Information Topics ABC

A

ADA

Americans With Disabilities Act: An optometrist’s office may be a public accommodation under the ADA and required to provide services without discrimination to people with disabilities. The United States Department of Justice enforces the law. Their website listing ADA publications is at this link: DOJ website. See also “HIV” and/or “Deaf Patient.”

Addiction

Optometrists or Students: Licensees and optometry school students may utilize the Board’s Peer Assistance Program.
Patients: The Pharmacy Board Website has information on the dangers of prescribing pain medication.

Address

Changes: State law requires all licensees to notify the Board within 30 days of any address change — home or office. Changes are accepted by fax (512-305-8501), telephone (512-305-8500), mail or an e-mail to the address on the bottom of every page of the website.

Address Changes to Profile: See “Profile.”

Texas Optometry Board Address: Texas Optometry Board, 333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 2-420, Austin, Texas 78701.

Advertising

The Board Newsletters contain important information on advertising. The February 2012 Newsletter is focused on advertising issues. See Sections  351.155, 351.403, 351.404 of the Optometry Act.

AIDS

See “HIV.”

 

B

Board Certification

Voluntary procedure available to doctors which is not a requirement for renewing or maintaining a Texas optometry license. Optometrists certified by readily identifiable organizations may advertise that they are certified, provided that the same advertisement specifically identifies the organization that awarded the certification. The Board does not certify optometrists. See Board Rule 279.9.

Board Meetings

The Optometry Board meets four times a year (see Board Meetings) to propose and adopt new rules, approve CE courses, and conduct disciplinary conferences.

Business Organization

An optometrist may practice using one of several different types of business organizations. Each type of organization has very different tax consequences and different exposures to financial liability. In Section 351.366 of the Optometry Act, optometrists are given the authority to jointly own a business organization with a physician. Only optometrists or physicians can be owners of a business organization. For example, an optician cannot be a partner of an optometrist’s professional partnership. This is a complex area and may require the advice of an attorney and/or an accountant.

 

C

Child Abuse

Reporting Requirement: An optometrist is required to report suspected child abuse or neglect within 48 hours of discovering the abuse. Section 261.101 of the Family Code. See the Department of Family and Protective Services website.

Children

Consent to Treatment: Chapter 32 of the Family Code sets out the requirements for consent to treatment by a minor child or someone other than the parent.

Complaint Sign

The Optometry Act requires the posting of a complaint sign visible to the public at every office. Board Rules allow as an alternative the display of the Patient Information Brochure. A complaint sign and a master copy for the brochure were included with your license. Contact the Board if you need a sign. The brochure is available on the Downloads page.

Complaints

If a complaint is received against a licensee, the Board will send a copy of the complaint to the licensee and request that the licensee respond in writing to the complaint. The Board’s investigator, in conjunction with the Investigation-Enforcement Committee (made up of Board Members) and the executive director, will investigate the complaint to determine whether there is a violation of the Optometry Act or Board Rules. Board rules require the licensee to respond within 14 days.

Contact Lens

Dispensing Issues: Federal: The Federal Trade Commission enforces the federal law. Their telephone number: 877-382-4357

Rx (including obligation to release): See Prescription Requirements.

Therapeutic Contact Lens: House Bill 1740 amended the Pharmacy Act to allow optometrists to dispense contact lenses that contain medication. See the 2009 Board Newsletter.

Confidential Information

See “Patient, Confidential Information.”

Continuing Education

Approved Courses: A list is available on website. See Continuing Education. All courses, including Internet courses, must be approved by Board.

Basic Requirements: See Continuing Education.

Checking Number of Hours: After the licensee has submitted the original CE certificate to the Board, an entry is made in the Board’s database, and the information is then placed on the website so that every licensee can check on the CE hours they have submitted to the Board. Simply click on “Optometrist” button for a link. The number of individual CE hours is also available by telephoning the Board. For a written report, see “Written Report” below.

Exemption: The first license renewal is exempt from continuing education.

Professional Responsibility: One hour in Professional Responsibility must be obtained each year. See Continuing Education.

Submitting Course Attendance: The original document given to course attendees must be sent to the Board, e-mailed, or faxed (512-305-8501). Some courses submit a list of attendees to the Board. Certificates for Internet courses must also be sent to the Board.

Written Report of Hours: A written report of courses taken is available for $15.00. Send request with $15.00 check to the Optometry Board.

Controlled Substances

Prescribing: For required permits please see Prescription Requirements. See these web pages for links to Board Rules (280.5 and 280.10) listing controlled substances that may be prescribed or administered by a therapeutic optometrist or an optometric glaucoma specialist.

Corporation

See “Business Organization” above.

Criminal Convictions

Criminal convictions, including deferred adjudications and probation, must be reported to the Board within 30 days of the court’s action. See Board Rule 273.8.