Mississippi ODs are on the cusp of expanding their scope of practice with a bill that has successfully moved through the state legislature to allow them greater pharmaceutical privileges, including administering oral steroids, and injectable authority.

The amended version of the bill, known as HB 1302, has passed through the concurrence process in the state House and now awaits Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ signature, according to Ryan Wally, OD, partner at the Oxford Eye Clinic & Optical in Oxford, MS, and legislative chair of the Mississippi Optometric Association.

“HB 1302 improves access to care for Mississippians all across the state by allowing optometrists to practice closer to the level of their training,” Dr. Wally explains. “Mississippi optometrists practice in 72 of our state’s 82 counties and are the primary providers of eye care statewide. Updating our state law will allow us to continue to recruit the brightest and best optometry graduates back to our state.”

The bill also allows for excision and removal of chalazions, as well as removal of non-cancerous growths in and around the eyelid, Dr. Wally says.

The original language of the bill included a pilot program (limited to 20 ODs) for laser capsulotomy. However, the pilot program was removed, and the final version of the bill instead allows for any OD credentialed by the state board to perform laser capsulotomy procedures, Dr. Wally explains.