Optometrists in California now have the right to perform clinical laboratory tests that help diagnose certain eye conditions and disease. After more than a year since its introduction and journey through the California Assembly and Senate, bill A.B. 761 was finally signed by the governor of California.
Previously, certain clinical lab tests classified as “waived” could not be performed by optometrists in their offices. They had to wait for results from a lab for diagnostic tests that could have been performed in their office, and that are already within their scope of practice.
Here is a simple explanation of A.B. 761 from the Assembly leader who worked to get this bill passed (as the bill was moving into the Senate): http://asmdc.org/members/a57/news-room/press-releases/item/2690-bill-that-removes-optometry-patient-care-delay-passes-out-of-the-assembly.
Take a look at a posting by the United Nurses Associations of California praising the decision by Gov. Jerry Brown to pass this “commonsense” bill! It’s a wonderful thing to see fellow health care professionals come together and support each other with a decision made such as this, one which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the health of their patients: http://www.unacuhcp.org/2012/09/28/governor-brown-signs-ab-761/.
A more comprehensive summary of the bill can be found on the California Optometric Association’s website: http://www.coavision.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=3475.
Congrats to California ODs!