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.
Even as doctors of optometry receive the much-needed funds, the AOA remains committed to advocating for optometry’s inclusion in federal crisis measures. Reminder: the deadline to apply for relief has been extended to May 31.
Given the doors that were once closed and are now open to women and people of color in society, it might be expected that the faces of optometry would reflect the changing demographics of the nation. And with the nation’s reckoning over social injustice in 2020 stirring anew concerns over diversity and inclusiveness, the profession is asking whether optometry reflects the nation’s changing demographics—and why should that matter?
The global e-commerce retailer again came to the AOA’s attention over posts from contact lens sellers that didn’t appear to meet FCLCA patient protection provisions requiring valid prescriptions.