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Inside this issue
  Legislation update  
  The California Legislature returned from its summer break this week with only three weeks left in this year's Legislative Session to act on hundreds of bills. Below is a list of the major legislative issues COA is working on:

Branch office - The State Board of Optometry sponsored SB 1386 by Senator Mike McGuire that would allow optometrists to own up to 11 offices. Right now, optometrists can only have two offices. If signed into law, the bill takes effect January 1, 2019. Click here for COA's fact sheet for more information.

Immunization training - COA's legislation to establish a path for immunization training passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday and is close to becoming law. The bill, SB 762 by Senator Ed Hernandez, 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 optometrists to administer the flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines to adults.

Fraud investigation procedures - VSP has sponsored AB 1092 by Assembly Member Ken Cooley in order to give VSP authority to continue its existing audit practices for suspected fraudulent claims. COA had experts review this bill and advocate for amendments to require use of an independent and verifiable statistical methodology that protects optometrists from unfair practices relative to fraud investigations. The bill also reduces the time window VSP can go back to review old claims from 36 months down to just 12 months. After securing amendments that protect doctors, COA has adopted a "neutral" position on the bill.  

If you have questions or concerns regarding any of these proposals, contact COA's Governmental Affairs Director Kristine Shultz at (916) 266-5027.
 

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  Deadline is approaching for Prop 65 new warning language  
  California has made changes to its Proposition 65 warning language requirements and these changes are mandatory as of August 31, 2018. Below are some resources to help you meet the new requirements that apply to optometric practices with ten or more employees.  

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  COA announces fundraising campaign for Senator Ed Hernandez  
  COA encourages you to support Senator Ed Hernandez for lieutenant governor. Senator Hernandez has led the charge for expanded opportunities for optometrists including scope expansion, the pediatric mandate for comprehensive eye exams and glasses coverage by all health plans. He also is the only lawmaker in California that has authored legislation that has actually reduced drug prices in California..

As a result of his past advocacy for optometry rights, the California Medical Association (CMA) spent $100,000 against Senator Hernandez in the June Primary and is posed to spend even more in the General Election. Involvement of CMA is a testament to what is at stake. If Senator Hernandez wins, he will be one step away from the governorship. Having "one of our own" as governor would be a game changer for the optometric profession in California.

COA is holding a fundraising event for Senator Hernandez in Southern California on Saturday, September 29 from 4 - 7pm. Come celebrate with us! Sponsorships are $500 and individual tickets are $100. RSVP by clicking here. Even if you can't attend our event, COA urges you to click here to donate to Senator Ed Hernandez in his race for lieutenant governor. A $100 contribution is standard, but contributions as low as $25 help build Senator Hernandez' fundraising base. Also be sure to encourage your friends, family and patients to vote for Dr. Ed Hernandez for lieutenant governor on Tuesday, November 6.
 

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  Upcoming COA events  
  Over the next few months, COA board members and staff will be making brief "Town Hall" presentations during local society CE events to provide important updates and get member input. Below is a list of all "Town Hall" meetings and other upcoming COA events:

August 22, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for San Mateo County Optometric Society
August 26, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for Los Angeles County Optometric Society
August 29, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for San Gabriel Valley Optometric Society
September 4, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for San Francisco Optometric Society
September 18, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for Sacramento Valley Optometric Society
September 25, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for Rio Hondo Optometric Society
October 9, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for Tulare Kings Optometric Society
October 16, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for Monterey Bay Optometric Society
October 18, 2018 - "Town Hall" meeting for South Bay Optometric Society
November 16-18, 2018 - COA Monterey Symposium
March 1-2, 2019 - COA House of Delegates
April 10, 2019 - COA Legislative Day in Sacramento
 

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  DEA scam alert  
  COA has received reports from members who have received  phone calls from con artists asking for vital, confidential information, including the optometrist's DEA number, social security number and credit card data. Please be aware that no DEA agent will ever contact you by telephone to demand this information or any form of payment. If you receive a call like this, hang up and and immediately report the threat using the DEA's online form.  

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  What we're clicking on  
 

A Wall Street Journal column argues that Warby Parker could disrupt health care

Determining optometry's role in health care reform (with a mention of California)

State Board of Optometry seeks an Executive Officer

Ballot propositions in California on the ballot in November.

 

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