About State Government Relations

Provides information, guidance, advice, and legislative resource materials upon request to the affiliated state associations and others in all areas of state legislation and regulation affecting the profession of optometry. Staff is available to review or develop legislative language and/or legislative merit materials.

  • Serves as a resource for state association political activities, including providing lobbying assistance, testimony, fact sheets, and slide and video presentations for legislative and regulatory purposes.

  • Monitors state laws and regulations relating to the scope of optometric practice, including issues such as prescription of legend drugs, comanagement of patient care, the performance of primary eye care procedures, and others.

  • Monitors state laws and regulations relating to licensure mobility, continuing education requirements, delegation of duties to ancillary personnel, licensing and scope of practice of opticians, telemedicine issues, unprofessional conduct and professional discipline, malpractice liability and malpractice tort reform, continuing competency, basic licensing requirements, and programs to assist impaired optometrists.

  • Monitors state laws and regulations dealing with patient access to eye care, non-discrimination against optometrists in insurance plans, "any willing provider" initiatives, managed care reform and establishment of managed care entities, general insurance and optometric reimbursement issues, hospital privileges, professional corporations and other forms of doing business.

  • Monitors state laws and regulations establishing children's beginner grade eye examination requirements.

  • Monitors the impact of federal laws and regulations on state laws and regulations.

  • Monitors legislative and regulatory issues specific to rural areas that are traditionally medically underserved, and encourages and supports initiatives to include optometrists in state rural health activities.

  • Maintains a database of state laws and regulations, as well as other comparative and analytical optometric legislative and regulatory databases, that can be shared with affiliates, state legislators, state government officials, third party payers, the media, and the public.

  • Works with the Federal Relations Committee to provide information to the state affiliates, state optometry boards, and individual member optometrists on federal programs that are implemented at the state level, including obtaining Drug Enforcement Administration numbers, and reporting requirements for the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.

For additional information or assistance, please contact Brian Reuwer at BReuwer@AOA.org or 800-365-2219, Ext. 1343.