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Texas ODs Win Expanded Scope of Practice

Texas is the fourth state in 2021 to finalize a significant scope of practice enhancement for optometry.

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Texas optometrists have won an expanded scope of practice.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 11 signed into law a bill that will “grant therapeutic optometrists’ authority to independently manage glaucoma patients in lieu of prior requirements for mandatory co-management with an ophthalmologist, as well as the ability to prescribe any oral medication used to treat eye conditions,” the American Optometric Association reports.

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Tommy Lucas, OD, has said that a key provision of the bill is to allow optometrists “to prescribe any oral medication used to treat eye conditions.” To this point, they’ve been constrained to a limited formulary.

Another key point is that ODs will now be able to manage glaucoma on their own, “without a mandatory comanagement process with an ophthalmologist,” Lucas said.

The law is a “big win for Texas patients”, said Steve Nguyen, OD, president of the Texas Optometric Association.

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“It has been very inefficient, and in some cases more costly, for patients to get the eye care they need for conditions that require oral medication prescriptions,” he said. “Oftentimes, we had to send the patient elsewhere or get a different health care professional to write the needed prescription, which only served to delay the patient’s care or cause them additional inconvenience.

“Also, required glaucoma co-management was inhibiting patient care, hurting treatment plan compliance and adding costs to patients and payers. Now, patients will be able to get the eye care services that they need at the time they need them, directly from their optometrist.”

The AOA notes that Texas is the fourth state in 2021 to finalize a significant scope of practice enhancement for optometry.

Read more at the American Optometric Association

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