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Inside this issue
  Optometry board advocates elimination of branch office law  
  The California State Board of Optometry (SBO) is planning legislation to eliminate the branch office law that limits optometrists to no more than two offices. The SBO feels the limit is outdated and has found no reason to maintain the limit. COA plans to debate this issue at its 2018 House of Delegates meeting on Saturday, February 10, 2018 and develop recommendations to take to the SBO. All COA members are welcome to attend and participate through their society representatives. For more information, click here.  

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  Back by popular demand: Leg Day Sacramento  
  Come to COA's Legislative Day on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Sacramento and celebrate the new scope of practice legislation with us! This year's Leg Day will be totally different than anything you have ever attended. Want to increase your media savvy and develop leadership skills? Attendees will participate in breakout sessions designed to strengthen their ability to advocate for the optometric profession. Be sure to attend this year's COA Legislative Day to network and find new tools that can also help you build your practice. Register now!  

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  Help COA fight remote refractions - patient examples still needed  
  COA continues to seek patient examples that we can use in our fight to educate the public about the dangers of online or remote refraction. If you have a patient between 18 and 50 who came to you asymptomatic, but had a life- or sight-threatening condition that you were able to detect during your exam, please report the case to COA. We need your help to collect these patient examples to help COA demonstrate the risks to consumers, the media and elected officials. Your patient need not have received an online refraction to submit your example.

COA has also developed a video and published other messages aimed at the public about online exams via social media. Feel free to share this video on social media with your friends and patients.
 

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  ADA lawsuit abuse  
  California adopted some reforms two years ago to curb predatory disability lawsuits but, as evidenced by more proposals at both the state and federal levels, the problem remains.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted to ensure access for the disabled to public accommodations, but too often it has been abused to shake down businesses for minor violations that do not actually impede access at all.

In a positive step two years ago, California enacted SB 269 which gives small businesses some time to fix certain minor or technical ADA violations, though it was not comprehensive and is not enough to put a stop to predatory ADA lawsuits.

AB 913 was introduced last year to give the courts more leeway to bar "extremely high-frequency litigants" who file more than 15 disability access lawsuits within a year from proceeding with their claims, but it was shot down by the Assembly Judiciary Committee in late March. COA was in strong support of the bill.

To prevent an ADA lawsuit, you should proactively ensure your office is in compliance. For more information, review COA's fact sheet, "Is Your Optometric Facility ADA Compliant?"
 

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  Hubble Contacts  
  COA is concerned that Hubble Contacts is allegedly violating state and federal law by selling contact lenses without a prescription. COA has filed a complaint with the State Board of Optometry and we urge you to do the same. Here is a link to the webpage where you can file a complaint online. Under the drop down menu for "Board," choose "California State Board of Optometry." Under "License type" choose "Nonresident contact lens seller."
We also encourage you to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To report this violation to the FTC, please follow the directions below:
  • Click on: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/GettingStarted#crnt.
  • Click "Other" on the bottom left of the screen.
  • Under the "Other" menu, click "Health and  Fitness," the last item.
  • On the next page, click "Other/Not Applicable."
  • Click the first selection, "Eyeglasses or Contact Lens."
  • Select the options that match your complaint until completed.
 

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  Did you know?  
  COA members are entitled to the following member benefits offering a large return on your dues investment:  

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