The Texas Optometry Board regulates the practice of optometry in Texas and is tasked with establishing procedures and standards for licensure. The Board recently adopted new rules for Texas optometrists, which will soon come into effect.
It is important to stay abreast of new laws and rule amendments. As a licensed optometrists, you have a duty to comply with all Board rules, regulations, and other applicable laws. Even a single complaint for an alleged violation can harm your reputation and career. If you receive a complaint notice from the Board, we urge you to contact an experienced Optometrist License Defense Attorney immediately so you can mount a solid defense from the start.
The following are a few of the recently enacted Texas statutes and Board rules that will affect optometrists.
License Revocation
Texas House Bill 1899 relates to the revocation or denial of certain health care professional licenses. HB 1899 requires the Texas Optometry Board to revoke a license if the optometrist is convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for a crime which requires registration as a sex offender, or a felony offense involving the use or threat of force, aggravated assault, sexual assault, or injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual if committed in the course of providing services within the scope of the license and the victim was a patient. Tex. Occ. Code §108.053.
Registration with the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program
Optometric Glaucoma Specialists licensed in Texas are required to access the Prescription Monitoring Program database when prescribing controlled substances, beginning on March 1, 2020. The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) collects prescription data on all Schedule II through V controlled substances dispensed by a pharmacy in Texas and to a Texas resident from a pharmacy located in another state.
It is necessary to register with the Prescription Monitoring Program at the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Registration can be completed online starting here.
Under Board rules, an optometric glaucoma specialist may administer or prescribe a “three-day supply of any analgesic identified in Schedules III. IV, and V” without first consulting the PMP. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §280.10(d)(1)(D).
The Board is required to check information in the PMP and is authorized to initiate disciplinary action if the prescriber is engaging in prescribing conduct that violates state law. The Board may “open a complaint against an optometric glaucoma specialist if the Board finds evidence during a periodic check” of the PMP that the licensee “is engaging in potentially harmful prescribing patterns or practices may be occurring.” 22 Tex. Admin. Code §280.10(g)(2).
Changes to Continuing Education Requirements
Optometrists are required to complete 16 hours of continuing education (CE) per calendar year. Under the amended CE rule, at least 12 of those 16 hours must be in the diagnosis or treatment of ocular disease. 22 Tex. Admin Code. §275.1(a).
The increase from six to 12 diagnostic/therapeutic hours begins with 2021 license renewals.
There are no changes for the CE requirements to renew a license in 2020; however, the new rule requiring 12 diagnosis or treatment of ocular disease hours will need to be considered for CE obtained in 2020 for 2021 renewal.
Optometrist License Defense
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the Texas Optometry Board, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced Optometry Board license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the Board’s complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.
Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.
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