463.0001 Short title.
463.001 Purpose; intent.
463.003 Board of Optometry.
463.004 Board headquarters.
463.005 Authority of the board.
463.0055 Administration and prescription of ocular pharmaceutical agents.
463.0057 Optometric faculty certificate.
463.006 Licensure and certification by examination.
463.007 Renewal of license; continuing education.
463.008 Inactive status.
463.009 Supportive personnel.
463.011 Exhibition of license.
463.012 Prescriptions; filing; release; duplication.
463.013 Optometric services for certain public agencies.
463.0135 Standards of practice.
463.014 Certain acts prohibited.
463.0141 Reports of adverse incidents in the practice of optometry.
463.015 Violations and penalties.
463.016 Grounds for disciplinary action; action by the board.
463.0001 Short title.—This chapter shall be known as the “Optometry Practice Act.”
History.—ss. 1, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
463.001 Purpose; intent.—The sole legislative purpose in enacting this chapter is to ensure that every person engaged in the practice of optometry in this state meets minimum requirements for safe practice. It is the legislative intent that such persons who fall below minimum standards or who otherwise present a danger to the public shall be prohibited from practicing in this state. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a person licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or part I of chapter 484 from performing those services which she or he is licensed to perform. The provisions of this chapter shall have no application to any person furnishing assistance in case of an emergency.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 231, ch. 97-103.
463.002 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Board” means the Board of Optometry.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(3)(a) “Licensed practitioner” means a person who is a primary health care provider licensed to engage in the practice of optometry under the authority of this chapter.
(b) A licensed practitioner who is not a certified optometrist shall be required to display at her or his place of practice a sign which states, “I am a Licensed Practitioner, not a Certified Optometrist, and I am not able to prescribe ocular pharmaceutical agents.”
(c) All practitioners initially licensed after July 1, 1993, must be certified optometrists.
(4) “Certified optometrist” means a licensed practitioner authorized by the board to administer and prescribe ocular pharmaceutical agents.
(5) “Ocular pharmaceutical agent” means a pharmaceutical agent that is administered topically or orally for the diagnosis or treatment of ocular conditions of the human eye and its appendages without the use of surgery or other invasive techniques.
(6) “Surgery” means a procedure using an instrument, including a laser, scalpel, or needle, in which human tissue is cut, burned, scraped except as provided in s. 463.014(4), or vaporized, by incision, injection, ultrasound, laser, infusion, cryotherapy, or radiation. The term includes a procedure using an instrument which requires the closure of human tissue by suture, clamp, or other such device.
(7) “Optometry” means the diagnosis of conditions of the human eye and its appendages; the employment of any objective or subjective means or methods, including the administration of ocular pharmaceutical agents, for the purpose of determining the refractive powers of the human eyes, or any visual, muscular, neurological, or anatomic anomalies of the human eyes and their appendages; and the prescribing and employment of lenses, prisms, frames, mountings, contact lenses, orthoptic exercises, light frequencies, and any other means or methods, including ocular pharmaceutical agents, for the correction, remedy, or relief of any insufficiencies or abnormal conditions of the human eyes and their appendages.
(8) “Direct supervision” means supervision to an extent that the licensee remains on the premises while all procedures are being done and gives final approval to any procedures performed by an employee.
(9) “General supervision” means the responsible supervision of supportive personnel by a licensee who need not be present when such procedures are performed, but who assumes legal liability therefor. Except in cases of emergency, “general supervision” shall require the easy availability or physical presence of the licensee for consultation with and direction of the supportive personnel.
(10) “Appendages” means the eyelids, the eyebrows, the conjunctiva, and the lacrimal apparatus.
(11) “Transcript-quality” means a course which is in conjunction with or sponsored by a school or college of optometry or equivalent educational entity, which course is approved by the board and requires a test and passing grade.
