Issues & Advocacy
The General State Assembly concluded the 2023 legislative session on June 16th. The assembly will reconvene on January 2, 2024.
*All legislation was signed by the Governor and enacted in 2023 unless otherwise noted.
On Friday June 16, 2023, Governor McKee signed H. 5200 Sub A, the State Budget Appropriations for FY 2024 and the revised FY 2023 budget.
The $14 billion appropriation package includes significant investments in the healthcare economy and builds upon the success of initiatives authorized in the FY 2023 state budget. The enacted budget authorizes the creation of the Rhode Island Life Science Hub which will be the central entity and coordinating organization of life science initiatives on behalf of the state and will facilitate the development of medical advances and scientific breakthroughs with companies who specialize in the fields of medical devices, biomedical technology, medical therapeutic therapies, biogenetics, biomedical engineering, biopharmaceuticals, genomics, and life sciences.
The recommended budget also supports Medicaid payments necessary to preserve access to care for Rhode Island’s most vulnerable populations and protect the financial stability of hospitals with the following investments:
- Full implementation of managed care maternal health reimbursement rates authorized in FY 2023
- Full funding for fee-for service supplemental payments in FY 2024
- Market basket adjustments for Medicaid managed care and fee-for-service reimbursement rates
- Managed care state directed payments
- Graduate Medical Education payments
In addition, the enacted budget authorizes important funding for community-based services including implementation of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, funding for personal care attendant service delivery to home and community-based service recipients in acute care settings and funding to more than double the Medicaid rates of reimbursement for Advanced and Basic life ambulance services.
Finally, the enacted budget expands FY 2023 investments in healthcare workforce development through the continued funding of the Wavemaker Fellowship for healthcare and mental health professionals, and in FY 2024 creates the Rhode Island College Hope Scholarship Pilot Program Act which will provide two-year scholarships to juniors and seniors attending Rhode Island College.
- H. 5426 Sub A /S. 0023 Sub A by Representative Speakman and Senator Miller: AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE Aligns Rhode Island with current federal requirements on health insurers as established by the Affordable Care Act, Also prohibits annual and lifetime limits on coverage within health insurance plans issued within the state.
- H. 5010 Sub A / S. 869 Sub A by Representative McNamara and Senator Cano: AN ACT RELATING TO HUMAN SERVICES -- MEDICAL ASSISTANCE -- THE PROMOTING ACCESS TO INCREASED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT (Requires that services provided by school social workers and certified school psychologists be included as health care related services eligible for federal Medicaid reimbursement.)
- H. 5687 / S. 719 by Representative Kislak and Senator McKenney: AN ACT RELATING TO BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND HOSPITALS -- MENTAL HEALTH LAW (Amends provisions of law relative to the disclosure of confidential healthcare information and records and the disclosure thereof occurring through electronic means.)
- H. 5819 SubA /S. 723 SubA by Representative Bennett and Senator DiMario: AN ACT RELATING TO BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND HOSPITALS -- MENTAL HEALTH LAW (Includes licensed advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), certified in psychiatric/mental health, as qualified to certify the need for mental health treatment in certain patients.)
- H.6524 Resolution 423 by Representative Tanzi: House Resolution respectfully requesting the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner to study, publicly report data on, and provide recommendations for, addressing the critical inadequacy of access to behavioral health services in Rhode Island’s commercial insurance networks
- H. 5283 Sub A by Representative Fogarty: AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS INSURANCE POLICIES -- MAMMOGRAMS AND PAP SMEARS -- COVERAGE MANDATED Mandates insurance coverage for any additional screenings deemed medically necessary for any person who has received notice of dense breast tissue.
- H.5350SubA/S.0871SubA by Representative Morales and Senator Goodwin: AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE -- ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS INSURANCE POLICIES Limits the copayment or coinsurance requirement on specialty drugs to one hundred fifty dollars ($150) for a thirty (30) day supply. This applies once the patient reaches their deductible.
- PROCEDURE GENERALLY -EVIDENCE: H.6434 by Representative Craven: Provides that statements of apology or sympathy by a healthcare provider to a patient, patients relatives or representatives regarding a patient's unanticipated medical care outcome are inadmissible as evidence of liability.
- HOUSE RESOLUTION CREATING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO STUDY AND PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS AND COMMENTS FOR HEALTHCARE LIABILITY REFORM: H.6401 by Representative Craven: Creates a 15 member legislative commission to study and provide recommendations and annotations for healthcare liability reform in Rhode Island, and report back to the House by January 15, 2024, and expire on April 15, 2024.
- eNURSE LICENSURE COMPACT: H.5737SubA/S.0275 by Representative Kennedy and Senator Miller: Amends the interstate nurse licensure compact and adopts an enhanced and more comprehensive version of the compact, to allow nurses to hold a multi-state license allowing them to practice across state lines without having to obtain multiple licenses.
