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WWL>Topics>>5-20-14 3:15pm Angela: on optometrists and eye surgery

5-20-14 3:15pm Angela: on optometrists and eye surgery

May 20, 2014|

Angela talks with Dr. Monica Monica about whether optometrists should be allowed to perform eye surgery.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Over shifting from sugar to. A battle a battle brewing in Baton Rouge and it continues. And it concerns the care of your eyes. Optometrists to are not medical doctors now want to do some procedures. That only MDs can do. It started off with optometrists wanted to do some surgical procedures and some laser procedures. That has changed a little as the battle got hotter. The optometrists. Optometrists say they can do just as well with training and can do cheaper. What do you think. Would it be okay with someone who was not a medical doctor doing procedures on your eyes let us know -- 260187. Joining us to update -- battle between optometrists an ophthalmologist. Is ophthalmologist doctor Monica Monica. And I want to say we have tried to get several optometrists to join us. But they said they were all up and that intrusion if there's anybody out there and optometrists who would like to call -- comment we welcome that. Again that's 260187. -- doctor Monica Monica. Who I've known for many years and has been sort of the voice of this battle didn't start this year this keeps coming -- know you're right and it is that optometrists feel that with some training they should be able to do these procedures. That's exactly right the battle of scope of practice I would say has been going on for about thirty years. But this bill house bill 1065. Which will be heard in the senate. As early as tomorrow. As one of the most radical scope of practice expansion bills. Because what it does is it allows optometrists who is you very. Articulately expressed are not MD's. To perform laser surgery in the dying. On injections in the guy and surgery around the guy. The problem with this video. Is oversight. There will be no oversight of this group by the Louisiana state board of medical Examiner's. Who has for a 120 years safeguard our patience in this state. By regulating. Controlling and disciplinary action. Of physicians and other non MD's such as the diet missed work or regulated by the Board of Medical Examiners. Optometrists want to regulate themselves. Now the problem with that is transparency. If disciplinary action comes against me or fellow physician you can find that out easily through the -- Louisiana state board. That same transparency doesn't exist. Why I cannot they'd be put under the same regulations and safeguards as the rest of us on. It takes about 171000. To 20000 hours. And I of rigorous training too large to become a surgeon and physician and I search and we have great medical schools here in the state as you well know some of your listeners out there understand that process. The board of optometry has testified on this bill there will be a 32 hour course to learn laser surgery. Which is basically a long weekend. Patient safety patient protection transparency. We need that. Think yet to. Get to 32 dollars and again I wish and amateurs -- call -- and lightness on this yes. It's it's. Almost unbelievable to me that. -- even being debate. It is and it continues to be yet so somebody finds merit in it beyond optometrists. It's -- it's. I a senator told me last week that this is one of the most contentious. Most. Com pressured political bills. Not not not the -- bills not the education bills. That that he has ever seen in in thirty years that he's been in the around the senate. I think what happens Angela is that on people want to -- ardent scope of practice and you know education is very important you can broaden your education which you need to go through the credentialing process. If you wanna do surgery surgery by search -- if you wanna do surgery and you're not an empty and you need the regulation that the rest of us. I had a nurse tell me the other day TI I have more training I believe and and optometrists I think I'll go to the board. Or to the legislature and ask for and surgery privileges. This is all about patient protection. And did this the recent polls that have shown in Louisiana that. Patients want to go to an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon for the surgery on their very happy with the with. They are right here team as it stands. Many of the ophthalmologist in this community work with optometrists in competition that is the -- care team. Four years ago when optometry -- for increased medications which specifically. At that time when I tested out of the Beazer post operative medicines why would you need them. Are are you all gonna come from surgery. At that time the the head of the board of optometry Sandefur says Ono and I know that's an ophthalmologist is a nicer -- We just want these medications part to treat -- patients. Which I knew with a slip where it's slippery slope excuse me to pass and pass and that's why they have had to have those medicines because when you have a laser patient. -- after prescribes some part Forte. You know there may be some other -- coma medication she need. Com recently I had one of the most famous ophthalmologist in this community elements that his name who works very east. Strongly with optometrists. All across the state actually helped to testify for them. And he was. Adamantly against this bill he said optometrists and he's worked with optometry -- thirty years as an ophthalmologist he says optometrists are not surgeons. And are not qualified to do sir is there any other state that allows this yes and and these are interesting statistics Oklahoma is the oldest. Oklahoma has a School of Optometry and and that's important too to discern here because they're 21 schools of optometry. But only one of the opt -- schools. In Oklahoma allows lasers so there's no consistency of education -- the -- when schools. They're they're not all going to be teaching optometrists lasers. Therefore the 32 hour course after this after this bill passes. So. Louisiana will have won the most radical bills we will have scalp balls injections and lasers -- house -- 1065. Passes. And that's why ask those listeners who feel passionately. -- don't want your child or your mother operated on by and optometrists. Called -- switchboard at the senate. 