Friday, September 11, 2009

Proposed Regulations On Glaucoma Certification For Optometrists

The California State Board of Optometry is currently considering draft regulations regarding glaucoma certification for optometrists. These regulations stem from SB 1406, 2008 legislation that mandated development of new certification requirements for optometrists who want to medically treat primary open-angle, exfoliative, and pigmentary glaucoma. The Board has until January 1, 2010 to implement the glaucoma certification requirements via regulations.

Signed into law last September and effective this year, SB 1406 grants optometrists the ability to diagnose and treat patients independently with glaucoma as well as greater prescriptive authority.

The California State Board of Optometry has a link for frequently asked questions regarding glaucoma certification:

The standards recommended by OPES and approved by the State Board of Optometry allow those who graduate from an accredited school or college of optometry after May 1, 2008 to be glaucoma certified without any additional course or patient case management requirements. This is consistent with the Legislature’s intent with SB 1406, reflecting new graduates’ training in all aspects of glaucoma diagnosis and management.

Pre-May 1, 2000 optometric graduates will be required to take a 24-hour course in the diagnosis, pharmacological, and other treatment and management of glaucoma. All pre-2008 graduates also will be required to treat or manage 25 patient cases for one year, which can be fulfilled under the guidance of an ophthalmologist or an optometrist who is already glaucoma certified. Credit for 15 patient cases may be met via a 16-hour advance case management course or grand-rounds program.

Any questions or comments should be directed to: Tracy Green is a principal at Green and Associates. They focus their practice on the representation of professionals, particularly health care professionals including optometrists. Their website is:


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