Immunizations and optometry – California law allows optometrists to become certified to perform three immunizations – flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines – on adults. The training for immunization certification has three requirements: (1) completion of an immunization training program, (2) basic life support certification, and (3) one hour of ongoing CE every 2 years.
Many optometric colleges are currently working on creating a certification training course specifically for optometrists. In the meantime, immunization training courses developed by the pharmacy profession can be taken now. The pharmacy certification course is 20 hours total – 12 hours of self-study with a test and an 8-hour, live seminar component that involves attending the full live seminar, successfully completing the injection technique assessment, and completing the assessment.
For more information about immunizations generally, check out the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC). IAC works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for healthcare professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. Additionally, the CDC produces a number of resources such as posters and flyers that can be downloaded free of charge.
The Think About Your Eyes national campaign – Most COA members now are eligible for a free basic listing on the Think About Your Eyes doctor locator. COA is paying the cost of this new membership benefit – all you have to do is update your company record in COA’s database. 2.3 million site visits with 4 million eye exams are attributed to the campaign.
VSP bill signed into law – AB 1092 gives VSP authority to continue its existing practice auditing for suspected fraudulent claims. COA had experts review this bill to make sure we are protected. Amendments were made to ensure VSP used independent and verifiable statistical methodology to detect fraud and reduced the time window for fraudulent claims from 3 years to 1 year.
Branch Office law repealed – A new law sponsored by the State Board of Optometry and signed this year repeals the branch office law and instead allows optometrists to own up to 11 offices.
Illegal sales of contact lenses – COA is concerned that Hubble and other companies are allegedly violating state and federal law by selling contact lenses without a prescription. COA has filed a complaint with the State Board of Optometry and we urge you to do the same. Contact COA’s hotline at (916) 266-5027 for information on how to report a complaint.
Online eye testing – COA continues to seek patient examples that we can use in our fight to educate the public about the dangers of online or remote refraction. If you have a patient between 18 and 50 who came to you asymptomatic, but had a life- or sight-threatening condition that you were able to detect during your exam, please report the case to COA or call COA’s “hotline” at (916) 266-5027. We need your help to collect these patient examples to help COA demonstrate the risks to consumers, the media and elected officials. Your patient need not have received an online or remote refraction to submit your example.
Salary history – AB 168 prohibits an employer from inquiring into an applicant’s prior salary or failing to provide a pay scale upon demand.
Sexual harassment training – SB 1343 requires an employer with five or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter.
Private breast pumping room – AB 1976 requires employers to provide their workers with a private area that is not a bathroom to pump breast milk.
Office poster requirement for optometrists – California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 1566 and 1566.1 requires a Consumer Notice be posted in each optometrist’s office in a conspicuous place for consumers to see. The notice must state that patients will be given a copy of their spectacle and contact prescription. The FTC has recently come into California to check offices for this notice. For a sample of the consumer notice requirements, please visit the COA website.