Optometrist scope bill dead this session

August 22, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Scope of Practice 

The California Medical Association (CMA) has successfully quashed a scope-of-practice bill (SB 492) that originally would have allowed optometrists to diagnose and treat any disease with an ocular manifestation.

This dangerous bill originally proposed such a broad expansion in the scope of services that could be provided by an optometrist that it would have placed patients at risk of significant harm from having medical conditions diagnosed and treated by practitioners who lack the education, training and experience to safely provide primary medical care.

Earlier this week CMA was able to get most of the egregious language in the bill stripped leaving only provisions that would have allowed optometrists to administer flu and shingles vaccines.

Today the author of the bill Sen. Ed Hernandez signaled that he would not push the bill forward for a vote on the Assembly floor. It is now in the Assembly inactive file.

CMA would like to thank all the physicians who took time to call, write and fax their legislators to oppose the bill.

CMA strongly believes that simply expanding scope of practice and allowing practitioners to perform procedures they simply aren’t trained to do can only lead to unpredictable outcomes, higher costs and greater fragmentation of care.


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