Share this on:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Inside this issue
  Legislation update  
  Branch office - SB 1386 by Senator Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, is set for hearing on June 19 in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. After months of negotiations, COA has reached agreement with the author to expand the number of offices an optometrist or a group of optometrists can own to a maximum of 11 offices. The author has agreed to also make the following changes: 1) remove the proposed standard of care and reporting requirement for firing an employee; and 2) remove the new evidentiary standard that would make it easier for the State Board of Optometry (SBO) to take disciplinary action against optometrists. Based on these amendments, COA has taken a neutral position on the bill. COA opposed the original version of SB 1386, which was sponsored by the SBO to allow optometrists to own or operate an unlimited number of offices. If approved by the Legislature and governor, the bill would take effect January 1, 2019.

Immunization training - SB 762 by Senator Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, would allow the immunization training program for optometrists to be endorsed by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. COA sponsored this bill to allow optometrists to take immunization training courses developed by the pharmacy profession. Successful completion of the coursework will allow ODs to administer the flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines added to the profession's scope of practice by COA-supported AB 443. This bill will be heard by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.

Scope of practice expansion - AB 1802 by Assembly Member Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, awaits referral to the Senate Business and Professions Committee. This bill will was recently amended to make a technical change in the law so it can continue to move forward through the legislative process. COA is continuing negotiating meetings with ophthalmology and anticipates amending the bill later in the year in a way that would expand the optometric scope of practice. This bill will be heard before the end of June.

Health care price fixing - AB 3087 by Assembly Member Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will not move forward this year. This bill would create a commission to set prices for all health care services. The author plans to continue to develop this legislation that is intended to reign in health care costs.

Medical record retention - SB 1238 by Senator Richard Roth, D-Riverside, is set for hearing in the Assembly Health Committee on June 19. The bill would require physicians, podiatrists, dentists, optometrists and chiropractors to provide patients with a notice of their rights to access and inspect their medical records and the retention period by the provider of those records. Further, this bill mandates that the health care provider notify each patient of the upcoming destruction of their medical record. COA is opposed to this bill because it creates an undue and unnecessary burden on health care providers.


  Ed Hernandez for lieutenant governor  
  COA congratulates Senator Ed Hernandez, OD, on his advancement to California's general election. While he came in second place, Senator Hernandez is well positioned to win in November. Here are the results:
Eleni Kounalakis - 23.7%
Ed Hernandez - 20.5%
Eight other candidates combined - 55.8%

Groups supporting Hernandez' main opponent, Eleni Kounalakis, spent $10 million compared to $2 million by Hernandez. Yet she came in first by only 3.2 percentage points. Senator Hernandez has union support and personally raised the vast majority of his money. Most of the spending in support of Kounalakis was donated by her father, Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos.

The California Medical Association (CMA) spent $100,000 against Senator Hernandez in this race. Involvement of CMA in this race is a testament to what is at stake. If Senator Hernandez wins, he will be one step away from the governorship. Having an optometrist as governor would be a game changer for the profession of optometry in California.

COA urges you to click here to donate to Senator Ed Hernandez in his race for lieutenant governor.


  Brian Jones for Senate  
  Dr. Robert Grazian is holding a fundraiser for former Assembly Member Brian Jones in Santee, California. Brian Jones has been a long-time supporter of optometry and is seeking election to the 38th Senate District which includes part of San Diego. The event is on July 13, 2018, beginning at 6:00 pm. Sponsorships begin at $500 and individual tickets are $100. Unable to attend? Click here to contribute.

Please RSVP to Julie Andrade at (916) 266-5031 or

Please Make Checks Payable to:
Brian Jones for Senate 2018
ID #1374146
PO Box 712725, Santee, CA 92072


  What we're clicking on  
  Optometry Times on how AI will transform optometry

COA's new fact sheet about the new independent contractor rules that impacts many ODs

List of approved suppliers for tamper-resistant Rx pads

Economist rationalizes lower doctor fees under single payer system