(12) “Clock hours” means the actual time engaged in approved coursework and clinical training.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; s. 315, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 93-101; s. 119, ch. 94-218; s. 232, ch. 97-103; s. 63, ch. 98-166; s. 1, ch. 2013-26.
463.003 Board of Optometry.—
(1) There is created within the department the Board of Optometry, composed of seven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
(2) Five members of the board must be licensed practitioners actively practicing in this state. The remaining two members must be citizens of the state who are not, and have never been, licensed practitioners and who are in no way connected with the practice of optometry or with any vision-oriented profession or business. At least one member of the board must be 60 years of age or older.
(3) As the terms of the members expire, the Governor shall appoint successors for terms of 4 years, and such members shall serve until their successors are appointed.
(4) All applicable provisions of chapter 456 relating to activities of regulatory boards shall apply.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 14, ch. 87-172; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 43, ch. 92-149; s. 120, ch. 94-218; s. 64, ch. 98-166; s. 121, ch. 2000-160.
463.004 Board headquarters.—The board shall maintain its official headquarters in the City of Tallahassee.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
463.005 Authority of the board.— (1) The Board of Optometry has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter conferring duties upon it. Such rules shall include, but not be limited to, rules relating to:
(a) Standards of practice, including, but not limited to, those provided for in s. 463.0135.
(b) Minimum equipment which a licensed practitioner shall at all times possess to engage in the practice of optometry.
(c) Minimum procedures which shall constitute a visual examination.
(d) Procedures for the safekeeping and transfer of prescription files or case records upon the discontinuance of practice.
(e) Supervision of supportive personnel.
(f) Courses and procedures for continuing education.
(g) Administration and prescription of ocular pharmaceutical agents.
(2) The board is authorized to disseminate information, the sole purpose of which is to inform licensed practitioners and the public of regulations regarding the practice of optometry.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 124, ch. 98-200; s. 2, ch. 2013-26.
463.0055 Administration and prescription of ocular pharmaceutical agents.—
(1)(a) Certified optometrists may administer and prescribe ocular pharmaceutical agents as provided in this section for the diagnosis and treatment of ocular conditions of the human eye and its appendages without the use of surgery or other invasive techniques. However, a licensed practitioner who is not certified may use topically applied anesthetics solely for the purpose of glaucoma examinations, but is otherwise prohibited from administering or prescribing ocular pharmaceutical agents.
(b) Before a certified optometrist may administer or prescribe oral ocular pharmaceutical agents, the certified optometrist must provide proof to the department of successful completion of a course and subsequent examination, approved by the board, on general and ocular pharmaceutical agents and the side effects of those agents. The course shall consist of 20 contact hours, all of which may be web-based. The first course and examination shall be presented by October 1, 2013, and shall be administered at least annually thereafter. The course and examination shall be developed and offered jointly by a statewide professional association of physicians in this state accredited to provide educational activities designated for the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 credit and a statewide professional association of licensed practitioners which provides board-approved continuing education on an annual basis. The board shall review and approve the content of the initial course and examination if the board determines that the course and examination adequately and reliably satisfy the criteria set forth in this section. The board shall thereafter annually review and approve the course and examination if the board determines that the content continues to adequately and reliably satisfy the criteria set forth in this section. Successful completion of the board-approved course and examination may be used by a certified optometrist to satisfy 20 hours of the continuing education requirements in s. 463.007(3), only for the biennial period in which the board-approved course and examination are taken. If a certified optometrist does not complete a board-approved course and examination under this section, the certified optometrist is only authorized to administer and prescribe topical ocular pharmaceutical agents.
(2)(a) The board shall establish a formulary of topical ocular pharmaceutical agents that may be prescribed and administered by a certified optometrist. The formulary shall consist of those topical ocular pharmaceutical agents that are appropriate to treat or diagnose ocular diseases and disorders and that the certified optometrist is qualified to use in the practice of optometry. The board shall establish, add to, delete from, or modify the topical formulary by rule. Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 120 to the contrary, the topical formulary rule becomes effective 60 days from the date it is filed with the Secretary of State.
