this chapter. That person is not, except by explicit authorization, empowered to waive confidentiality or to disclose or consent to the disclosure of confidential information; or

(2) A person appointed by the patient participant to make health care decisions on his or her behalf through a valid durable power of attorney for health care as set forth in Rhode Island general laws § 23-4.10-2; or

(3) A guardian or conservator, with authority to make health care decisions, if the patient participant is decisionally impaired; or

(4) Another legally appropriate medical decision maker temporarily if the patient participant is decisionally impaired and no health care agent, guardian or conservator is available; or

(5) If the patient participant is deceased, his or her personal representative or, in the absence of that representative, his or her heirs-at-law; or

(6) A parent with the authority to make health care decisions for the parent's child; or

(7) A person authorized by the patient participant or their authorized representative to access their confidential health care information from the HIE, including family members or other proxies as designated by the patient, to assist patient participant with the coordination of their care.

(c) "Authorization form" means the form described in § 5-37.7-7 of this chapter and by which a patient participant provides authorization for the RHIO to allow access to, review of, and/or disclosure of the patient participant's confidential health care information by electronic, written, or other means.

(d) "Business associate" means a business associate as defined by HIPAA.

(e) "Confidential health care information" means all information relating to a patient participant's health care history, diagnosis, condition, treatment, or evaluation.

(f) "Coordination of care" means the process of coordinating, planning, monitoring, and/or sharing information relating to, and assessing a care plan for, treatment of a patient.

(g) "Data-submitting partner" means an individual, organization, or entity that has entered into a business associate agreement with the RHIO and submits patient participants' confidential health care information through the HIE.

(h) "Department of health" means the Rhode Island department of health.

(i) "Disclosure report" means a report generated by the HIE relating to the record of access to, review of, and/or disclosure of a patient's confidential health care information received, accessed, or held by the HIE.

(j) "Electronic mobilization" means the capability to move clinical information electronically between disparate health care information systems while maintaining the accuracy of the information being exchanged.

(k) "Emergency" means the sudden onset of a medical, mental or substance abuse, or other condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of severity (e.g. severe pain) where the absence of medical attention could reasonably be expected, by a prudent lay person, to result in placing the patient's health in serious jeopardy, serious impairment to bodily or mental functions, or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

(l) "Health care provider" means any person or entity licensed by this state to provide or lawfully providing health care services, including, but not limited to, a physician, hospital, intermediate care facility or other health care facility, dentist, nurse, optometrist, podiatrist, physical therapist, psychiatric social worker, pharmacist or psychologist, and any officer, employee, or agent of that provider acting in the course and scope of his or her employment or agency related to or supportive of health care services.

(m) "Health care services" means acts of diagnosis, treatment, medical evaluation, referral or counseling or any other acts that may be permissible under the health care licensing statutes of this state.

(n) "Health Information Exchange" or "HIE" means the technical system operated, or to be operated, by the RHIO under state authority allowing for the statewide electronic mobilization of confidential health care information, pursuant to this chapter.

(o) "Health plan" means an individual plan or a group plan that provides, or pays the cost of, health care services for patient participants.

(p) "HIE Advisory Commission" means the advisory body established by the department of health in order to provide community input and policy recommendations regarding the use of the confidential health care information of the HIE.

(q) "HIPAA" means the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended.

(r) "Participant" means a patient participant, a patient participant's authorized representative, a provider participant, a data submitting partner, the regional health information organization, and the department of health, that has agreed to authorize, submit, access, and/or disclose confidential health care information via the HIE in accordance with this chapter.

(s) "Participation" means a patient participant's authorization, submission, access, and/or disclosure of confidential health care information via the HIE in accordance with this chapter.

(t) "Patient participant" means a person who receives health care services from a provider participant and has agreed to participate in the HIE through the mechanisms established in this chapter.

(u) "Provider participant" means a pharmacy, laboratory, health care provider, or health plan who is providing health care services or pays for the cost of health care services for a patient participant and/or is submitting or accessing health care information through the HIE and has executed an electronic and/or written agreement regarding disclosure, access, receipt, retention, or release of confidential health care information to the HIE;

(v) "Regional health information organization" or "RHIO" means the organization designated as the RHIO by the state to provide administrative and operational support to the HIE.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2008, ch. 171, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 466, § 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 67, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 71, § 1.)