Chapter 101

2007 -- H 5666 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED

Enacted 06/27/07

 

A N A C T

RELATING TO BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS - OPTOMETRISTS

          

     Introduced By: Representatives San Bento, Winfield, and Lewiss

     Date Introduced: February 28, 2007

 

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. Sections 5-35-1, 5-35-1.2, 5-35-2, 5-35-7, 5-35-8, 5-35-9, 5-35-14 and 5-

35-15 of the General Laws in Chapter 5-35 entitled "Optometrists" are hereby amended to read as

follows:

 

     5-35-1. "Optometry" and "optician" defined. -- (a) "Optometry" is defined as the

profession whose practitioners are engaged in the art and science of the evaluation of vision and

the examination of vision and the examination and refraction of the human eye which includes:

the employment of any objective or subjective means for the examination of the human eye or its

appendages; the measurement of the powers or range of human vision or the determination of the

accommodative and refractive powers of the human eye or the scope of its functions in general

and the adaptation of lenses, prisms, and/or frames for the aid of these; the prescribing, directing

the use of or administering ocular exercises, visual training, vision training, or orthopedics

orthoptics, and the use of any optical device in connection with these; the prescribing of contact

lenses for, or the fitting or adaptation of contact lenses to the human eye; the examination or

diagnosis of the human eye to ascertain the presence of abnormal conditions or functions; and the

topical application of pharmaceutical agents drugs to the eye to wit, mydriatics, miotics, and the

use of topical anesthetics; provided, that no optometrist licensed in this state shall treat by the use

of these drugs or attempt to perform any surgery and is used only for the purpose of detecting any

diseased or pathological condition of the eye, or the effects of any disease or pathological

condition of the eye. With respect to presently licensed optometrists, only presently licensed

optometrists who: (1) have satisfactorily completed a course in pharmacology, as it applies to

optometry, at an institution accredited by a regional or professional accreditation organization

which is recognized by the national commission on accreditation, with particular emphasis on the

topical application of drugs to the eye for the purposes of detecting any diseased or pathological

condition of the eye; or the effects of any disease or pathological condition of the eye, approved

by the board of examiners in optometry and the chief of pharmacy of the department of health;

and (2) have successfully completed an examination given by the board of examiners in

optometry in conjunction with the chief of pharmacy of the department of health, or (2)(i) have

successfully passed all sections of the national board of examiners in optometry (NBEO)

examination; and (ii) the treatment and management of ocular disease (TMOD) examination shall

be permitted to apply drugs pharmaceutical agents topically to the eye for the purpose of

detecting any diseased or pathological condition of the eye, or the effects of any disease or

pathological condition of the eye. The chief of pharmacy shall consult and advise the board of

examiners in optometry with respect to that portion of the examination dealing with

pharmacology.

      (b) An "optician" is defined as a person who neither practices nor professes to practice

optometry but who may grind ophthalmic lenses, fit spectacles and eyeglasses and may sell

spectacles and eyeglasses or lenses on prescription from either a licensed physician or licensed

optometrist, nor may an optician fit, sell, replace, or dispense contact lenses.

 

     5-35-1.2. Certification of optometrists in use of therapeutic pharmaceuticals. --

Certification of optometrists in use of therapeutic pharmaceuticals for those licensed to

January 1, 2007. -- (a) To be certified in the use of therapeutic pharmaceuticals, an optometrist

must:

     (1) Have graduated from an accredited college of optometry; and

     (2) Have satisfactorily passed, prior to commencing the clinical therapeutic training as

stated in subsection (b) of this section, the International Association of Boards of Optometry

Examination in "The Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease" as approved by the director;

and (3) Have successfully completed clinical therapeutic training with a board certified

ophthalmologist; and

     (4) Have satisfactorily passed the clinical competency examination administered by the

board.

     (b) Clinical therapeutic training shall consist of a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours of

direct therapeutic management of ocular disease, which training shall occur as part of any

internship requirement mandated under applicable rules and regulations. The seventy-two (72)

hours of clinical training may run concurrently with and shall be credited toward any internship

requirements mandated by law or regulation.

     (c) The board certified ophthalmologist referenced in subdivision (a)(3) of this section

shall be responsible for supervising the clinical training and shall be responsible to certify to the

board of examiners in optometry that the optometrist seeking licensure has satisfactorily

completed the previously referenced clinical training and that, during the training, participated in

the diagnosis, treatment and management of the following numbers of patients with the following

conditions:

     Patients with diseases of the eyelid 50

     Patients with diseases of the conjunctiva 50

     Patients with diseases of the cornea 50

     (d) The ratio of ophthalmologists to optometrists seeking certification for the clinical

training shall be preferably 1:2 and shall not exceed 1:4.

 

     5-35-2. Board of examiners for optometry Appointment of members. -- The

director of the department of health, with the approval of the governor, shall appoint a board of

examiners for optometry. The board shall consist of five (5) examiners, four (4) of whom shall be

residents of the state actually engaged in the practice of optometry for at least five (5) years prior

to their appointment and there shall be one public member appointed by the governor. No

member of the board shall be a stockholder, member of the faculty or of the board of trustees of

any school of optometry or financially interested in any manufacturing or wholesale optical firm.

