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Inside this issue
  New Prop 65 warning posters required by August 30  
New regulations take effect on August 30 revising Prop 65 warning signs for businesses with 10 or more employees (including doctors). Be on the lookout for notices from manufacturers informing you of any Prop 65 chemicals that may be in their products, such as frames and lenses.

Below are some resources to help you meet the requirements that apply to optometric practices:
If you are unsure whether you are compliant, COA highly recommends that you discuss your individual situation with your legal counsel. COA provides its members with a free half-hour of legal services per month; please click here for more information.


  Ensuring children's success in school starts with comprehensive eye exams  

This back-to-school season is an opportunity to educate the public about the crucial role of comprehensive eye exams in our students' success. COA has made it easy for you to be a part of our "Back-to-School" social media kickoff:

1) Share these graphics and sample post(s) on your professional or personal social media accounts.  

Sample Post A:

You get your children pencils and backpacks for back-to-school, but what about an eye exam? That's right - 80% of learning happens through the eyes, so seeing the blackboard or textbook clearly is crucial to learning. Make your child's back-to-school eye appointment now! [insert phone #]

Sample Post B:

Did you know? Eye doctors recommend yearly exams so kids can read - and succeed! In California, eye exams and glasses for children are a covered benefit under private insurance and Medi-Cal plans. Don't delay - make your child's back-to-school eye exam appointment today! [Insert phone number]

2) Create your own 15-30 second video for COA's back-to-school social media outreach. Here's how:

Make a quick video on your phone (no more than 30 seconds). Have someone in your office help keep the camera steady and look for good lighting. For "extra credit" wear your white coat and have the backdrop of eyeglass frames or exam equipment if possible. 

Here are is a sample script for what to include in your video:

"Hi, I'm ______, an optometrist from __________.  Many times I see young patients who come in for an exam after their schoolwork has suffered from poor vision. This year, California eye doctors are encouraging parents to schedule a back-to-school eye exam so students can be ready to learn on day one. A pair of glasses can transform learning. And, good news - both eye exams and glasses for children are covered by private insurance and Medi-Cal! This year let's make sure all our children are ready to see clearly, read and succeed!

Don't forget to let us know how these graphics and videos helped your practice! Did they help inform patients about the need for comprehensive eye exams? Did you see an increase in scheduled back-to-school eye exams? Email Kara Corches with your feedback.



  Legislation update  
  We are midway through the last week of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session and several optometry-related bills are still in play:

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. This bill has passed the Legislature and has been sent to the governor. If signed, the bill takes effect January 1, 2019. Click here for COA's fact sheet for more information.

Immunization training - SB 762 by Senator Ed Hernandez, OD, 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. This bill has passed the Legislature and has been sent to the governor. If signed, the bill would take effect immediately.

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 recoup from fraudulent claims from 36 months down to just 12 months. After securing amendments that protect doctors, COA has adopted a "neutral" position on the bill. This bill will be voted on by the full Assembly in the next few days.


  Ed Hernandez for Lieutenant Governor  
  Optometry's champion in California, Senator Ed Hernandez, OD, is running for lieutenant governor and he needs your support. New polling has Senator Hernandez winning by a double digit margin in November if he has the funds to get his message out to voters. COA encourages you to attend one of his upcoming fundraising events in Southern California:
  • Thursday, September 6, 2018, with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra at Tamayo Restaurant and Gallery in Los Angeles. Click here for more information or to RSVP.
  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018, with Dr. Robert Gordon and the California Optometric Association in Upland, California. Click here for more information or to RSVP.
Please donate to Senator Hernandez if you are not able to attend a fundraiser event. Even a small contribution adds to his total number of "supporters" and helps demonstrate his broad appeal to voters across California. Click here to donate now.


  What we're clicking on  
  Opternative's 'doctor locator' draws questions

AI system able to identify eye diseases and make referrals
California's likely next governor tamps down expectations for single payer
Changes to Medicare Advantage