Title 27

Chapter 81
Telemedicine Coverage Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-81-3

§ 27-81-3. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) “Clinically appropriate” means care that is delivered in the appropriate medical setting.

(2) “Distant site” means a site at which a healthcare provider is located while providing healthcare services by means of telemedicine.

(3) “Healthcare facility” means an institution providing healthcare services or a healthcare setting, including, but not limited to: hospitals and other licensed inpatient centers; ambulatory surgical or treatment centers; skilled nursing centers; residential treatment centers; diagnostic, laboratory and imaging centers; and rehabilitation and other therapeutic health settings.

(4) “Healthcare professional” means a physician or other healthcare practitioner licensed, accredited, or certified to perform specified healthcare services consistent with state law.

(5) “Healthcare provider” means a healthcare professional or a healthcare facility.

(6) “Healthcare services” means any services included in the furnishing to any individual of medical, podiatric, or dental care, or hospitalization, or incident to the furnishing of that care or hospitalization, and the furnishing to any person of any and all other services for the purpose of preventing, alleviating, curing, or healing human illness, injury, or physical disability.

(7) “Health insurer” means any person, firm, or corporation offering and/or insuring healthcare services on a prepaid basis, including, but not limited to, a nonprofit service corporation, a health maintenance organization, the Rhode Island Medicaid program, including its contracted managed care entities, or an entity offering a policy of accident and sickness insurance.

(8) “Health maintenance organization” means a health maintenance organization as defined in chapter 41 of this title.

(9) “Medically necessary” means medical, surgical, or other services required for the prevention, diagnosis, cure, or treatment of a health-related condition, including services necessary to prevent a decremental change in either medical or mental health status.

(10) “Nonprofit service corporation” means a nonprofit hospital service corporation as defined in chapter 19 of this title, or a nonprofit medical service corporation as defined in chapter 20 of this title.

(11) “Originating site” means a site at which a patient is located at the time healthcare services are provided to them by means of telemedicine, which can include a patient’s home where medically necessary and clinically appropriate.

(12) “Policy of accident and sickness insurance” means a policy of accident and sickness insurance as defined in chapter 18 of this title.

(13) “Rhode Island Medicaid program” means a state-administered, medical assistance program that is funded by the state and federal governments under Title XIX and Title XXI of the U.S. Social Security Act and any general or public laws and administered by the executive office of health and human services.

(14) “Store-and-forward technology” means the technology used to enable the transmission of a patient’s medical information from an originating site to the healthcare provider at the distant site without the patient being present.

(15) “Telemedicine” means the delivery of clinical healthcare services by use of real time, two-way synchronous audio, video, telephone-audio-only communications or electronic media or other telecommunications technology including, but not limited to: online adaptive interviews, remote patient monitoring devices, audiovisual communications, including the application of secure video conferencing or store-and-forward technology to provide or support healthcare delivery, which facilitate assessment, diagnosis, counseling and prescribing treatment, and care management of a patient’s health care while such patient is at an originating site and the healthcare provider is at a distant site, consistent with applicable federal laws and regulations. “Telemedicine” does not include an email message or facsimile transmission between the provider and patient, or an automated computer program used to diagnose and/or treat ocular or refractive conditions.

History of Section.
P.L. 2016, ch. 177, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 188, § 1; P.L. 2021, ch. 184, § 1, effective July 6, 2021; P.L. 2021, ch. 199, § 1, effective July 6, 2021.