Optometric Surgery: Poor Outcomes in Other States

There is absolutely no evidence – in Texas or other states – to support the notion that allowing Optometrists to expand their scope of services to surgery and independent glaucoma management would benefit patients.

In states that give optometrists these capabilities, the optometrists continue to cluster in metropolitan areas where they can see more patients. Optometrists are no different than other clinicians: They must have enough patients to cover their overhead expenses.

Proponents of HB 2340 make bold claims that there have been little or no bad outcomes in states that have lowered their medical and surgical standards. But lack of information and data does not equate safety. The truth is that there is no way for us to know the number of complaints received by optometry boards or how they resolve those complaints. According to the Association of Boards of Optometry, Inc at https://www.arbo.org/faq.php, there is no public access to the data.

In Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Louisiana, optometrists are performing surgical procedures in their offices, not in hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers. In stark contrast to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, there is no mandatory reporting entity for in-office bad outcomes. In-office bad outcomes reported to the optometry boards are only made available to the public at the discretion of those optometry boards.