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LC001646/SUB B
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S TATE OF RHODE IS L A N D
IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2023
____________
A N A CT
RELATING TO EDUCATION -- CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES -- STATUTES AND
STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION
Introduced By: Senators Acosta, Miller, and DiPalma
Date Introduced: March 22, 2023
Referred To: Senate Health & Human Services
(Dept. of BHDDH)
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
1 SECTION 1. Sections 16-24-7, 16-24-10, 16-24-11 and 16-24-16 of the General Laws in
2 Chapter 16-24 entitled "Children With Disabilities [See Title 16 Chapter 97 — The Rhode Island
3 Board of Education Act]" are hereby amended to read as follows:
4 16-24-7. “Mentally retarded minors” defined. Minors with intellectual and/or
5 developmental disabilities defined. Minors with intellectual or developmental disabilities
6 defined.
7 The term “mentally retarded minors” "minors with intellectual or developmental
8 disabilities" means all children between the age of three (3) and twenty-one (21) who because of
9 retarded delayed intellectual development, as determined by an individual multidisciplinary
10 evaluation, require specialized instruction appropriate to their individual capacity.
11 16-24-10. Arrangements by cities and towns having small numbers of retarded
12 children. Arrangements by cities and towns having small numbers of children with
13 intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Arrangements by cities and towns having small
14 numbers of children with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
15 Each city and town which contains fewer than eight (8) mentally retarded minors with
16 intellectual or developmental disabilities may contract with another city or town for the education
17 of the minors or may establish a special class pursuant to the previous provision with the consent
18 of the board of regents for elementary and secondary education. In the event that a city or town
1 does not establish a class for fewer than eight (8) mentally retarded minors with intellectual or
2 developmental disabilities or contract with another city or town, then the city or town shall contract
3 with a suitable day school for instruction adapted to the mental attainments of the minors; provided
4 that the day schools shall be subject to the regulations and supervision of the state board of regents
5 for elementary and secondary education.
6 16-24-11. Transportation for retarded children. Transportation for children with
7 intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Transportation for children with intellectual
8 or developmental disabilities.
9 Transportation shall be provided for all pupils attending a special class or suitable day
10 schools.
11 16-24-16. Approved centers.
12 For the purpose of furnishing transportation and providing incidental expenses for the
13 education of mentally retarded children under the age of eighteen (18) minors with intellectual or
14 developmental disabilities, a center approved by the director of behavioral healthcare,
15 developmental disabilities and hospitals shall be decreed to be a school as considered in this
16 chapter.
17 SECTION 2. Sections 23-17.8-1 and 23-17.8-3.1 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-17.8
18 entitled "Abuse in Healthcare Facilities" are hereby amended to read as follows:
19 23-17.8-1. Definitions.
20 (a)(1) “Abuse” means:
21 (i) Any assault as defined in chapter 5 of title 11, including, but not limited to, hitting,
22 kicking, pinching, slapping, or the pulling of hair; provided, however, unless it is required as an
23 element of the offense charged, it shall not be necessary to prove that the patient or resident was
24 injured by the assault;
25 (ii) Any assault as defined in chapter 37 of title 11;
26 (iii) Any offense under chapter 10 of title 11;
27 (iv) Any conduct which harms or is likely to physically harm the patient or resident except
28 where the conduct is a part of the care and treatment, and in furtherance of the health and safety of
29 the patient or resident; or
30 (v) Intentionally engaging in a pattern of harassing conduct which causes or is likely to
31 cause emotional or psychological harm to the patient or resident, including but not limited to,
32 ridiculing or demeaning a patient or resident, making derogatory remarks to a patient or resident or
33 cursing directed towards a patient or resident, or threatening to inflict physical or emotional harm
34 on a patient or resident.
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1 (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the prosecution of any violator of
2 this section under any other chapter.
3 (b) “Department” means the department of health when the incident occurs in a health care
4 facility, and the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals when
5 the incident occurs in a community residence for people who are mentally retarded or persons with
6 intellectual or developmental disabilities.
7 (c) “Facility” means any health care facility or community residence for persons who are
8 mentally retarded, or persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities as those terms are
9 defined in this section. “Health care facility” means any hospital or facility which provides long -
10 term health care required to be licensed under chapter 17 of this title, and any assisted living
11 residence required to be licensed under chapter 17.4 of this title, and any community residence
12 whether privately or publicly owned. “Community residence” for persons who are mentally
13 retarded or persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities means any residential program
14 licensed by the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals which
15 meets the definition of a community residence as defined in § 40.1-24-1(2) and provides services
16 to people who are mentally retarded or persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
17 (d) “High Managerial Agent” means an officer of a facility, the administrator and assistant
18 administrator of the facility, the director and assistant director of nursing services, or any other
19 agent in a position of comparable authority with respect to the formulation of the policies of the
20 facility or the supervision in a managerial capacity of subordinate employees.
