Two items among those that were discussed at the annual COA House of Delegates meeting may affect the way we all practice. Board members from the SGVOS attended this annual meeting in February to vote and participate in business-related events that impact California optometry.
One of the many items discussed was California's participation (or lack thereof) in the national Think About Your Eyes program. Many of you may have heard their radio ads or seen print ads encouraging the public to have their eyes examined, stressing the need for health checks. Our national representative, the AOA, and over half of all state associations are financial supporters of this program except for the COA. The delegates who attended the meeting felt that COA needs to support this public health announcement and to be represented. We voted to have the Board include this item in our annual budget so that COA members will appear in doctor searches under this program. More information will be provided as we learn more.
We also had an honest discussion regarding the California branch office license law. Under this law, no optometrist may own more than two offices, and must be present at each location for at least half the time that the office is open. The long-standing question has been whether this law needs to be modified to change with the times, especially in light of more health organizations merging to form larger groups. Many stepped forward to recommend modifying the law (not eliminating it in its entirety), while others felt the law was created to protect the consumer and should remain as is. This was an item of discussion, not an action item, and will likely be discussed again at the next HOD meeting.
If you would like more information or would like to discuss any of the above topics in greater detail, please feel free to contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org Otherwise, I hope this has been informative and has sparked some interest so that you would consider attending next year. The HOD meetings usually take place in the mornings with the afternoon free for us to hang out and meet up with friends from other societies. Come join us next year!
Cindy Wang OD, FAAO