Under New Bill Massachusetts ODs Can Finally Provide Glaucoma Treatments

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Optometrists in Massachusetts are finally able to provide glaucoma treatments, thanks to a multifaceted, telehealth reform bill that was signed into law on New Year’s Day by Gov. Charlie Baker. The move comes after a nearly two decades-long push by the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists and others to modernize the state’s scope of practice. The news was first reported by AOA News. The bill, S.2984, also mandates payment of some telehealth services and establishes some parities for primary care and chronic care services.

Doctors of optometry in Massachusetts became the last ones in the country to gain expanded scope for glaucoma and class III, IV, V and VI pharmaceuticals. The commonwealth’s prescriptive scope law had made it the only state in the nation to deny ODs authority for glaucoma treatments as organized medical groups routinely imposed barriers to patients receiving contemporary optometric care.