(b) The formulary may be added to, deleted from, or modified according to the procedure described in paragraph (a). Any person who requests an addition, deletion, or modification of an authorized topical ocular pharmaceutical agent shall have the burden of proof to show cause why such addition, deletion, or modification should be made.
(c) The State Surgeon General shall have standing to challenge any rule or proposed rule of the board pursuant to s. 120.56. In addition to challenges for any invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority, the administrative law judge, upon such a challenge by the State Surgeon General, may declare all or part of a rule or proposed rule invalid if it:
1. Does not protect the public from any significant and discernible harm or damages;
2. Unreasonably restricts competition or the availability of professional services in the state or in a significant part of the state; or
3. Unnecessarily increases the cost of professional services without a corresponding or equivalent public benefit.
However, there shall not be created a presumption of the existence of any of the conditions cited in this subsection in the event that the rule or proposed rule is challenged.
(d) Upon adoption of the formulary required by this section, and upon each addition, deletion, or modification to the formulary, the board shall mail a copy of the amended formulary to each certified optometrist and to each pharmacy licensed by the state.
(3) In addition to the formulary of topical ocular pharmaceutical agents established by rule of the board, there is created a statutory formulary of oral ocular pharmaceutical agents, which includes the following agents: (a) The following analgesics or their generic or therapeutic equivalents, which may not be administered or prescribed for more than 72 hours without consultation with a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 who is skilled in diseases of the eye:
1. Tramadol hydrochloride.
2. Acetaminophen 300 mg with No. 3 codeine phosphate 30 mg.
(b) The following antibiotics or their generic or therapeutic equivalents:
1. Amoxicillin with or without clavulanic acid.
(c) The following antivirals or their generic or therapeutic equivalents:
(d) The following oral anti-glaucoma agents or their generic or therapeutic equivalents, which may not be administered or prescribed for more than 72 hours:
Any oral ocular pharmaceutical agent that is listed in the statutory formulary set forth in this subsection and that is subsequently determined by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be unsafe for administration or prescription shall be considered to have been deleted from the formulary of oral ocular pharmaceutical agents. The oral ocular pharmaceutical agents on the statutory formulary set forth in this subsection may not otherwise be deleted by the board, the department, or the State Surgeon General.
(4) A certified optometrist shall be issued a prescriber number by the board. Any prescription written by a certified optometrist for an ocular pharmaceutical agent pursuant to this section shall have the prescriber number printed thereon. A certified optometrist may not administer or prescribe:
(a) A controlled substance listed in Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V of s. 893.03, except for an oral analgesic placed on the formulary pursuant to this section for the relief of pain due to ocular conditions of the eye and its appendages.
(b) A controlled substance for the treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain as defined in s. 456.44(1)(f).
History.—ss. 6, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 69, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 93-101; s. 223, ch. 96-410; s. 81, ch. 2008-6; s. 3, ch. 2013-26; s. 20, ch. 2016-105; s. 16, ch. 2018-13.
463.0057 Optometric faculty certificate.— (1) The department may issue an optometric faculty certificate without examination to an individual who remits a nonrefundable application fee, not to exceed $100 plus the actual per applicant cost to the department, and who demonstrates to the board that she or he meets the following requirements:
(a) Is a graduate of an accredited school or college of optometry approved by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Office of Education.
(b) Holds a valid current license to practice optometry in another jurisdiction in the United States.
(c) Is at least 21 years of age and of good moral character.
(d) Has not committed any act or offense in any jurisdiction which would constitute the basis for disciplining an optometrist.
(e) Has been offered and has accepted a full-time faculty appointment to teach in a program of optometry at a Florida-based college of optometry.
(f) Provides a certification from the dean of the college that she or he has accepted the offer of the full-time faculty appointment to teach at the Florida-based college of optometry.
