Massachusetts is the only state that prevents trained
optometrists from treating glaucoma and minor eye infections
OPTOMETRISTS ARE ALREADY TRAINED TO TREAT GLAUCOMA, but Massachusetts is the only state in the country that doesn’t allow them to do so. Allowing optometrists to treat glaucoma – like they have been doing in all 49 other states for as much as 40 years – will increase consumer choice and convenience and allow patients to avoid high-priced specialists with longer wait times.
Benefits of changing our outdated law on Glaucoma Treatment
More Access and Choice for Everyone
Optometrists vastly outnumber ophthalmologists in Massachusetts, especially in community health centers, rural areas, and smaller suburbs. With less than 400 ophthalmologists statewide, minority, nursing home and rural populations are all underserved. Optometrists could treat these underserved areas more conveniently and cost-effectively.
savings for medicaid
Allowing optometrists to treat glaucoma and prescribe oral anti-infectives will save the state $20 million per year in lower Medicaid costs. Our health care system would save more than $50 million per year overall.
Continued Quality Care
Most of us consider our local optometrists to be our primary eye care provider. Right now your optometrist is already trained to treat Glaucoma and eye infections, but in Massachusetts they can only diagnose Glaucoma and then are forced to refer you for treatment to a specialist. Every other state allows optometrists to treat you in an easier, less costly, more convenient way.
here are the facts
Optometrists in all forty-nine other states have treated glaucoma for up to forty years, but not Massachusetts.
Even though polling shows eighty-six percent of Massachusetts consumers want the right to choose where they get their eye care treatments, they can’t.
Our two optometry schools in Mass. train doctors at the highest level, only to lose their graduates to other states because Mass. is the only state that limits their ability to care for patients.
Hundreds of legislators, the Department of Justice, our Community Health Centers, and the Boston Globe have urged Mass. legislators to update this outdated law.
There’s a Solution:
There is legislation pending at the State House to fix Massachusetts’ outdated law. Let’s all support this common-sense legislation that will bring Massachusetts up to the national standard for eye care.
Did you know?
86% of Massachusetts’s voters support Optometrists being allowed to treat glaucoma and prescribe oral anti-infectives. They believe it will increase access to care, patient choice and convenience. (Anderson Robbins Research)