225. 3142042253422040. Get a hold of your senator and say who leaves. Vote no on HD and 65. Almost on the descent I mean I know some wonderful optometrists and their yes they are talented made two excellent people. I don't understand the scope. Broadening of scope because I'm trying to make a parallel with another type of you know. What does it and will be dining yeah bright heart doctors somebody is there somebody that could take over some of their skills without going to medical school. Exactly well I think what may also play into this is there are plans in July that will funnel view. Two and optometrists before you'll see an ophthalmologist and that's fine for many thinks. But not for surgery and my worry is that. A plan will require. My little old lady down the street -- Jones who can't afford maybe one of the other health care plants who doesn't know the difference. To go in one direction to have her glaucoma -- And -- for her patients set safety in my opinion is at risk because. That person who's in optometrists performing that laser does not have the same credentials as an as an ophthalmologist -- nicer to. If the ophthalmologist. Say okay. We understand a little expansion. Of optometry. But it would have to be with 500 hours of -- We're asking them just to do what the rest of the the state. Practitioners do please come under the Louisiana state board of medical Examiner's. If you are saying you are so qualified. If you are saying you had this experience. What are you afraid to come under the same regulations the same stitch of stipulations. This is all about patient safety. If it's okay for the -- -- Why isn't it okay for optometrists how they respond to say they don't they say the board of optometry has just fine and that's -- self regulate them. But when you regulate yourself like that it's a dangerous slippery slope and the people. Who bear the brunt of that. Are the patients. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue with doctor Monica Monica right after this. We are talking with doctor Monica Monica who was an ophthalmologist. A sort of on the frontlines. Of what's going on in Baton Rouge. Optometrists. Are asking too as you say change the scope of their work allowing them to do what has always been under the guidance of medical doctors ophthalmologist. In laser surgery and other things. And you all are highly against it because they're only going to be trained for 32 hours correct okay we have a caller let's go to to JJ. -- I don't and in good -- and I don't demonic and I'm good. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I'll say I would not trust in optometry. Can do what the doctors infamy. And the reason being is because. -- general anesthesia. It is a problem doing surgery I'll make sure an MD doing it optometry doing -- in the problem. Correct -- you bring -- such a good point now. Terrorists starting the baby steps towards to back elected me the first thing they'd like to do is something called -- as LT and you might know about that with glaucoma you might have had a laser. Two back to a plastic before you head to -- elect him. We will bring it straight past. OK okay well they wanna do those SL tees. And lasers deeper and the idea behind the the winds and cataract patients as what they want first. So when this bill passes because I've been here now for thirty years watching the scope of practice -- the public come back next currency. Oh and by the way we'd like some -- incisions or oh by the way we like to go deeper with the lasers on into the retina. And eventually they will end up with. Those two back electing me. And today. I hope you're doing well and I'm sure you've had a wonderful experience with your ophthalmologist and I appreciate you calling in because you know how valuable. The credentialing in the process that -- -- just went through. To perform those two -- elect to -- on you and that's one of the hardest operations. To perform. Well thank you go oh thank you thank you very much and we have not shock. Absolutely problem was good. I'll just one or optometrists performing these surgeries now on with -- track record. On its checked that's a great question Oklahoma has had this kind of increased scope of practice -- the longest. And we have some data on that we now know that he malpractice. Awards. -- three and a half times the national average for a comic tourists in the state of Oklahoma. While the same physicians. In that state are two and a half times slower. Just recently Kentucky pass this a weed we be the third state that ours is very extensive and in anecdotal. Recovery of research what we're finding our. The gag laser rate after cataract surgery and be laser rate without glaucoma has gone way up. In the hands of optometrists and some of my. Colleagues who were ophthalmologist in that state are seeing unnecessary laser procedures being done and are having to kind of quote fix the problem. So right now in Louisiana optometrists. Cannot perform the surgery. That is correct they are they they cannot perform laser they cannot perform injections and they cannot perform scalp pulls. Now recently I was not on with Erik Paulsen on W Debbie Allen heat because the -- Thomas just didn't come on he -- -- it was. But doctor Monica they just want to remove little lumps and bumps. Well on I would tell you shocked that some of the little lumps and bumps around the eyes turn out to be. Very extensive cancers. And you can get into a lot of problems by trying to remove a little -- and -- And if you don't have that experience and the rigorous training of medical school. On different cause of -- -- you understand chucked at the vote is coming up either tomorrow or the next day right out in the legislature which is why doctor monitors on and I also want to reiterate. We invited anybody from the world of optometry to join us as well and and they said they couldn't. All I can think of the optometrists. Said the state must have a major lobby someone. Twelve lobbyists are on twelve lobbying firms on this bill shock so if you would call. The senate switchboard 22534. Q 2040. 225. 