FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 9, 2023
OLYMPIA – Patients will have increased access to eye care by providers they know and trust because of Sen. Annette Cleveland’s (D-Vancouver) legislation to expand the scope of practice for optometrists.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5389 into law Tuesday.
Passage of SB 5389 marks the first change to this scope of practice in two decades. In that time, procedures, tools, and the level of education in optometric programs have changed tremendously.
This legislation will add several procedures and services to the practice of optometry, including the prescription and fitting of contact lenses, ordering diagnostic lab or imaging tests, as well as removal of certain foreign bodies.
“This legislation increases access to care and reduces wait times,” Cleveland said. “Too often, those practicing in Washington need to refer patients out of state. Allowing optometrists to practice at the full extent of their training means patients can receive care from those they know and trust, closer to home.”
This bill takes effect on July 23.