97- S 799 am
Approved Jul. 3, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows

SECTION 1. Section 5-37-22 of the General Laws in Chapter 5-37 entitled "Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline" is hereby amended to read as follows:

5-37-22. Disclosures. -- (a)(1) Any physician who is not a participant in a medical insurance plan shall post a notice, in a conspicuous place in his or her medical offices where it can be read by his or her patients, which shall read, in substance, as follows:

"To my patients:

I do not participate in a medical insurance plan. You should know that you will be responsible for the payment of my medical fees."

(2) Any physician who fails to post such a notice shall not be entitled to charge his or her patients any amount, for medical fees, in excess of that allowed had the physician participated in such a medical insurance plan.

(b) Every physician shall disclose to patients eligible for Medicare, in advance of treatment, whether such physician accepts assignment under Medicare reimbursement as payment in full for medical services and/or treatment in the physician's office. Such disclosure shall be given by posting in each physician's office in a conspicuous place a summary of the physician's medicare reimbursement policy. Any physician who fails to make the disclosure as required herein shall not be allowed to charge the patient in excess of the Medicare assignment amount for the medical procedure performed.

(c) When a patient requests in writing that his or her medical records be transferred to another physician, the original physician shall promptly honor such request. The physician shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses (as defined by the director pursuant to section 23-1-41) incurred in connection with copying such medical records.

(d) Every physician shall, upon written request of any patient (or his or her authorized representative as defined in section 5-37.3-3) who has received health care services from such provider, at the option of the physician either permit such patient (or his or her authorized representative) to examine and copy the patient's confidential health care information or provide such patient (or his or her authorized representative) a summary of such information. If the physician decides to provide a summary and the patient is not satisfied with a summary, then the patient may request and the physician shall provide a copy of the entire record. At the time of such examination, copying or provision of summary information, the physician shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses (as defined by the director pursuant to section 23-1-48) in connection with copying such information. If in the professional judgment of the physician, it would be injurious to the mental or physical health of the patient to disclose certain confidential health care information to the patient, the physician is not required to disclose or provide a summary of such information to the patient, but shall upon written request of the patient (or his or her authorized representative) disclose such information to another physician designated by the patients.

(e) Every physician who has ownership interest in health facilities or laboratories{ADD , including any health care facility licensed pursuant to chapter 23-17, any residential care/assisted living facility licensed pursuant to chapter 23-17.4, and any adult day care program licensed or certified by the director of the department of elderly affairs, ADD} or any equipment not on the physician's premises shall, in writing, make full patient disclosure of his or her ownership interest in the facility or therapy prior to utilization. The written notice shall state that the patient has free choice either to use the physician's proprietary facility or therapy or may seek the needed medical services elsewhere.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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