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Inside this issue
  COA advocates for Medi-Cal rate increases  
  In November 2016, Californians voted to increase the state's tobacco tax, providing the opportunity to use some of the revenue to improve access to health care services by increasing Medi-Cal provider payment rates. California's proposed budget this year includes $546 million to increase Medi-Cal rates for physicians, dentists, and other providers. COA is advocating that some of that money be spent to increase rates for optometry services, which are among the lowest in the nation. Please contact Kara Corches at kcorches@coavision.org or (916) 266-5026 if you have a personal story of a patient who had problems finding an optometrist who participated in the Medi-Cal program.  

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  COA Legislative Day  
  Do you watch the popular TV series, Game of Thrones? If so, you don't want to miss this year's COA Legislative Day and the intro video we are putting together. Join David Snow and Daenerys Dexter on Wednesday, April 18 in uniting the North and the South together to ensure COA's legislative bill package does not fail!



Click here to register for COA's Leg Day today!
 

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  Problems at the pharmacy?  
  COA is working with CVS to update its systems to reflect the changes in optometric scope of practice under AB 443. COA has learned that some CVS locations are unable to fill a prescription by an optometrist for Tramadol and Latisse. If you have any problems filling a prescription at a pharmacy, please immediately contact COA's Kristine Shultz at kshultz@coavision.org or (916) 266-5027.  

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  Vision to Learn seeks follow-up care for kids  
  Last week, representatives from COA and Marshall B. Ketchum University met with Vision to Learn, a non-profit organization that provides free eye exams and glasses to kids in low-income communities. Vision to Learn started in Los Angeles in 2012 and now serves kids in 10 states and more than 200 cities. COA is seeking to help Vision to Learn find follow-up care for kids who have more serious eye problems. If you accept Medi-Cal and are interested in getting referrals from Vision to Learn, please contact Kristine Shultz at kshultz@coavision.org or (916) 266-5027.  

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  Retail optometry stores in OK seek ability to limit scope of practice  
  Walmart and other retailers have proposed a State Ballot Initiative in Oklahoma that would overrule laws deemed to be an impediment to the retail practice of optometry. Imbedded in the proposed constitutional change is language that would allow retailers, through an employee or lease contract, to limit the scope of practice of an optometrist. COA is very concerned about the precedent this could set and will keep you updated as this issue develops. If the retailers are successful in meeting the legal requirements for a ballot initiative, the proposal will be on Oklahoma's November 2018 ballot.  

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