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    MD ODs look to order tests, Rx all agents, remove foreign bodies

    MOA and MSEPS at odds over bill that would expand ODs’ scope of practice

    The Maryland Optometric Association (MOA) looks to expand optometry’s scope of practice in the state via cross-filed bills this session in the General Assembly. The bills would allow ODs to order any necessary diagnostic test, Rx all FDA-approved therapeutic agents, and strip away outdated restrictions related to foreign bodies.

    HB 807 is scheduled for a hearing on February 21, and SB 611 is scheduled for a hearing on February 22.

    Related: What's new in optometry law

    Both bills would put Maryland (MD) on par with other states in what it’s able to offer in the form of care, according to Jennifer Levy, executive director of the MOA.

    “Things are now progressing fairly quickly, and will continue to do so given Maryland's 90-day legislative session,” says Levy.

    Currently, MD laws governing the scope of practice of optometry are among the most restrictive throughout the U.S. and its territories, according to the MOA.

    How HB 807 and SB 611 will affect ODs in MD

    If the bill does pass, optometrists seek to:

    • Prescribe all FDA approved therapeutic agents (drugs, vitamins, other ocular-related therapies)

    • Order and perform diagnostic tests (blood work, MRI, X-ray, sonogram, other ocular related lab work)

    • Remove foreign bodies (eliminate restrictions of Alger Brush and central axis restrictions)

    Related: Top 5 ways you break the law in your practice

    The MOA wishes for ODs in MD to be equivalent to those who work in the state’s federal facilities says Bryan Rogoff, OD, MBA, CPHM, MOA president.

    “We have waited a long time to practice to the level of our training and education,” says Dr. Rogoff. “It makes no sense that Maryland ODs practicing at federal facilities in the state are allowed to perform these procedures—we want this to be extended to all ODs within the state of Maryland.”

    Giovanni Castelli
    Giovanni Castelli is the content specialist for Optometry Times. He is a 2014 graduate of Cleveland State University with a degree in ...

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