ASCRS members in Louisiana are asked to call Governor Bobby Jindal’s office and urge him to veto H.B. 1065 , a bill that would authorize Louisiana optometrists to perform scalpel and laser surgery. The Louisiana House and Senate passed HB 1065 earlier this month. Lawmakers approved the bill despite aggressive advocacy efforts by the ophthalmic community. The physician coalition has been educating the lawmakers about the dangers posed by optometric surgery since January.
HB 1065 authorizes optometrists to:
Perform scalpel eyelid surgeries on lesions, cysts and chalazia; and
Perform glaucoma laser surgery (SLT and ALT) and YAG capsulotomy.
In addition, the bill removes the authority of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to set ophthalmic-surgery standards that protect patients.
Louisiana bill has nationwide implications for patient safety
HB 1065 has implications for ophthalmologists across the United States. If enacted, it provides optometrists with another foothold in their nationwide goal for surgery privileges. Optometrists in Kentucky and Oklahoma already have scalpel and laser surgery authority.
Take Action Now!
Gov. Jindal has 10 days to veto this bill or sign it into law. If he does not act within that time, HB 1065 automatically becomes law.
Every member is encouraged to contact Gov. Jindal today . Call him at 225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121. Ask the governor to veto HB 1065. Tell him:
HB 1065 removes patient safety and surgical standards provided by the Board of Medical Examiners.
A 32-hour surgery “training” course proposed by the Board of Optometry does not make a trained surgeon.
If you need assistance or further information, please contact Nancey McCann, director of government relations, at 703-591-2220.