21 (e) “Mistreatment” means the inappropriate use of medications, isolation, or use of physical
22 or chemical restraints:
23 (1) As punishment;
24 (2) For staff convenience;
25 (3) As a substitute for treatment or care;
26 (4) In conflict with a physician’s order; or
27 (5) In quantities which inhibit effective care or treatment, or which harms or is likely to
28 harm the patient or resident.
29 (f) “Neglect” means the intentional failure to provide treatment, care, goods, and services
30 necessary to maintain the health and safety of the patient or resident, or the intentional failure to
31 carry out a plan of treatment or care prescribed by the physician of the patient or resident, or the
32 intentional failure to report patient or resident health problems or changes in health problems or
33 changes in health conditions to an immediate supervisor or nurse, or the intentional lack of attention
34 to the physical needs of a patient or resident including, but not limited to toileting, bathing, meals,
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1 and safety. No person shall be considered to be neglected for the sole reason that he or she relies
2 on or is being furnished treatment in accordance with the tenets and teachings of a well-recognized
3 church or denomination by a duly-accredited practitioner of a well-recognized church or
4 denomination.
5 (g) “Patient” means any person who is admitted to a facility for treatment or care, while
6 “resident” means any person who maintains their residence or domicile, on either a temporary or
7 permanent basis, in a facility.
8 (h) “Person” means any natural person, corporation, partnership, unincorporate d
9 association, or other business entity.
10 (i) “Immediate jeopardy” means a situation in which the nursing facility’s alleged
11 noncompliance with one or more state or federal requirements or conditions has caused, or is likely
12 to cause serious injury, harm, impairment or death to a resident; or shall be defined in accordance
13 with 42 CFR 489 or any subsequent applicable federal regulations.
14 (j) “Non-immediate jeopardy — high potential for harm” means a situation in which a
15 nursing facility’s alleged noncompliance with one or more state or federal requirements or
16 conditions may have caused harm that negatively impacts the individual’s mental, physical and/or
17 psychosocial status; or shall be defined in accordance with 42 CFR 489 or any subsequent
18 applicable federal regulations.
19 (k) “Non-immediate jeopardy — medium potential for harm” means a situation in which a
20 nursing facility’s alleged noncompliance with one or more state or federal requirements or
21 conditions has caused or may have caused harm that is of limited consequence and does not
22 significantly impair the individual’s mental, physical and/or psychosocial status to function; or shall
23 be defined in accordance with 42 CFR 489 or any subsequent applicable federal regulations.
24 (l) “Non-immediate jeopardy — low potential for harm” means a situation in which a
25 nursing facility’s alleged noncompliance with one or more state or federal requirements or
26 conditions may have caused mental, physical and/or psychosocial discomfort that does not
27 constitute injury or damage; or shall be defined in accordance with 42 CFR 489 or any subsequent
28 applicable federal regulations.
29 23-17.8-3.1. Physician’s, certified registered nurse practitioner’s and physician
30 assistant’s report of examination — Duty of facility.
31 Whenever a facility shall receive a report by a person other than a physician or a certified
32 registered nurse practitioner or physician assistant that a patient or resident of the facility has been
33 harmed as a result of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment, the facility shall have the patient examined
34 by a licensed physician or a certified registered nurse practitioner or physician assistant. It shall be
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1 mandatory for the physician or certified registered nurse practitioner or physician assistant to make
2 a preliminary report of his or her findings to the department of health for a healthcare facility, or to
3 the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals for a community
4 residence for people who are mentally retarded or persons with intellectual or developmental
5 disabilities and to the facility within forty-eight (48) hours after his or her examination, and a
6 written report within five (5) days after his or her examination.
7 SECTION 3. Section 23-74-4 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-74 entitled "Unlicensed
8 Health Care Practices" is hereby amended to read as follows:
9 23-74-4. Prohibited conduct.
10 The director may impose disciplinary action as described in this chapter against any
11 unlicensed health care practitioner. The following conduct is prohibited and is grounds for
12 disciplinary action:
13 (1) Conviction of a crime, including a finding or verdict of guilt, and admission of guilt, or
14 a no contest plea, in any court in Rhode Island or any other jurisdiction in the United States,
15 reasonably related to engaging in health care practices. Conviction, as used in this subdivision,
16 includes a conviction of an offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony or
17 misdemeanor, without regard to its designation elsewhere, or a criminal proceeding where a finding
18 or verdict of guilty is made or returned, but the adjudication of guilt is either withheld or not entered.
