When a law is passed related to the practice of optometry, it’s up to the regulatory process to define the details. Everything from how much Medicare pays for an eye exam to what, exactly, constitutes a prescription verification is determined by the regulatory agencies of the federal government.
As a legislated profession, optometry is defined by the laws governing its practice. However, legislation rarely determines the finer points of the law. Staff and volunteers in the AOA Advocacy Group work with regulatory agencies every day to define the details that determine the impact of legislation on doctors of optometry and their patients. This happens in the form of official comment letters, meetings with federal officials, collaboration with others in the health care community, consultation with doctors regarding the precise details that go into a single Medicare code, the development of an optometric registry and much more.
Violators of antitrust laws are potentially subject to criminal and civil penalties, as well as “immediate dismissal” from their position or relationship with the AOA, even if they were unaware their actions were not legal.