Vision health professionals and their patients scored a big win this week with Senate Bill 100, which passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate. It now heads to Governor Kevin Stitt for his signature.
The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians supported the legislation and worked cooperatively with legislators on many of the provisions within it. It is designed to protect patient health and safety standards while also increasing convenience for consumers purchasing frames and lenses.
SB 100 allows large retailers to lease space to independently operating optometric physicians that must be physically and legally separate from a retail store. It protects the scope-of-practice of all optometrists operating in retail spaces and ensures high quality services and independent (not corporate) oversight.
SB 100 stipulates:
That retail outlets may begin to lease space to optometric physicians in a phased-in, gradual manner with a timeline based on population density;
That the doctor may not be an employee of the retail outlet;
That the doctor will not receive any additional compensation for referring patients to the retail stores’ optical services;
That the care given to the patient be the main concern of the Optometric Physician, or other physician providing vision care;
That the doctor’s office be separate from the retail outlet’s optical shop; and
That the current laws be followed in giving a patient a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
SB 100 also:
Defines the responsibility of the doctor to his patients
Sets out penalties for infraction of the law
Includes language disallowing the retailer to sell below costs
Adds new language that puts into law requirements for a contact lens prescription and requirements for the renewal of contact lens prescriptions by persons other than the prescribing doctor.