Optometry; scope of practice. (SB511)

Introduced By

Sen. David Suetterlein (R-Salem) with support from 13 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Chris Head (R-Roanoke), Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave), Del. Israel O'Quinn (R-Bristol), Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield), Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson), Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian), Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake), Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke), Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston), Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomac), Sen. Steve Newman (R-Forest), Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Springfield), Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Optometry; scope of practice. Provides that the practice of optometry includes the evaluation, examination, diagnosis, and treatment of abnormal or diseased conditions of the human eye and its adnexa by the use of medically recognized and appropriate devices, procedures, or technologies but that it does not include treatment through surgery, including laser surgery, other invasive modalities, or the use of injections, except for certain injections by TPA-certified optometrists and for the treatment of emergency cases of anaphylactic shock with intramuscular epinephrine. The bill authorizes a TPA-certified optometrist to administer therapeutic pharmaceutical agents by injection for the treatment of chalazia by means of an injection of a steroid included in Schedule VI controlled substances, provided that the optometrist provides written evidence that he has completed certain training requirements to the Board of Optometry. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/09/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18101601D
01/09/2018Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/25/2018Committee substitute printed 18105985D-S1
01/25/2018Reported from Education and Health with substitute (14-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
01/26/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (35-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2018Read second time
01/29/2018Reading of substitute waived
01/29/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18105985D-S1
01/29/2018Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB511S1
01/30/2018Read third time and passed Senate (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2018Placed on Calendar
02/05/2018Read first time
02/05/2018Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
02/08/2018Impact statement from VDH (SB511S1)
02/15/2018Reported from Health, Welfare and Institutions with amendments (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2018Read second time
02/20/2018Read third time
02/20/2018Committee amendments agreed to
02/20/2018Engrossed by House as amended
02/20/2018Passed House with amendments BLOCK VOTE (100-Y 0-N)
02/20/2018VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (100-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2018House amendments agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2018Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB511ER)
02/26/2018Impact statement from VDH (SB511ER)
02/26/2018Signed by Speaker
02/28/2018Signed by President
03/02/2018Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 2, 2018
03/02/2018G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 9, 2018
03/09/2018G Approved by Governor-Chapter 280 (effective 7/1/18)
03/09/2018G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0280)


william shaheen writes:

What is the point of this legislation? A growing number of optometry boards across the country have secured the autonomy to safely and successfully regulate their own profession in the same way tha the allopathic and osteopathic medical boards have done.
This particular legislation appears to allow the treatment of only two additional conditions: anaphylaxis and chalzion. These are just two of many hundreds of different conditions these doctors encounter and treat in other states.
The wording of this legislation is silly and a WASTE of time and public resources. If it is a compromise bill then the only thing it seems to have accomplished is to allow organized medicine to block patient care and require patients to continue seeking care exclusively through them.
Since the safety and efficacy evidence of optometry has been proven over the years in many other states we must come to the conclusion that organized medicine has only one interest. That interest is to keep the flow of patients, you and me, moving through their offices. Absolute patient control appears to be pretty lucrative but not very altruistic.