July 1, 2022

'Eye wars' could heat up again

Optometrists and ophthalmologists could be headed toward a renewed battle during the 2021 legislative session about how much authority optometrists should have in treating patients.

The groups have clashed for years about the issue, and two bills filed in recent days by Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, and Rep. Alex Rizo, R-Hialeah, appear likely to refuel the fight.

The bills (SB 876 and HB 631) would expand the authority of optometrists on issues such as administering and prescribing drugs. But the Florida Society of Ophthalmology issued a news release Monday blasting the proposals, with society President Sarah Wellik describing them as “dangerous and harmful legislation.”

Supporters of such legislation often point to expanding access to care.

The 2021 legislative session will start March 2.

Tags: News Service of Florida

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