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Inside this issue
  IMPORTANT: New Prescription Requirement Starts in October  
  Beginning October 2, 2018, optometrists and other health care practitioners must consult California's prescription drug monitoring database called "CURES" before prescribing a Schedule II, III or IV controlled substance.
 
The California Department of Justice (DOJ) provides information about CURES registration, user guides and frequently asked questions at www.oag.ca.gov/cures. For questions about CURES or training requests, contact DOJ staff at CURES@doj.ca.gov or (916) 210-3187.
 

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  Legislation update  
  SB 1386 by Senator Mike McGuire - This bill would expand the number of offices an optometrist can own to a maximum of 12. While we are pleased the author has placed a limit on the total number of offices allowed, COA is concerned that number may be too high, depending on how it is interpreted. COA is strongly opposed to the provisions of the bill that create new reporting requirements when an optometrist takes "adverse action" against an employee for not upholding the standard of care. We are also opposed to the provisions that would codify the standard of care and change the evidentiary standard from "clear and convincing" evidence to "know or should have known." COA will continue to push the author for amendments that delete these provisions. COA also opposes the May 23 amendment that eliminates a provision that makes it an "unfair trade practice" to employ or contract with an optometrist in any setting where the optometrist is subject to interference in the exercise of his or her professional judgment in treating a patient. This was removed by the author in response to opposition from retail optometry stores. The bill will likely be voted on by the full Senate over the next few days. If it passes, it still needs to move through the Assembly committee process, pass the full Assembly and be signed by the governor.
 
AB 1802 by Assembly Member Rudy Salas - This bill makes a technical amendment to the optometric scope of practice. COA is continuing negotiation meetings with ophthalmology and expects to amend the bill later in the year in a way that would expand the optometric scope of practice. This bill will be heard next in the Senate Business and Professions Committee before the end of June.
 
AB 3087 by Assembly Member Ash Kalra - This bill would have created a commission to set prices for all health care services. COA was part of a coalition of organizations opposed to the measure because it could have set reimbursement levels below the cost of providing care. The bill was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today and was held on suspense, which means it is effectively dead this year. Thank you to all who sent in opposition letters to this legislation! Your letters helped to prevent this bill from moving forward.
 

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  COA seeks patient examples  
  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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  Vote for Ed Hernandez for Lt. Governor  
  The primary election is June 5 but vote-by-mail ballots have already been mailed out. Remember to vote for Ed Hernandez for Lt. Governor and encourage your patients to do the same.

There is a new option for Californians who missed the May 21 deadline to register or update their voter registration for the June 5, 2018, Statewide Direct Primary. The new option, known as conditional voter registration, allows eligible citizens to register and vote on the same day, today through Election Day.
 

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  What we're clicking on  
  LA Times analysis of the propositions on the June 5 ballot
 
NPR talks about problems with vision insurance coverage
 
Review of optometry special report on private equity
 
What if EHRs allowed doctors to "subscribe" to your patients?
 

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