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Inside this issue
  Price fixing legislation introduced  
  On Monday, Assembly Member Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, introduced AB 3087 to create a government commission that would set provider fees for all health care services for all payers. This bill is backed by unions that seek to reduce health care costs.

In addition to setting fees, the commission is directed to create a global cap for total health care expenditures based on gross state product. Many in the provider community are concerned this could force payment rates below the cost of providing care in some instances. The expenses for the newly created commission would be paid for by provider licensure fees, yet the commission has no provider representation and the "provider advisory committee" has no optometrist represented.

AB 3087 will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on April 24. Please send a message in opposition to this bill today.


  Branch office legislation set for hearing  
  SB 1386 by Senator Mike McGuire is set for hearing on April 23 in Senate Business and Professions Committee.

SB 1386 is expected to be amended to repeal current law that limits optometrists to two offices. COA is concerned that the bill would encourage the formation of large chain optometry stores at the expense of small businesses. COA has offered amendments that would repeal the two office limit but also ensure the owner doctors have some involvement and responsibility for each practice besides just an investment interest.

We have learned that the author plans on amending the bill but we have not seen the amendments and do not know if they will adequately address our concerns. COA will keep you updated on any new developments.


  COA Legislative Day  
  COA's annual Legislative Day in Sacramento is Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Register now to meet with your lawmakers to discuss the important issues facing the optometric profession. Talking points and meeting schedules are now available on our new VoterVoice app.

1. Search for "votervoice" (one word) in your App store, or you can use one of these links:

   Google Play


2. After you have downloaded the App, you will be prompted to enter your email address. A verification code will be sent to that email account.

3. After verifying your email, you will be brought to a 'Find Association' page. Start typing in 'California Optometric Association' and an option for 'California Optometric Association' will appear directly below where you were typing. Click/touch that full name & you'll then have access to our new mobile app.


  State Board of Optometry meeting in San Francisco  
  The State Board of Optometry will be meeting in San Francisco on April 20 to discuss several issues including its sponsored legislation to eliminate the branch office law. Attendance is open to the public. Click here for a link to the agenda.  


  COA continues to push for optometry integration  
  This month, COA held two meetings to advance optometry integration in the healthcare delivery system. The first meeting was with the president of Charles Drew University, representatives from LA Care and the Los Angeles association of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). This meeting was truly a brainstorming session for health care policy leaders to identify ways to collaborate to improve diabetes care in underserved communities. There was discussion around how optometry can be better integrated into the entire health care system. We also talked with the association for FQHCs about adding optometry into more sites in Los Angeles County. They had some ideas and wanted to continue conversations with us about doing so.

The second meeting was with America's Physician Groups. This association represents most of the physician groups and IPA's in California and nationally. COA gave a presentation showing many medical groups are not meeting the minimum performance levels related to diabetes, especially when it comes to eye exams for diabetics. The IPAs at the table brought up, on their own, that integrating optometry via direct contracting with the IPA/medical group is desirable as it could close gaps in care for diabetics. COA will be following up to provide more information to these organizations.

COA is excited about the positive momentum from these two meetings. COA will continue to meet with similar organizations to elevate COA's position among health care policy leaders and underscore optometry's vital role in the entire health care delivery system.


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