19 (2) Engaging in sexual contact with an unlicensed health care client, engaging in contact
20 that may be reasonably interpreted by a client as sexual or engaging in sexual exploitation of a
21 client.
22 (3) Advertising that is false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading.
23 (4) Conduct likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public or demonstrating a willful or
24 careless disregard for the health or safety of an unlicensed health care client in which case, proof
25 of actual injury need not be established.
26 (5) Adjudication as mentally incompetent or as a person who is dangerous to self or
27 adjudicated as any of the following: chemically dependent, mentally ill, mentally retarded, mentally
28 ill and dangerous to the public, or as a sexual psychopathic personality or sexually dangerous
29 person.
30 (6) Inability to engage in unlicensed health care practices with reasonable safety to
31 unlicensed health care clients.
32 (7) Dependence upon controlled substances, habitual drunkenness or engaging in
33 unlicensed health care practices while intoxicated or incapacitated by the use of drugs.
34 (8) Revealing a communication from, or relating to, an unlicensed health care client except
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1 when otherwise required or permitted by law.
2 (9) Failure to comply with an unlicensed health care client’s request to furnish an
3 unlicensed health care client record or report required by law.
4 (10) Splitting fees or promising to pay a portion of a fee to any other professional other
5 than for services rendered by the other professional to the unlicensed health care client.
6 (11) Engaging in abusive or fraudulent billing practices, including violations of the federal
7 Medicare and Medicaid laws or state medical assistance laws.
8 (12) Obtaining money, property, or services from an unlicensed health care client, other
9 than reasonable fees for services provided to the client, through the use of undue influence,
10 harassment, duress, deception, or fraud.
11 (13) Failure to provide an unlicensed health care client with a copy of the client bill of
12 rights or violation of any provision of the client bill of rights.
13 (14) Violating any order issued by the director.
14 (15) Failure to comply with any provision of any rules adopted by the director.
15 (16) Failure to comply with any additional disciplinary grounds established by the director
16 by rule.
17 (17) Revocation, suspension, restriction, limitation, or other disciplinary action against any
18 health care license, certificate, registration, or right to practice of the unlicensed health care
19 practitioner in this or another state or jurisdiction for offenses that would be subject to disciplinary
20 action in this state or failure to report to the department that charges regarding the practitioner’s
21 license, certificate, registration, or right of practice have been brought in this or another state or
22 jurisdiction.
23 (18) False or misleading use of the title “doctor,” “Dr.”, “physician” alone or in
24 combination with any other words, letters, or insignia to describe the unlicensed health care
25 practices the practitioner provides.
26 SECTION 4. Section 31-6-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-6 entitled "Registration
27 Fees" is hereby amended to read as follows:
28 31-6-6. Vehicles exempt from fees.
29 (a) No registration fee is required for the registration of motor-driven equipment owned by
30 the following:
31 (1) American Legion bloodmobile;
32 (2) American National Red Cross or any of its chapters within this state;
33 (3) American Red Cross, Jamestown chapter ambulance;
34 (4) American Red Cross, Tiverton chapter ambulance;
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1 (5) American Red Cross, Warwick chapter ambulances;
2 (6) Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island truck used for rescue work;
3 (7) Burrillville Ambulance Corps ambulance;
4 (8) Burrillville American Legion Post No. 17 ambulances;
5 (9) Civil Air Patrol, Rhode Island wing motor vehicle equipment;
6 (10) East Greenwich Ambulance Association ambulances;
7 (11) East Greenwich American Legion Post No. 15 (incorporated February 20, 1933)
8 ambulances;
9 (12) East Tiverton Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Squad of Tiverton (a non-business
10 corporation, incorporated February 16, 1955) equipment, that motor vehicle being a rescue truck
11 equipped with resuscitators, underwater equipment, emergency lighting units with generators, and
12 various other devices needed to effect rescue and save lives and property under any emergency and
13 used for this purpose only;
14 (13) Foster Ambulance Association ambulances;
15 (14) Georgiaville Volunteer Fire Company, Smithfield town ambulance;
16 (15) Glocester Ambulance Corps, Inc. ambulance;
17 (16) Hianloland Farms Fire Engine Company of West Greenwich RI, (a non-business
18 corporation, incorporated November 15, 1940) equipment;
19 (17) Hope Valley Ambulance Sq