The law allows optometrists to perform certain procedures—such as laser surgery—that are currently only done by ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors. Optometrists must be certified to do the procedures and they need to purchase the proper equipment. Optometrist Richard Gersh of Louisville says the law is aimed mostly at rural areas where ophthalmologists are scarce.
Optometrists have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying and supporting candidates. The bill allows them to perform certain surgeries currently only done by ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors. Holsclaw says she doesn’t have evidence any laws were broken, but wants state or federal officials to look into the matter.
Holsclaw is targeting legislation that allows optometrists to perform some procedures currently only performed by ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors. She says the speed in which the bill passed the legislature raises concerns. She’s not alleging any wrongdoing, but she does plan to ask state and federal officials to investigate the measure and how it passed.
It wasn’t introduced until February. Neither House and Senate leaders nor the governor ever mentioned it as a priority. But a bill allowing optometrists to perform certain surgical procedures currently only done by ophthalmologists—who are medical doctors—is on its way to Governor Steve Beshear for his signature.