A new bill is under consideration.

The American Optometric Association has published an update on legislative efforts in Massachusetts that would give optometrists the right to treat glaucoma.

Rep. Bradley H. Jones Jr. (R-20th Dist. Middlesex) has introduced H. 2463, which AOA explains would "grant licensed doctors of optometry the authority to treat glaucoma and other ocular abnormalities on and around the eye, as well as prescribe necessary medications to carry out said treatment."

The "would be a tremendous win for the citizens of Massachusetts," says Dr. Samuel D. Pierce, AOA president-elect.

"Doctors of optometry in Massachusetts will be able to offer even greater care for their patients, alleviating the burden of unnecessary multiple physician visits and excessive travel costs," Pierce said.

AOA notes that the legislation "stops short of permitting certain injections or other procedures, and would require doctors of optometry to complete an educational program administered by the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists (MSO) or an accredited college of optometry, or otherwise meet board requirements."

The Sun Chronicle has reported that Massachusetts is unique in the U.S. in that while optometrists "are able to screen all patients for glaucoma and eye infections," they "must refer patients to an ophthalmologist if any condition is detected."

Efforts to expand optometry's scope of practice in Massachusetts have previously encountered "substantial resistance," AOA reports.

Read more at AOA

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