Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 54
Physician Assistants

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-54-8

§ 5-54-8. Permitted healthcare practices by physician assistants.

(a) Physician assistants shall practice in collaboration with physicians. A physician assistant may provide any medical or surgical services that are within the physician assistant’s skills, education, and training. Whenever any provision of general or public law or regulation requires a signature, certification, stamp, verification, affidavit, or endorsement by a physician, it shall be deemed to include a signature, certification, stamp, verification, affidavit, or endorsement by a physician assistant. Physician assistants may perform those duties and responsibilities consistent with the limitations of this section, including prescribing, administering, procuring, and dispensing of drugs and medical devices. Physician assistants may request, receive, sign for, and distribute professional samples of drugs and medical devices to patients only within the limitations of this section. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, a physician assistant may provide medical and surgical services when those services are rendered in collaboration with a licensed physician.

(b) [Deleted by P.L. 2019, ch. 197, § 1 and P.L. 2019, ch. 230, § 1].

(c) Physician assistants may write prescriptions and medical orders to the extent provided in this paragraph. When extended medical staff privileges by a licensed hospital or other licensed healthcare facility in accordance with subsection (e) of this section, a physician assistant may write medical orders for inpatients as delineated by the medical staff bylaws of the facility as well as its credentialing process and applicable governing authority. Physician assistants may prescribe legend medications including Schedule II, III, IV, and V medications under chapter 28 of title 21 of the Rhode Island uniform controlled substances act, medical therapies, medical devices, and medical diagnostics.

(d) When collaborating with a physician licensed under chapter 29 of this title, the service rendered by the physician assistant shall be limited to the foot. The “foot” is defined as the pedal extremity of the human body and its articulations, and includes the tendons and muscles of the lower leg only as they are involved in conditions of the foot.

(e) Hospitals and other licensed healthcare facilities have discretion to grant privileges to a physician assistant and to define the scope of privileges or services that a physician assistant may deliver in a facility.

(f) A physician assistant shall not undertake or represent that he or she is qualified to provide a medical or surgical care service that he or she knows or reasonably should know to be outside his or her competence or is prohibited by law.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation, a physician assistant shall be considered to be a primary care provider when the physician assistant is practicing in the medical specialties required for a physician to be a primary care provider.

History of Section.
P.L. 1982, ch. 94, § 2; P.L. 1991, ch. 72, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 358, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 223, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 346, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 42, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 42, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 197, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 130, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 156, § 2; P.L. 2019, ch. 197, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 230, § 1.