The OAO has learned of proposed legislation by State Representative Anne Gonzales which alters the way licensed opticians may dispense contact lenses.
In summary by Rep. Gonzales:
Currently the profession of optical dispensing is split in to three types of licenses, one that may dispense glasses, one that may dispense contact lenses and one that may dispense either. The way that the law is written now, a licensed spectacle dispensing optician may not even give a customer a pair of pre-boxed contact lenses. The bill permits a licensed spectacle dispensing optician to dispense contact lenses if the only action necessary is to match the description on the packaging with a written prescription.
The OAO opposes any such legislation that negatively affects the opticianry industry and the well being of the eyewear buying public. It is essential that opticians be licensed to dispense contact lenses to protect the public that purchases them.
An Interested Party meeting regarding HB 258 was held January 21 at the Statehouse in Columbus. The bill, allowing Spectacle Licensed Opticians to dispense contact lenses under certain circumstances, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Medicaid, Health and Human Services.
State Senator Dave Burke, Vice Chair of the committee, held the meeting which was comprised of representatives from the OAO, Ohio Optical Dispensers Board, Ohio Optometric Association, Ohio Ophthalmological Society, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, National Association of Optometrists and Opticians, and Luxottica.
After hearing insightful and impassioned pleas from OAO and OODB representatives, Sen. Burke maintained he has seen no "outrage” or "revolt” from opticians about this issue. All letters previously submitted by OAO members to members of the House of Representatives and testimony given in the House Committee on Health and Aging will be submitted to Sen. Burke and members of the Senate Committee on Medicaid, Health and Human Services.