Mississippi governor passes law allowing ODs to perform laser procedure
On March 17, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves approved a bill that included amendments to expand the scope of practice for optometrists in the state, including the ability to prescribe certain medications and perform specific procedures.
Specifically, House Bill 1302 provides improved pharmaceutical authority that includes oral steroids; grants optometrists injectable authority; and allows for excision and removal of chalazion, removal of noncancerous growths in and around the eyelid, and laser capsulotomies.
Primary Care Optometry News previously spoke with Ryan Wally, OD, legislative chair for the Mississippi Optometric Association, who noted that optometrists practice in 72 of the state’s 82 counties and are the primary providers of eye care statewide.
“This bill improves access to care for Mississippians all across the state by allowing optometrists to practice closer to the level of their training,” Wally said. “Optometrists will have to participate in at least 32 hours of coursework regarding the new procedures. Once completed, they will then have to take a written examination and clinical skills assessment administered by the board. Each OD will also be required to complete at least 8 hours of preceptorship with an ophthalmologist or optometrist licensed to perform these procedures.”
Following up with Wally, he said that the new law will take effect on July 1, 2021, and the state board of optometry is currently working with the association to provide necessary training and certification, which should be completed by July 10, 2021.