Panel Approves Change In Optometrist Certification

Dec 6, 2017
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow the Florida Board of Optometry to offer practical and written “certification” examinations to applicants.

'Eyeball Wars' Flare Again In Capitol

Mar 16, 2017
mencsikcsaba / Flickr

Four years ago, House and Senate leaders thought they had finally settled a decade-old turf battle between the state's optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Bill Would Permit Optometrists To Perform Surgery

Feb 24, 2017
Jonny Hawkins

A state senator Thursday proposed a bill that would allow optometrists to perform surgical procedures, rekindling a long-running political battle between optometrists and ophthalmologists.

The Florida Legislature dealt with a number of health care bills this session.  See the Florida Current for a roundup of the issues, including Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, optometrist vs. ophthalmologist prescribing powers and a new Medicaid billing formula for hospitals.  

The Florida Current

A 30-year fight between optometrists and ophthalmologists could end with the non-physicians winning the ability to prescribe certain oral medications, the Florida Current reports. Compromises in an amended Senate bill passed by the Appropriations Committee could satisfy both sides. The House companion bill could pass as early as today. 

Medicaid expansion continues to be a hot topic in Tallahassee as House Republicans look to Arkansas, where the state has permission to use federal funds to buy private policies for uninsured adults on the exchange.  But the Arkansas model costs 50 percent more, as the Times/Herald Bureau reports.

Lawmakers are in Tallahassee today to start the 2013 Legislative session, which will take up a slew of health issues, the Miami Herald reports.

In addition to Medicaid expansion, lawmakers will also consider:

Florida Current

Two kinds of eye doctors -- optometrists and ophthalmologists -- have returned to the Legislature to resume their 30-year-old turf war, which has generated a lot of heat and campaign contributions.