01/03/2024

A bill is coming to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk, which, if signed into law, would add some new guidelines for health care workers. “It’s really about informing patients and transparency,” Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell, the sponsor of SB 230, told WPBF 25 News. “We want to make sure patients understand who’s treating them.” If practitioners are within their practice “hosting his or her practice or group study … in lieu of a name tag, the practitioner should prominently display a copy of his or her license in an clearly visible of the office so that it is easily visible to patients.” Any type of advertising must have the qualifications of the operators. The bill also establishes guidelines on who can be referred to as a doctor. Some professions included are neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, and medical doctors. The list, however, does not include optometrists. “An ophthalmologist is in four years of medical school and then probably five or six years of a residency program. So, they’re doctors who then go on to specialize in various types of ophthalmology,” Harrell said. “An optometrist goes to optometric school for four years, it’s postgraduate school for four years. And then they’re optometrists.” “When you need glasses, like me, go and get examined by your optometry doctor. When you have retinal problems or various difficulties with your eyes that are beyond just needing glasses or maybe a minor infection or something , then go see an ophthalmologist,” he added. Watch: Man shot, killed by police in West Palm Beach condominium complex WPBF 25 News reached out to several optometrists in Florida, and all declined to comment. The American Optometric Association recently released a statement in response to the bill. “The American Optometric Association (AOA) will strongly oppose any attempt to prevent Florida licensed optometry physicians from legally practicing to the highest level permitted by state and federal law, including their ability to communicate effectively with their patients introducing unnecessary confusion.The proposed legislation undermines the doctor-patient relationship which, in turn, will jeopardize patient outcomes.The AOA, in concert with the Florida Optometric Association (FOA), is working tirelessly to bring about vetoed SB 230 by Governor Ron DeSantis. However, in the event that this does not occur, AOA will continue to stand with FOA and its patients. AOA will use all means necessary to identify and defend against unfair attacks on our FOA members and the optometric profession. If necessary, the AOA stands ready to take action up to and including legal action against any attempt to discriminate against the optometry profession or violate optometry’s essential and expanding role in the health care system of Florida. Meanwhile, the senator said the bill isn’t specifically geared toward a group of health care professionals. “Because we have more of our mid-level professionals out there, people don’t know who is treating them. So, it wasn’t geared specifically for ophthalmology or the optometrist at all, it’s more in the general range,” Harrell said. He also said that any fines or penalties imposed would be based on each board’s determinations and level of egregiousness. Read : SunFest preliminary attendance numbers down but level for abbreviated festival The senator was keen to clarify that this bill will have no impact on the level of practice for every practitioner in Florida.” Whatever their practice act at this point say they can do, they can continue to do it,” he said. If DeSantis signs the bill, the law will go into effect on July 1. Follow us on social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tick tock

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A bill is coming to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk, which, if signed into law, would add some new guidelines for health care workers.

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“It’s really about informing patients and transparency,” Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell, the sponsor of SB 230, told WPBF 25 News. “We want to make sure patients understand who’s treating them.”

The Health Care Professional Titles and Designations Bill requires professionals to wear name tags that include their profession. If practitioners are within their practice “hosting his or her practice or group study … in lieu of a name tag, the practitioner should prominently display a copy of his or her license in an clearly visible of the office so that it is easily visible to patients.”

Any type of advertising must have the qualifications of the operators.

The bill also establishes guidelines on who can be referred to as a doctor. Some professions included are neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, and medical doctors.

Advertising

The list, however, does not include optometrists.

“An ophthalmologist is in four years of medical school and then probably five or six years of a residency program. So, they’re doctors who then go on to specialize in various types of ophthalmology,” Harrell said. “An optometrist goes to optometric school for four years, it’s postgraduate school for four years. And then they’re optometrists.”

“When you need glasses, like me, go and get examined by your optometry doctor. When you have retinal problems or various difficulties with your eyes that are beyond just needing glasses or maybe a minor infection or something , then go see an ophthalmologist,” he added.

Watch: Man killed by police in West Palm Beach condo complex

WPBF 25 News reached out to several optometrists in Florida and all declined to comment.

The American Optometric Association recently released a statement in response to the bill.

“The American Optometric Association (AOA) will strongly oppose any attempt to prevent Florida licensed optometry physicians from legally practicing to the highest level permitted by state and federal law, including their ability to communicate effectively with their patients introducing unnecessary confusion.The proposed legislation undermines the doctor-patient relationship which, in turn, will jeopardize patient outcomes.The AOA, in concert with the Florida Optometric Association (FOA), is working tirelessly to ensure that SB 230 be vetoed by Governor Ron DeSantis. However, in the event that this is not vetoed, AOA will continue to stand by FOA and its patients. AOA will use all means necessary to identify and defend against from unfair attacks on our FOA members and the optometric profession. If necessary, the AOA stands ready to take action up to and including legal action against any attempt to discriminate against the optometry profession or violate optometry’s essential and expanding role in the Florida health care system”.

Meanwhile, the senator said the bill isn’t specifically aimed at one group of healthcare professionals.

“Because we have more of our mid-level practitioners out there, people don’t know who’s treating them. So, it wasn’t geared specifically for ophthalmology or optometrist at all, it’s more in the general gamut,” Harrell said.

He also said that any fines or penalties imposed would be based on each council’s determinations and level of egregiousness.

Read: SunFest Preliminary Attendance is down but on par for the shortened festival

The Senator made it clear that this bill will have no impact on the level of practice of every practitioner in Florida.

Whatever their practical act at this point says they could do, they could continue to do,” he said.

If DeSantis signs the bill, the law will go into effect on July 1.

Follow us on socials: Facebook | Chirping | Instagram | Tick ​​tock


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