California ODs need to contact their local reps as soon as possible to express their support of the passage of scope bill AB2236 before its voted on by the full Senate.
Good news continues to come for optometrists out of California, the state with the most employed ODs. As early as this week, the full Senate will vote on AB 2236, a bill that would expand the scope of practice in optometry to match that of current optometric training and education. It passed the Senate Appropriation Committee earlier this month.
The scope bill would allow optometrists in California to perform the following:
- Three types of laser procedures, including therapeutic lasers appropriate for the treatment of glaucoma, peripheral iridotomy for the prophylactic treatment of angle-closure glaucoma and posterior capsulotomy secondary to cataract surgery.
- Lesion removal: skin tabs, cysts and other lesions that are non-cancerous.
- Injections to treat eye conditions (subcutaneous, intramuscular, subconjunctival and intralesional injections).
- Corneal crosslinking.
Allowing ODs to perform these procedures would undeniably improve statewide patient access to care, which is becoming more recognized; 10 states now allow optometrists to perform laser procedures and other minor surgeries in-office. To make it 11, California ODs need to step in and help back the bill.
“We need California optometrists to contact their Senators and Assembly Members to ask them to support this bill,” urges Kristine Shultz, the executive director of the California Optometric Association (COA).
You can also access the COA’s automated letter writing system, which lets you download a printable letter and automatically address it to your lawmaker: https://bit.ly/3QnjI6Z.It’s best not to procrastinate; in just a few days, the Senate is slated to decide the fate of the bill.