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New State Law to ‘Remove Unnecessary Barriers’ to Optometric Care, AOA Says

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The governor approved it this month.

A new law in New Jersey will “remove the unnecessary barriers that disrupt doctors’ ability to provide seamless, quality patient care,” the American Optometric Association reports.

 Gov. Chris Christie signed the bill into law on Jan. 8.

According to AOA, the legislation includes prohibitions on:

Requirements that doctors participate in a vision plan as a condition for contracting with a health plan.

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Restrictions or limitations on doctors’ choice of materials, services or optical labs provided to a patient.

Requirements on noncovered services and materials.

“The passage of this bill makes a difference in the delivery of quality health care in New Jersey,” said Dr. Kenneth Daniels, president of the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians. “It will make a defined difference on how optometry is able to deliver care and services, opening access for many more New Jersians to optometric health care.”

Coupled with the NJSOP’s grassroots efforts, advocates ensured legislators were educated on the importance of the legislation, according to AOA.

“Legislators said they were avalanched with information from our members, and when it came time for those votes, we had great support,” said Dr. Michael Veliky, NJSOP legislative committee chair and past president. “This is landmark legislation from New Jersey that has leveled the playing field for our patients to get a fair shake with their insurance.”

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