July 08, 2021

Rhode Island Senate Advances Legislation Expanding Physical Therapist Scope

The Rhode Island Senate passed legislation (HB 5198) June 30 that would allow physical therapists to order diagnostic imaging to be performed and interpreted by other licensed healthcare professionals. Diagnostic imaging, as defined in the bill, would include basic radiological imaging (X-ray) but not other methodologies such as computed tomography, ultrasound, bone scan, MRI or positron emission tomography. All diagnostic imaging tests ordered by a physical therapist would have to be reported by the physical therapist to the patient's designated primary care physician of record within seven days following receipt of the results. Reporting would not be required if the patient does not have a primary care physician.

Managed healthcare plans would have to provide a utilization report to the general assembly no later than Sept. 1, 2022, and annually thereafter. The legislation would sunset Dec. 31, 2023, unless extended by the general assembly. The ACR and the Rhode Island Radiological Society are monitoring the bill.

For more information, contact Tina Getachew or Eugenia Brandt.