Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 7159

Public Act No. 07-92

AN ACT UPDATING THE SCOPE OF PRACTICE OF OPTOMETRY.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 20-127 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(1) The "practice of advanced optometric care" means any one or more of the following practices and procedures: (A) Measuring, examining, diagnosing, preventing, enhancing, managing or treating visual functions, defects of vision, muscular functions or anomalies, or other conditions or diseases of the visual system, the eye and ocular adnexae; (B) the prescribing, supplying, adjusting, fitting or adapting of ophthalmic devices and lenses, spectacles, prisms, orthoptic therapy, visual therapy, visual rehabilitation, oculomotor therapy, tinted lenses, filters, contact lenses, diagnosing, preventing, enhancing, managing, treating or relieving visual functions, defects of vision, muscular functions or anomalies, or diseases of the visual system, the eye and ocular adnexae; (C) the administration or prescription of any pharmaceutical agents related to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases of the eye and ocular adnexae, excluding nonemergency oral glaucoma agents but including controlled substances under schedules II, III, IV and V in accordance with section 21a-252, subject to the limitations of subsection (f) of this section relating to quantities dispensed, performance or ordering of procedures or laboratory tests related to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and diseases of the eye and ocular adnexae; these procedures include, but are not limited to, removal of superficial foreign bodies of the [corneal epithelium that have not perforated bowman's membrane,] cornea, ultrasound and topical, oral or injectable medication to counteract anaphylaxis or anaphylactic reaction; (D) the nonsurgical treatment of glaucoma consistent with subsection (k) of this section; or (E) the use of punctal plugs. The "practice of advanced optometric care" does not include surgical treatment of glaucoma, treatment of ocular cancer, treatment of infectious diseases of the retina, diagnosis and treatment of systemic diseases, use of therapeutic lasers, use of injectable medications other than to counteract anaphylaxis or anaphylactic reaction, surgical procedures other than noninvasive procedures, use of general anesthesia, use of intravenous injections, procedures that require the cutting or opening of the globe, enucleation of the eye, extraocular muscle surgery or any invasive procedure performed on the human body other than noninvasive procedures performed on the eye or ocular adnexae.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 20-127 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(6) "Noninvasive procedures" means procedures used to diagnose or treat a disease or abnormal condition of the human eye or eyelid excluding the lacrimal drainage system, lacrimal gland and structures posterior to the iris [and which exclude] but including the removal of superficial foreign bodies of the [corneal epithelium which have perforated bowman's membrane but including] cornea and provided the procedures do not require an incision or use of a laser.

Sec. 3. Subsection (h) of section 20-127 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(h) An optometrist shall refer any patient with iritis or a corneal ulcer to an ophthalmologist not later than seventy-two hours after commencement of initial treatment of such condition unless there is [documented substantial] improvement of such condition within such time period.

Sec. 4. Subsection (k) of section 20-127 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(k) An optometrist engaged in the practice of advanced optometric care and the nonsurgical treatment of glaucoma shall refer to an ophthalmologist or other physician, for evaluation, any glaucoma patient who (1) [presents with an intraocular pressure over thirty-five, (2)] presents with the presence of pediatric glaucoma [,] or closed angle glaucoma, [or secondary glaucoma] or [(3)] (2) does not [have documented substantial improvement] improve in response to treatment. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the emergency administration, prior to referral, of medication otherwise authorized under this section.

Sec. 5. Subsection (c) of section 20-128a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) The Commissioner of Public Health, with advice and assistance from the board, may make and enforce such regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to maintain proper professional and ethical standards for optometrists. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, requiring each optometrist licensed pursuant to this chapter to complete a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education during each registration period, defined as the twelve-month period for which a license has been renewed pursuant to section 19a-88 and is current and valid. The board may revoke or suspend licenses for cause.

Approved June 5, 2007