(2) The certificate shall authorize the holder to practice only in conjunction with her or his faculty position at a Florida-based optometry school and its affiliated clinics which are registered with the board as sites at which holders of optometric faculty certificates will be practicing. Such certificates shall automatically expire upon termination of the holder’s relationship with the school or after a period of 2 years, whichever occurs first.
(3) The holder of a faculty certificate may engage in the practice of optometry as permitted by this section but may not administer or prescribe topical ocular pharmaceutical agents unless the certificateholder has satisfied the requirements of s. 463.006(1)(e) and (f). If a certificateholder wishes to administer or prescribe oral ocular pharmaceutical agents, the certificateholder must also satisfy the requirements of s. 463.0055(1)(b).
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), an optometric faculty certificate is renewable every 2 years by a holder who applies to the board on a form prescribed by the board and who continues to satisfy the requirements set forth in subsection (1).
History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 90-34; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 93-101; s. 233, ch. 97-103; s. 4, ch. 2013-26; s. 2, ch. 2018-78.
463.006 Licensure and certification by examination.— (1) Any person desiring to be a licensed practitioner pursuant to this chapter must apply to the department and must submit proof to the department that she or he:
(a) Has completed the application forms as required by the board, remitted an application fee for certification not to exceed $250, remitted an examination fee for certification not to exceed $250, and remitted an examination fee for licensure not to exceed $325, all as set by the board.
(b) Is at least 18 years of age.
(c) Has graduated from an accredited school or college of optometry approved by rule of the board.
(d) Is of good moral character.
(e) Has successfully completed at least 110 hours of transcript-quality coursework and clinical training in general and ocular pharmacology as determined by the board, at an institution that:
1. Has facilities for both didactic and clinical instructions in pharmacology; and
2. Is accredited by a regional or professional accrediting organization that is recognized and approved by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation or the United States Department of Education.
(f) Has completed at least 1 year of supervised experience in differential diagnosis of eye disease or disorders as part of the optometric training or in a clinical setting as part of the optometric experience.
(2) The board shall approve a licensure examination consisting of the appropriate subjects and including applicable state laws and rules and general and ocular pharmacology with emphasis on the use and side effects of ocular pharmaceutical agents. The board may by rule substitute a national examination as part or all of the examination and, notwithstanding chapter 456, may by rule offer a practical examination in addition to a written examination.
(3) Each applicant who submits proof satisfactory to the board that he or she has met the requirements of subsection (1), who successfully passes the licensure examination within 3 years before the date of application or after the submission of an application, and who otherwise meets the requirements of this chapter is entitled to be licensed as a practitioner and to be certified to administer and prescribe ocular pharmaceutical agents in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular conditions.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 7, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 10, ch. 88-205; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 4, ch. 93-101; s. 23, ch. 94-310; s. 234, ch. 97-103; s. 5, ch. 2013-26; s. 1, ch. 2018-78.
463.007 Renewal of license; continuing education.—
(1) The department shall renew a license upon receipt of the renewal application and the fee set by the board not to exceed $300.
(2) The department shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the biennial renewal of licenses.
(3) As a condition of license renewal, a licensee must demonstrate his or her professional competence by completing up to 30 hours of continuing education during the 2-year period preceding license renewal. For certified optometrists, the 30-hour continuing education requirement includes 6 or more hours of approved transcript-quality coursework in ocular and systemic pharmacology and the diagnosis, treatment, and management of ocular and systemic conditions and diseases during the 2-year period preceding application for license renewal.
(4) Criteria or course content of continuing education must be approved by the board and must be regularly reviewed by the board to assure that the programs adequately and reliably contribute to the professional competence of the licensee.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 8, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 11, ch. 88-205; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 93-101; s. 173, ch. 94-119; s. 20, ch. 2016-230.
463.008 Inactive status.—
(1) The board shall adopt rules relating to application procedures for inactive status, for the biennial renewal of inactive licenses, and for the reactivation of licenses. The board shall prescribe by rule an application fee for inactive status, a renewal fee for inactive status, a delinquency fee, and a fee for the reactivation of a license. None of these fees may exceed the biennial renewal fee established by the board for an active license.
