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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 24, 2015 04:10 PM
From: Senator John R. Gordner
To: All Senate members
Subject: Modernization of the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act
Optometrists play a primary role in the everyday eye care for the citizens of our Commonwealth. Through eight years of education at a college or university and then an optometry school, they are trained to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases or vision conditions. However, Pennsylvania continues to remain behind in regard to what other states allow an optometrist to do in providing timely access to care for patients.

Therefore, I will be introducing legislation that will amend the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act by doing the following:
  • Revise the therapeutic drug approval process. Currently, the PA Secretary of Health approves the therapeutic drugs that optometrists are allowed to prescribe. The bill will replace the Secretary from this process with the State Board of Optometry and the Federal Drug Administration. It will also allow an optometrist to order an imaging test appropriate for diagnosis and treatment of a disease or condition of vision.

  • Allow an optometrist to be identified as a “Doctor or Optometric Physician” in addition to Doctor of Optometry and O.D., which they currently use.

  • The definition of the Practice of Optometry would be amended to include health care services related to the eye and vision care services including the supply and preparation of eyeglasses.

  • Clarifies that the Practice of Optometry includes the administration and prescription of drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of diseases and conditions of the eye.

  • Clarifies that optometrists may not perform surgery and that any insurance procedure and billing code may not be used to define surgery.

I invite your co-sponsorship of this legislation. Please contact my office with any questions.

Introduced as SB1012