Rhode Island Enacts PA-Positive Bills

New Laws Authorize Greater Care for Patients

PAs in Rhode Island will have greater ability to authorize care for their patients thanks to the enactment of two new laws. These important changes – passed near the end of Rhode Island’s legislative session – were the product of a collaborative effort between the Rhode Island Academy of PAs (RIAPA) and the Rhode Island State Nurses Association.

The first of the new laws, H-7002 Sub A, will mandate insurance coverage for specified treatments associated with mastectomies, including those which are ordered by PAs and NPs. Previous laws had only required that insurers cover certain aspects of treatment when ordered by a physician. H-7002 Sub A was signed by Governor Gina Raimondo on July 2.

Additionally, the 2019 State Budget, enacted on June 22, adds PAs and NPs to the definition of “practitioner” as it relates to the use of medical marijuana. The updated language will allow PAs to provide the required written certification stating that in a PA’s professional opinion, the potential benefits of a qualifying patient’s use of medical marijuana outweigh the potential health risks. This change resolves a nearly decade-long dispute regarding the definition of “practitioner” for this purpose.

H-7002 Sub A becomes effective on January 1, 2019, and the budget became effective on July 1, 2018.

For more information on the new laws or PA practice in Rhode Island, please contact Carson Walker, director, constituent organization outreach and advocacy.