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3-2-1...Scope Expansion Lift Off!

Posted By MOA Admin, Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Launching the New & Improved Maryland Optometry Practice Act Version 2.0

This year's legislation to modernize the Maryland Optometry Practice Act continues to soar through the Maryland General Assembly. As of yesterday, the cross-filed legislation had received an unanimous vote by each bill's originating body (165-0 House | 47-0 Senate). The bills have now crossed over to be voted on by the other chamber and remain on course to become law. If our scope expansion legislation passes this Session, March 1, 2020 will become a historic day for Maryland Optometry. Additional authorities granted to therapeutically certified optometrists under the new law will greatly enhance patient access to primary eye care through the delivery of services previously provided only by an ophthalmologist. See below for highlights on potential scope expansion privileges and stay tuned for a more comprehensive update next week.
 
In the meantime, please help Maryland carry over our advocacy momentum to the federal level by joining your colleagues and optometry students from around the country as part of the Maryland Delegation at the 2019 AOA on the Hill Conference on Tuesday, April 9 in Washington, D.C. Sign up HERE to join the Delegation as we meet with Maryland Senators and Representatives to push for pro-optometry legislation and initiatives on the Hill. 

2020 Scope Expansion - New Authority Highlights

Independent Management of Open Angle Glaucoma Patients 
  • Referral Required IF:  
    • Target IOP is not reached
    • Clinical stability cannot be documented within 12 months 
Corneal/Conjunctival Foreign Body Removal
  • No tool restrictions (other than scalpel)
  • Central Axis - may not perforate Bowman's membrane
  • Outside Central Axis - no deeper than mid-stroma
Ordering/Performing Tests
  • Cultures/Swabs permitted
  • Bloodwork permitted (in consultation w/patient's physician) 
  • Must provide report of bloodwork results to consulting physician
  • Genetic testing prohibited
  • Non-radiographic image testing permitted
Rx Authority  (open ended with exception of restrictions below) 

Prohibited:

  • Rx to children under 16 years of age
  • Rx of any glaucoma medication to children under 18
  • Rx of oral anti-fungals
  • Rx of oral immuno-modulatory agents
  • Rx of oral immuno-suppresives (oral steroids - 1 month max dosage - permitted with physician consult)
  • Rx of oral and topical anti-metabolites
  • Rx of controlled dangerous substances

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