Louisiana Withdraws Bill to Permit Optometrists to Perform Eye Surgery

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BATON ROUGE, La.—On May 2, Louisiana Republican Representative Frank Hoffmann withdrew House Bill 527, which would have expanded the scope of practice for optometrists, allowing them to administer medication by injection as well as perform many eye surgeries, including several eye laser and incisional procedures.

Introduced last month, the bill had already passed the  Louisiana House Committee on Health and Welfare, by a vote of 12-7, on April 17, but its scheduled vote by the Louisiana House of Representatives on April 24 was then postponed, as reported by VMail, April 26. 

The bill will not be reintroduced for this session, according to James D. Sandefur, OD, executive director of the Optometry Association of Louisiana. “We’re sorry that the author decided to withdraw it and that we weren’t successful in bringing increased access to improved eyecare to the people of Louisiana,” he told VMail. “We’ll have to do some thinking and determine what our course of action will be.”