(2) The department may not reactivate a license unless the inactive or delinquent licensee has paid any applicable biennial renewal or delinquency fee, or both, and a reactivation fee.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; s. 316, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 100, ch. 83-329; ss. 9, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 174, ch. 94-119.
463.009 Supportive personnel.—No person other than a licensed practitioner may engage in the practice of optometry as defined in s. 463.002(7). Except as provided in this section, under no circumstances shall nonlicensed supportive personnel be delegated diagnosis or treatment duties; however, such personnel may perform data gathering, preliminary testing, prescribed visual therapy, and related duties under the direct supervision of the licensed practitioner. Nonlicensed personnel, who need not be employees of the licensed practitioner, may perform ministerial duties, tasks, and functions assigned to them by and performed under the general supervision of a licensed practitioner, including obtaining information from consumers for the purpose of making appointments for the licensed practitioner. The licensed practitioner shall be responsible for all delegated acts performed by persons under her or his direct and general supervision.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 10, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 235, ch. 97-103; s. 15, ch. 2013-26.
463.011 Exhibition of license.—Each person to whom a license or branch office license is issued by the department shall keep said license conspicuously displayed in the appropriate office and shall, whenever required, exhibit said license to any authorized representative of the department.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; s. 317, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 35, ch. 85-175; s. 2, ch. 85-278; ss. 11, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
463.012 Prescriptions; filing; release; duplication.—
(1) A licensed practitioner shall keep on file for a period of at least 2 years any prescription she or he writes.
(2)(a) A licensed practitioner shall make available to the patient or her or his agent any spectacle prescription or duplicate copy determined for that patient. Such prescription shall be considered a valid prescription to be filled for a period of 5 years.
(b) A licensed practitioner shall make available to the patient or her or his agent any daily wear soft contact lens prescription or duplicate copy determined for that patient. Such prescription shall be considered a valid prescription to be filled for a period of 2 years.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 236, ch. 97-103.
463.013 Optometric services for certain public agencies.—Any agency of the state or county or any commission, clinic, or board administering relief, social security, health insurance, or health service under the laws of the state shall accept the services of licensed practitioners for the purposes of diagnosing and correcting any and all visual, muscular, neurological, and anatomic anomalies of the human eyes and their appendages of any persons under the jurisdiction of said agency, clinic, commission, or board administering such relief, social security, health insurance, or health service on the same basis and on a parity with any other person authorized by law to render similar professional service, when such services are needed, and shall pay for such services in the same way as other professionals may be paid for similar services.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 13, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
463.0135 Standards of practice.—
(1) A licensed practitioner shall provide that degree of care which conforms to that level of care provided by medical practitioners in the same or similar communities. A licensed practitioner shall advise or assist her or his patient in obtaining further care when the service of another health care practitioner is required.
(2) A licensed practitioner diagnosing angle closure, infantile, or congenital forms of glaucoma shall refer the patient to a physician skilled in diseases of the eye and licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459.
(3) When an infectious corneal disease condition has not responded to standard methods of treatment within the scope of optometric practice, the certified optometrist shall consult with a physician skilled in diseases of the eye and licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459.
(4) A licensed practitioner shall promptly advise a patient to seek evaluation by a physician skilled in diseases of the eye and licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 for diagnosis and possible treatment whenever the licensed practitioner is informed by the patient of the sudden onset of spots or “floaters” with loss of all or part of the visual field.
(5) The licensed practitioner shall routinely advise a patient to immediately contact the licensed practitioner if the patient experiences an adverse drug reaction.
(6) The licensed practitioner shall, when appropriate, refer to medical specialists or facilities patients who notify a licensed practitioner of an adverse drug reaction.
(7) The licensed practitioner shall place in a patient’s permanent record information describing any adverse drug reaction experienced by the patient, the date of such reaction, and whether any referral was made.
