Senate approves Pearson bill to address low reimbursement rates that have led to doctor shortage


STATE HOUSE — The Senate Tuesday approved legislation introduced by Senate Majority Leader Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) that would address the low reimbursement rates to primary care providers that has led to a severe shortage of physicians in the state.

In addition to defining “primary care services,” the bill (2024-S 2723) would require all biennial reports to the General Assembly on rate reimbursements to include a review and recommendation of rates for primary care services on and after Sept. 1, 2025.

“The rate review process that we use for many Medicaid services has been very successful in giving us a target when moving to increase those reimbursement rates,” said Senator Pearson. “This legislation would expand that to primary care services. This is an important step to ensuring that primary care is available to all Rhode Islanders, and also ensuring the financial stability of the system.”

The legislation is part of a 25-bill package aimed at improving health care access and affordability in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island HEALTH Initiative (Holistic Enhancement and Access Legislation for Total Health) focuses on four key pillars: consumer protection, provider availability and care quality, cost containment, and health system financial stability.

“We are very fortunate in the Senate to have a such a knowledgeable and dedicated membership committed to addressing the challenges facing our state,” said Senator Pearson. “When we approached the development of this package of bills, we wanted to take a holistic approach to addressing the many intertwined factors that impact the health care system.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.




The Supreme Court is getting rid of a Trump-era ban on "bump stocks." The court ruled Friday that the firearm accessory that allows semi-automatic rifles to fire more quickly can't be included in a 1934 law banning machine guns. The decision was 6-3 on ideological lines, striking down a regulation imposed during the Trump administration. Despite the ruling, bump stocks remain illegal in 18 states.       The Supreme Court is not yet ruling on Donald Trump's claims of presidential immunity. The court did not make a decision on the consequential case today, but may do so on June 20th when its next opinions are released. The case impacts some of Trump's pending cases, including his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Trump argues he is immune from prosecution because his actions fell under official conduct that should be protected, and was not a private act.       Floridians can expect even more rain today after days of severe weather and flooding. Non-stop rain has drenched parts of the southern half of the state for days now -- including Miami. Governor Ron DeSantis already declared a state of emergency. Thunderstorm activity in the region is expected to subside by the weekend, but forecasters say flash flooding and urban flooding will remain possible through Saturday.       Kate, Princess of Wales, says she is making "good progress" in her treatment for cancer. In a rare statement Friday, the British royal said she is still undergoing chemotherapy and that she has "a few more months" of treatment remaining. She also announced that she will be attending a military parade Saturday to mark King Charles the Third's birthday. This will be her first official public appearance since she revealed she has cancer.       Ukraine is rejecting Russia's demands to bring the war between the two countries to an end. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would end the war if Ukraine agreed to certain conditions. Those include Kyiv [[ KEEV ]] dropping its ambitions to join NATO, pulling out troops from four Ukrainian provinces claimed by Moscow. The proposal from Russia came just a day after the U.S. and Ukraine agreed to a new ten-year security agreement.       The USA cricket team is continuing to make history. The team has advanced to the next stage of the men's T20 Cricket World Cup after its match against Ireland was rained out in Florida Friday. The point earned by the USA due to the game being called off meant the team qualified for the Super Eight stage of the tournament. The USA will now be placed in a group of four of the final eight teams, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinal round.