- H.5099SubA/S.0077SubA by Representative McNamara and Senator Pearson: AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- RHODE ISLAND HOPE SCHOLARSHIP PILOT PROGRAM ACT Establishes the Rhode Island hope scholarship pilot program to provide two-year scholarships to junior and seniors at Rhode Island college.
- NURSES NCLEX: H.5349/S.0284 by Representative Casey and Senator Lawson: Amends the conditions upon which a nurse would be exempt from certain licensing requirements to include eligibility to practice before taking and receiving results of the NCLEX exam. Passed House of Representatives
- INTERSTATE MEDICAL LICENSURE COMPACT: S.0289 by Senator Valverde: Repeals the sunset provision of the interstate medical licensure act. Passed Senate
- CLINICAL PRECEPTORS TAX CREDIT ACT: H.5395/S.0245 by Representative Casimiro and Senator Lauria: Allows for a tax credit of up to $1,000 for any nurse practitioner, physician assistant or physician who provides on-site clinical education as a clinical preceptor to nurse practitioner graduate students. Held for Further Study
- H. 5006 / S. 32 by Representative Kazarian and Senator Valverde: AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- HEALTH CARE FOR CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN -- EQUALITY IN ABORTION COVERAGE Provides for abortion coverage in the Medicaid program and repeal the abortion coverage exclusion for state employee insurance plans.
- H. 5428 Sub A/S. 412 by Representative Ajello and Senator Murray: AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- LICENSING OF HEALTH CARE FACILITIES (Mandates a patient shall not be denied appropriate care on the basis of age/sex/gender identity/sexual orientation, race/color/marital status/familial status/disability/religion/national origin/source of income/source of payment or profession.)
- PROTOCOLS FOR EARLY RECOGNITION OF SEPSIS/SEVERE SEPSIS/SEPSIS SHOCK: H.5869 SubA /S.0283 SubA by Representative DeSimone and Senator Pearson: Sepsis and septic shock best practices for hospital and emergency care facilities.
- ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS INSURANCE POLICIES: WHITE BAGGING: H.5680/S.0870 by Representative Caldwell and Senator Ujifusa: Prohibits healthcare entities from interfering with a patient's right to choose to obtain a clinician-administered drug from their provider or pharmacy of choice. Passed the Senate
- H. 5380 Sub A / S. 444 Sub A by Representative Henries and Senator Mack: AN ACT RELATING TO HOLIDAYS AND DAYS OF SPECIAL OBSERVANCE -- HOLIDAYS Establishes June 19th as a state holiday, to be known as "Juneteenth National Freedom Day".
- H. 5495 Sub A / S. 290 Sub A by Representative Potter and Senator DiMario: AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- THE RHODE ISLAND HEALTH CARE REFORM ACT OF 2004 -- HEALTH INSURANCE OVERSIGHT Requires a workgroup of health care providers and health insurers convened by the office of the health commissioner, to make recommendations regarding prior authorization policies.
- H. 5676 SubA/S. 568 SubA by Representative Fogarty and Senator F. Lombardi: AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- RETENTION OF X-RAYS Amends the retention of x-ray statute by eliminating retention for the life of the individual to retention for whatever period is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- H. 5682 SubA/S. 721 SubA by Representative Giraldo and Senator Miller: AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- OFFICE OF STATE MEDICAL EXAMINERS Provides DOH multidisciplinary team review of drug overdose deaths may gather info of deaths from family willing to do so to help identify prevention/intervention strategies.
- H. 5687 / S. 719 by Representative Kislak and Senator McKenney: AN ACT RELATING TO BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND HOSPITALS -- MENTAL HEALTH LAW Amends provisions of law relative to the disclosure of confidential healthcare information and records and the disclosure thereof occurring through electronic means.
- H. 5782 Sub A / S. 924 Sub A by Representative Biah and Senator Ciccone: AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- PROPERTY SUBJECT TO TAXATION (Subjects to taxation real property owned by nonprofit institutions of higher education/nonprofit hospitals also amends charters issued by the general assembly to nonprofit institutions/hospitals.)
- H 5513 Sub A / S. 1056 Sub A by Representative Baginski and Senator Euer: AN ACT RELATING TO COURTS AND CIVIL PROCEDURE--PROCEDURE IN PARTICULAR ACTIONS -- DEATH BY WRONGFUL ACT (Raises the minimum recovery in a civil action to recover for a wrongful death from $250,000 to $365,000 and automatically increases for inflation the minimum recovery annually on January 31. The increase is based on the consumer price index.)
- H. 5870 SubA /S. 927 SubA by Representative Bennett and Senator McKenney: AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- LICENSING OF NURSING SERVICE AGENCIES (Establishes a cap on the rates that nursing service agencies can charge skilled nursing facilities; protects clients from having their staff recruited/hired by a nursing service agency while providing services to them; updates training, report and other administrative details.)