The 2013 legislative session brought very important changes for the practice of optometry. On April 19, 2013, Governor Rick Scott signed HB-239 into law, which significantly increased the scope of practice of optometry. One of those changes impacts the requirements for co-management of postoperative care by an optometrist.
The law added several requirements for co-management between an ophthalmologist who performed a surgical procedure and an optometrist who will provide at least part of the postoperative care. The terms of the co-management agreement will be governed by a transfer of care letter between the two health care practitioners, as well as any other legal requirements that may exist.
The patient must be fully informed of, and consent in writing to, the co-management of postoperative care. The transfer of care letter must state that:
- It is not medically necessary for the operating ophthalmologist to deliver postoperative care; and
- It is clinically appropriate for the optometrist to provide the postoperative care.
Prior to the commencement of postoperative care, the patient must be informed, in writing, that:
- The patient has the right to have all postoperative care delivered by the operating ophthalmologist;
- The patient must also be informed of the fees being charged by the physician that performed the surgery and the optometrist for providing postoperative care; and
- The patient must be provided with an accurate and comprehensive itemized statement of the specific postoperative care being provided by the physician that performed the surgery and the optometrist, along with the charge(s) for each service.