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Controversial Louisiana law would move ODs’ competencies toward MDs’ arena

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Baton Rouge, LA-Voting in the Louisiana House was pushed back to this week on HB 527, which would expand optometrists’ scope of practice to include many eye surgeries including some laser and incisional procedures.

HB 527 would legally redefine Louisiana optometrists as “optometric physicians.” Optometrists would be permitted to inject medication into a patient's eye or use lasers, scalpels, electric cauteries, or ionizing radiation to perform certain procedures. ODs still would be prohibited from administering general anesthesia or performing 16 specific surgeries such as retina laser procedures like LASIK.

Additionally, the bill would place sole jurisdiction of all ophthalmic surgery by optometrists in the hands of the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners.

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