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Introduced Version House Bill 2978 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
hb2978 intr
H. B. 2978


(By Delegates Kominar, Swartzmiller, Varner,


Perdue, Eldridge, Perry, Campbell, Stephens,


Cowles and J. Miller)

[Introduced March 6, 2009; referred to the

Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]



A BILL to repeal §30-8-2a and §30-8-2b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §30-8-2 and §30-8-3 of said code, all relating to the practice of optometry; repealing existing provisions regarding prescriptive and expanded prescriptive authority; authorizing certain surgical procedures included in the curriculum of accredited schools of optometry, the dispensing of optical lenses, prescriptive drugs and other practice included in the curriculum of accredited schools of optometry or approved continuing education course; and requiring the West Virginia Board of Optometry to promulgate legislative rules establishing the limitation of practice and drug formularies for optometrists in this state.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §30-8-2a and §30-8-2b of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; and that §30-8-2 and §30-8-3 of said code
be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. OPTOMETRISTS.
§30-8-2. Practice of optometry defined.
(a) Any one or any combination of the following practices shall constitute the practice of optometry:
(a) The examination of the human eye, with or without the use of drugs, prescribable for the human eye which drugs may be used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, for topical application to the anterior segment of the human eye and, by any method other than surgery, to diagnose, treat or refer for consultation or treatment any abnormal condition of the human eye or its appendages;
(1) The examination of the human eye to diagnose, treat or refer for consultation or treatment any abnormal condition of the human eye or its appendages, with or without the use of approved drugs prescribed for the human eye.
(b) (2) The employment or administration without the use of surgery of any instrument, device, method or diagnostic or therapeutic drug approved by the West Virginia Board of Optometry and intended for the purpose of investigating, examining, treating, diagnosing, improving or correcting any visual defect or abnormal condition of the human eye or its appendages;
(c) (3) The prescribing, fitting, dispensing, application, replacement, duplication or alteration of lenses, prisms, contact lenses, including plano contact lenses, orthoptics, vision training, vision rehabilitation, diagnostic or therapeutic drugs approved by the West Virginia Board of Optometry, or the furnishing or providing of any prosthetic device or any other method other than surgery necessary to correct or relieve any defects or abnormal conditions of the human eye or its appendages;
(4) The performance of any clinical practice necessary to treat, correct or relieve any defects or abnormal conditions of the human eye or its appendages for which the optometrist has been trained through the curriculum of an accredited school of optometry accepted by the West Virginia Board of Optometry or through a continuing education course from an accredited school or program accepted by the West Virginia Board of Optometry: Provided, That the practice of optometry does not include any procedures specifically prohibited by the board through legislative rules promulgated in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code; and
(5) The performance or ordering of appropriate laboratory and diagnostic tests.
(d) (b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit an optometrist to perform surgery, use drugs by injection perform any procedure or to use dispense, adminster or prescribe any drug for other than the specific purposes authorized by this article.
§30-8-3. Board of optometry; duties; disposition of moneys collected; compensation and expenses.

(a) There shall be a state board of examiners in optometry, known as the "West Virginia Board of Optometry," which shall consist of five optometrists and two lay members, who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each optometric member of the board, at the time of his or her appointment, shall have been a resident and a registered practicing optometrist of this state for a period of not less than three years immediately preceding his or her appointment.
(b) The optometric members of the board in office on July 1, 2001, shall, unless sooner removed, continue to serve until their successors have been appointed and have qualified. On or before July 1, 2001, and annually thereafter, as their respective terms expire, the Governor shall appoint their successors so that one year he or she shall appoint one member and in each of the two succeeding years he or she shall appoint two members, each for a term of three years commencing on July 1. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment.
(c) All fees and other moneys collected by the board pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be kept in a separate fund and expended solely for the purpose of this article. The compensation for the members of the board and all expenses incurred under this article shall be paid from this special fund. No compensation or expense incurred under this article shall be a charge against the general funds of this state.
(d) The board shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, which are not inconsistent with any other provision or section of this article:
(a) (1) For the proper performance of its duties;
(b) (2) To govern the ethical practice of optometry for the safety, protection and welfare of the public; and
(c) (3) To provide for examinations, licensure requirements, continuing education requirements, and fees; and to further effectuate the provisions of this article, article one of this chapter, and any other provisions set forth in state or federal law
(4) To establish limitations of clinical practice for optometrists practicing in this state;
(5) To establish a drug formulary for optometrists practicing in this state; and
(6) To further effectuate the provisions of this article, article one of this chapter and any other provisions set forth in state or federal law.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize optometrists to perform the clinical practices for which they are trained, including treatment of the eye, performing certain procedures, dispensing or administering certain drugs and ordering laboratory and diagnostic tests. The bill requires the Board of Optometry to promulgate rules limiting the practices of optometrists and establishing a drug formulary for optometrists.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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