Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 37
Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-37-1

§ 5-37-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Board” means the Rhode Island board of medical licensure and discipline or any committee or subcommittee thereof.

(2) “Chief administrative officer” means the administrator of the Rhode Island board of medical licensure and discipline.

(3) “Department” means the Rhode Island department of health.

(4) “Director” means the director of the Rhode Island department of health.

(5) “Healthcare facility” means any institutional health-service provider licensed pursuant to the provisions of chapter 17 of title 23.

(6) “Health-maintenance organization” means a public or private organization licensed pursuant to the provisions of chapter 17 of title 23 or chapter 41 of title 27.

(7) “Limited registrant” means a person holding a limited-registration certificate pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(8) “Medical malpractice” or “malpractice” means any tort, or breach of contract, based on health care or professional services rendered or that should have been rendered, by a physician, dentist, hospital, clinic, health-maintenance organization, or professional service corporation providing healthcare services and organized under chapter 5.1 of title 7, to a patient or the rendering of medically unnecessary services except at the informed request of the patient.

(9) “Medical-practice group” means a single legal entity formed primarily for the purpose of being a physician group practice in any organizational form recognized by the state in which the group practice achieves its legal status, including, but not limited to, a partnership, professional corporation, limited-liability company, limited-liability partnership, foundation, not-for-profit corporation, faculty practice plan, or similar association.

(10) “Medical record” means a record of a patient’s medical information and treatment history maintained by physicians and other medical personnel, which includes, but is not limited to, information related to medical diagnosis, immunizations, allergies, x-rays, copies of laboratory reports, records of prescriptions, and other technical information used in assessing the patient’s health condition, whether such information is maintained in a paper or electronic format.

(11) “Nonprofit medical-services corporation” or “nonprofit hospital-service corporation” means any corporation organized pursuant to chapter 19 or chapter 20 of title 27 for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, and operating a nonprofit medical-service plan.

(12)(i) “Peer-review board” means any committee of a state or local professional association or society including a hospital association, or a committee of any licensed healthcare facility, or the medical staff thereof, or any committee of a medical-care foundation or health-maintenance organization, or any committee of a professional-service corporation or nonprofit corporation employing twenty (20) or more practicing professionals, organized for the purpose of furnishing medical service, or any staff committee or consultant of a hospital-service or medical-service corporation, the function of which, or one of the functions of which, is to evaluate and improve the quality of health care rendered by providers of healthcare services or to determine that healthcare services rendered were professionally indicated or were performed in compliance with the applicable standard of care or that the cost of health care rendered was considered reasonable by the providers of professional healthcare services in the area and shall include a committee functioning as a utilization-review committee under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq. (Medicare law) or as a professional-standards review organization or statewide professional-standards review council under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1301 et seq. (professional-standards review organizations) or a similar committee or a committee of similar purpose, to evaluate or review the diagnosis or treatment of the performance or rendition of medical or hospital services that are performed under public medical programs of either state or federal design.

(ii) “Peer-review board” also means the board of trustees or board of directors of a state or local professional association or society, a licensed healthcare facility, a medical-care foundation, a health-maintenance organization, and a hospital-service or medical-service corporation only when such board of trustees or board of directors is reviewing the proceedings, records, or recommendations of a peer-review board of the above enumerated organizations.

(13) “Person” means any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association, trust or estate, state or political subdivision, or instrumentality of a state.

(14) “Physician” means a person with a license to practice allopathic or osteopathic medicine in this state under the provisions of this chapter.

(15) “Practice of medicine” includes the practice of allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Any person is regarded as practicing medicine within the meaning of this chapter who holds himself or herself out as being able to diagnose, treat, operate, or prescribe for any person ill or alleged to be ill with disease, pain, injury, deformity, or abnormal physical or mental condition, or who either professes to heal, offer, or undertake, by any means or method, to diagnose, treat, operate, or prescribe for any person for disease, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition. In addition, one who attaches the title, M.D., physician, surgeon, D.O., osteopathic physician, and surgeon, or any other similar word or words or abbreviation to his or her name indicating that he or she is engaged in the treatment or diagnosis of the diseases, injuries, or conditions of persons, shall be held to be engaged in the practice of medicine.

History of Section.
G.L. 1923, ch. 159, § 8; P.L. 1927, ch. 1029, § 3; G.L. 1938, ch. 275, § 8; G.L. 1956, § 5-37-1; P.L. 1986, ch. 301, § 5; P.L. 1988, ch. 502, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 148, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 351, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 610, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 91, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 96, § 1.