3422. When he forty. Ask for your senator if you don't know who your senator is you can go to the armed. We. LE TI ES dot LA dot gov site and look up your state senator now we're talking -- state senator. Yes. The answer now and I appreciate your questions I appreciate your passion and your interest and I need I need people to -- and yes it's scary scary for patient. Thank you very much chuck for calling in one of the arguments that I've read that the Thomas that your are trying to make is. But it's better access for people because they're commenting is there aren't enough ophthalmologist. And there are areas in the state that don't have. So we've addressed that access issue than what we found in our research that. Eight in in Louisiana. 85%. Of citizens patients are in a community containing and board certified ophthalmologist. The 15%. That are in more rural areas where -- perhaps it was just an optometrists. Are only thirty to 35 minutes from an ophthalmologist. And most of the surgery is not an emergency thing with these lasers and they can access. On southern opinion media -- did did it did a survey and asked those. Groups those -- groups who you want to do your surgery and 94%. And sent. Ophthalmologist. I search and MD's not optometrists that they would travel. You know we all travel to Wal-Mart wherever it is because we love Wal-Mart. You know not to be so facetious but. Patients understand and they they will they will make that thirty minute car drive. So when you're talking to legislators. Hewlett ophthalmologist at -- saying this is that. This is the survey we have -- this is what the people want they're not looking at that. I had never Angela in thirty years of going up in testifying are being involved in political advocacy for patients. Scene sites political pressure put on one bill and and I have been all over the United States. I've testified in other areas. I have never seen the resource is that they are being spent. To get house -- 1065 past and when I tell you their twelve lobbying groups I may be wrong it may be fourteen but there they're up there. And their powerful lobbyist and this is a powerful bill and it as I said legislatures have told me they've never seen anything like that. Stay with us everyone organic and. New York talk on your eyesight right after this. Well again our guest is doctor Monica Monica and we're talking about she is an ophthalmologist and the optometrists. Are fighting for a bill that will allow them to do surgery eye surgery right now that is not allowed. They do other wonderful things but they have not been trained to do surgery and they are saying we want to be trained for 32 hours allowing us to do laser centers center. We have a caller -- Q we're just waiting for me yes. Much of the fixed the flat and -- The -- and the you know. Like a certain amount. And optometrists and that's demolished. Different educational background. When things a chiropractor and that. Spinal surgeon. You know I do not believe until they have the qualified education that you have. I have gone through the experience and and the actual practical on surgery should say go ahead and do that surgery obviously you had to go through his training. And educations so why shouldn't they have to. And then they become an ophthalmologist side. You -- that's a great yes I I think you make a very valid point you know. I have known optometrists who've gone back to get the training to become -- surgeons because that is what they want to do. And and they've become wonderful ophthalmologist and again you look. Optometry training for way optometrists. Are credentialed to do. Does not include -- search. And they should be part of the eye care team and they are our resource. But. They cannot perform surgery and escape. The credentialing the regulation and the process that our physicians. In this state goes through to -- and the oversight by the Louisiana state board of medical Examiner's it's very dangerous to patients to self regulate yourself and that's what they wanna do that it. It is the liability issue. For. Women and -- a problem. In line with eight and the obvious that there's no way to be its origin now. Yes you're right you of that that's a good point. They're not practice will go up because they'll they'll get surgical. Malpractice insurance. They are in the -- yet the patient compensation fund but that will go up. Any time there're are problems. I went and that's what the with your state board medical examiners is does the disciplines those doctors. Who have had problems and if they continue to have problems than they have to go there or get their own insurance and get out. Yes there will be repercussions or -- Internet. So we're actually which is equation Kobe fitting that we'll be footing that bill with the insurance company. Every everything trickles back down to. Exactly and away. You look please call your state senator to your tomorrow the switchboard 225 there in session right now 2253142040. And tell them please no no no one HB 1060. And I appreciate your call always. You know I guess. And that's ridiculous that I'm I'm confused why would even go before state legislature. To me this is a medical decision. And that optometrists are going to medical school saying you know what we wanna start doing this how can we be that students yes -- -- going before. Well there's some very powerful senators. I have worked with one of the senators who's not an author of this bill but on senator David -- -- and optometrists. David Knight worked together very well. In the -- are days is our clinic on canal on. And he feels on and that his opinion that you know optometrists need the right to do the surgery. And I say back today did fine and be regulated by the Louisiana state board of medical Examiner's so that I know. That in the end they'll be patient protection that we will not have a double standard your board of optometry says you can do with 32 our courts -- forty hour course. My Louisiana state board of medical examiner says that is not enough that is not rigorous enough before you go do that glaucoma laser on that. -- -- -- That's why it is before the state legislature I believe. Monica Monica thank you very very much I'm sorry that someone from the optometry. World wasn't able to join us. We will be watching closely and again. To all the listeners of this is meaningful to you than you need to call your state senator 225342. 2040. And give them your opinion. We will stay in touch with you on this thank you so much thank you Angela thank you thank you to your audience to.

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