We have some exciting updates in the profession of optometry from the East Coast featuring New Jersey and Massachusetts!
New Jersey: The Garden State has recently introduced Assembly and Senate bills A.B. 5445 and S.B. 3841 to legislation! This is huge as New Jersey would like to increase optometrists’ ability to perform certain laser and other in-office procedures, including trabeculoplasty, iridotomy, and lump and bump removal! This legislation will also expand New Jersey optometry’s scope to vaccinate and increase prescription authority! Imagine receiving both a comprehensive eye examination and your annual flu shot from your local optometrist! This is an exciting time for optometrists practicing in New Jersey!
Massachusetts: Massachusetts first defined optometry in 1934; and nearly 100 years later, this definition hasn’t been updated to reflect societal changes and changes in optometric scope of practice. So, to revamp optometry, the New England College of Optometry (NECO) and the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists (MSO) introduced H.B. 3608 into legislation. H.B. 3608 will allow optometrists to be referred as optometric physicians, and optometrists applying for a state license would have to apply and qualify for the highest licensure allowing them to perform procedures and services at the highest scope of practice a doctor of optometry can legally do regardless of the state they are living in!
This is huge, and a great step forward for potential scope expansion!