 

     5-35-7. Eligibility to take examination for license to practice optometry. Eligibility

for license to practice optometry. -- Any citizen, or legal resident of the United States not less

than eighteen (18) years of age and of good moral character, who attended at least two (2) years

of an undergraduate college, and who also graduated from a school or college of optometry

approved by the division of professional regulation which maintains a course in optometry of not

less than four (4) years, is eligible to take the examination upon presenting satisfactory evidence

in the form of affidavits. for licensure.

 

     5-35-8. Application for examination and license. Application for examination and

license.-- Every person desiring to be licensed to practice optometry as provided in this chapter

shall file with the division of professional regulation, in the form prescribed by the division, an

application, verified by oath, presenting the facts which entitle the applicant to examination and a

license to practice optometry under this chapter.

 

     5-35-9. Fee for examination and license. Fee for license. -- Every applicant shall pay to

the division of professional regulation a fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) which shall accompany his or

her application for examination including a certificate of license.

 

     5-35-14. Issuance, registration, and display of certificate of license to practice

optometry. -- Every applicant who passes the examination provided for in section 5-35-10, and

who complies with the provisions of this chapter, shall receive from the director of the

department of health, under his or her seal, a certificate of license entitling him or her to practice

optometry in this state. This certificate shall be registered in a record book to be properly kept by

the division of professional regulation for that purpose, which shall be open to public inspection,

and a certified copy of that record shall be received as evidence in all courts of this state in the

trial of any case. Every person to whom a certificate of license is issued by the division shall keep

that certificate displayed in a conspicuous place in the office or place of business where that

person practices optometry and, whenever required, shall exhibit the certificate to any authorized

representative of the division.

 

     5-35-15. Renewal of license to practice optometry. -- Every licensed optometrist who

desires to continue the practice of optometry shall present satisfactory evidence to the board of

examiners for optometry and approved by rule or regulation by the board of examiners for

optometry that the practitioner has completed a prescribed course of continuing optometric

education or related health fields; and annually, in the month of January, shall pay to the division

of professional regulation a renewal fee of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) for which he

or she shall receive a renewal of his or her certificate of license for one year. In case of neglect or

refusal to pay, the division shall revoke or suspend that certificate; provided, that no certificate of

license shall be suspended or revoked without first giving sixty (60) days' notice in each case of

neglect or refusal, and within that period, any optometrist has the right to receive a renewal of

that certificate on payment of the renewal fee, together with an added penalty of fifty dollars

($50.00). Retirement from practice in this state for a period not exceeding five (5) years shall not

deprive the holder of a certificate of license of the right to renew a certificate upon the payment of

all annual renewal fees remaining unpaid, and a further fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) as an added

penalty. Any person holding a certificate issued by the director of public health prior to May 2,

1936, authorizing that person to practice optometry in this state, shall be entitled, upon

application to the division of professional regulation and the payment of the previously prescribed

renewal fee, to receive a certificate of license authorizing him or her to practice optometry in this

state.

 

     SECTION 2. Sections 5-35-6, 5-35-10, 5-35-11 and 5-35-12 of the General Laws in

Chapter 5-35 entitled "Optometrists" are hereby repealed

 

     5-35-6. License required for practice of optometry. -- Every person desiring to practice

optometry in the state shall take the examination in optometry provided for in this chapter and

shall fulfill the other requirements provided in this chapter.

 

     5-35-10. Scope of examination in optometry. -- The standard examination in optometry

shall consist of tests in practical, theoretical, and physiological optics, in practical and theoretical

optometry, the anatomy and physiology of the eye and in pathology as applied to optometry and

in pharmacology as it applies to optometry with particular emphasis on the topical application of

drugs, as defined in section 5-35-1, to the eye for the purpose of detecting any diseased or

pathological condition of the eye, or the effects of any disease or pathological condition of the

eye.

 

     5-35-11. Conduct of examinations in optometry. -- The division of professional

regulation shall hold at least two (2) examinations each year. In case of failure in any one subject

of the examination, the applicant, after the expiration of six (6) months and within two (2) years,

may take an examination in that subject upon payment to the division of an additional fee of fifty

dollars ($50.00) for each examination. The results of the examination are to be made known to

the applicant within sixty (60) days of the date of those examinations.

 

     5-35-12. Internship in optometry. -- Every applicant, after complying with all the

requirements of this chapter and after satisfactorily passing the written examinations in optometry

presented by the division of professional regulation, before receiving the prescribed practical

examination and certificate to practice optometry, shall be required to spend an internship in

optometry for a period of six (6) months under the supervision of a registered optometrist or a

licensed doctor of medicine practicing ophthalmology.

 

     SECTION 3 Chapter 5-35 of the General Laws entitled "Optometrists" is hereby

amended by adding thereto the following section:

 

     5-35-1.3. Certification of optometrists in use of therapeutic pharmaceuticals for

those seeking initial licensure on or after January 1, 2007. To be certified in the use of

therapeutic pharmaceuticals, an optometrist must:

     (1) Have graduated from an accredited college of optometry;

     (2) Have: (i) successfully passed all sections of the National Board of Examiners in

Optometry (NBEO) examination; and (ii) the Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease

(TMOD) examination.

 

     SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC02154/SUB A

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