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.”
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.
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 e-mail.
Address Changes to Profile: See “Profile.”
Texas Optometry Board Address: Texas Optometry Board, 333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 2-420, Austin, Texas 78701.
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.
The Optometry Board meets four times a year (see Board Meetings) to propose and adopt new rules, approve CE courses, and conduct disciplinary conferences.
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.
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.
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.
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 was included with your license. You can also download and print the sign HERE.
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.
Illegal Dispensing: To report, see the August 2018 Newsletter, page 4.
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.
Approved Courses: A search is available on CE Broker.
Basic Requirements: See Continuing Education.
Checking Number of Hours: Pursuant to Board Rule 275.3, all licensees are required to use the CE Broker digital platform for CE reporting beginning in 2022. Review Board Rule 275.3. Hours can be tracked through their website: CE Broker
Exemption: The calendar year prior to 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: Licensees must report their CE certificates to their CE Broker account. Some providers may also report hours to CE Broker.
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.
See “Business Organization” above.
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.