By Alissa Johnson, CAE
NOA Director of Communications
Recently, the Nebraska Optometric Association held its annual Legislative Conference and lunch with Nebraska State Senators. To the average person, it may seem odd that doctors of optometry would need to have a meeting and lunch with Senators.
The reason is that optometry is a legislated profession. That’s also true for every other health care profession in Nebraska, other than medical doctors. The scope of services and level of skills any doctor of optometry is able to use is determined by the state legislature. Of course, technology and science move faster than the law. When advances in health care have surpassed the current law to the point at which the health care providers collectively feel they are not able to give patients the level of care they are trained to—or that patients are not able to access the level of care they need in a timely manner within a reasonable distance—they must go back to the legislature to ask for an expanded scope of practice.
If you have a personal experience with an optometrist that supports the benefits of your optometrist being able to provide additional care, please contact NOA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-474-7716.