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Wyoming Expands Scope of Optometry Practice

It’s the second state this year to enact such a scope expansion.

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Wyoming has expanded its scope of practice for optometrists to include certain surgical procedures.

The state’s optometrists will now be able to perform YAG laser capsulotomy, selective laser trabeculoplasty and laser iridotomy and lesions removal. Gov. Mark Gordon signed the bill into law on April 2, the American Optometric Association reports.

“Doctors of optometry will be more directly involved in the overall patient health management with more direct coordination of care in both primary and specialty physician services,” said Dana Day, OD, Wyoming Optometric Association legislative chair. “Delays in treatment will be improved as patient can be treated acutely with no further referral being required or while being transitioned to the proper specialty care. Patients will benefit from an overall savings in health care expenditures as repetitive examinations, travel time and time off work will be reduced, too.”

AOA noted: “Such is the case, the WOA convincingly argued that with optometric practices located in 22 of 23 counties in Wyoming, scope expansion afforded patients greater options to receive primary eye health care services in the communities they reside. The argument gained even more credibility as the WOA pointed to optometry’s essential role during recent COVID-19 surges, triaging urgent and emergent eye cases outside of overburdened hospitals or emergency departments.”

Wyoming is the second state this year to enact such a scope expansion for optometry. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed that state’s scope expansion into law on March 17.

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