(8) The licensed practitioner shall maintain the names of at least three physicians, physician clinics, or hospitals to whom the licensed practitioner will refer patients who experience an adverse drug reaction. At least one of these physicians shall be a physician skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye and licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459.
(9) A licensed practitioner who believes a patient may have glaucoma shall promptly advise the patient of the serious nature of glaucoma. The licensed practitioner shall place in the patient’s permanent record that the practitioner provided such advice to the patient.
(10) A certified optometrist is authorized to perform any eye examination, including a dilated examination, required or authorized by chapter 548 or by rules adopted to implement that chapter.
(11) Co-management of postoperative care shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of this section and a patient-specific transfer of care letter that governs the relationship between the physician who performed the surgery and the licensed practitioner. The patient must be fully informed of, and consent in writing to, the co-management relationship for his or her care. The transfer of care letter shall confirm that it is not medically necessary for the physician who performed the surgery to provide such postoperative care to the patient and that it is clinically appropriate for the licensed practitioner to provide such postoperative care. Before co-management of postoperative care commences, the patient shall be informed in writing that he or she has the right to be seen during the entire postoperative period by the physician who performed the surgery. In addition, the patient must be informed of the fees, if any, to be charged by the licensed practitioner and the physician performing the surgery, and must be provided with an accurate and comprehensive itemized statement of the specific postoperative care services that the physician performing the surgery and the licensed practitioner render, along with the charge for each service.
History.—ss. 14, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 70, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 237, ch. 97-103; s. 6, ch. 2013-26.
463.014 Certain acts prohibited.—
(1)(a) No corporation, lay body, organization, or individual other than a licensed practitioner shall engage in the practice of optometry through the means of engaging the services, upon a salary, commission, or other means or inducement, of any person licensed to practice optometry in this state. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the association of a licensed practitioner with a multidisciplinary group of licensed health care professionals, the primary objective of which is the diagnosis and treatment of the human body.
(b) No licensed practitioner shall engage in the practice of optometry with any corporation, organization, group, or lay individual. This provision shall not prohibit licensed practitioners from employing, or from forming partnerships or professional associations with, licensed practitioners licensed in this state or with other licensed health care professionals, the primary objective of whom is the diagnosis and treatment of the human body.
(c) No rule of the board shall forbid the practice of optometry in or on the premises of a commercial or mercantile establishment.
(d) No licensed practitioner may practice under practice identification names, trade names, or service names, unless any dissemination of information by the practitioner to consumers contains the name under which the practitioner is licensed or that of the professional association in which the practitioner participates. Any advertisement or other dissemination of information to consumers may contain factual information as to the geographic location of licensed practitioners or of the availability of optometric services.
(e) No licensed practitioner shall adopt and publish or cause to be published any practice identification name, trade name, or service name which is, contains, or is intended to serve as an affirmation of the quality or competitive value of the optometric services provided at the identified practice.
(2) A corporation or labor organization may employ licensed practitioners to provide optometric services to bona fide employees of such corporation and members of their immediate families or to bona fide members of such labor organization and members of their immediate families, provided the provision of such services is incidental to the legitimate business of such corporation or labor organization. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorize the employment of licensed practitioners by corporations or organizations formed primarily for such purposes.
(3) Prescribing, ordering, dispensing, administering, supplying, selling, or giving any drug for the purpose of treating a systemic disease by a licensed practitioner is prohibited. However, a certified optometrist is permitted to use commonly accepted means or methods to immediately address incidents of anaphylaxis.
(4) Surgery of any kind is expressly prohibited. Certified optometrists may remove superficial foreign bodies. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “superficial foreign bodies” means any foreign matter that is embedded in the conjunctiva or cornea but that has not penetrated the globe. Notwithstanding the definition of surgery as provided in s. 463.002(6), a certified optometrist is not prohibited from providing any optometric care within the practice of optometry as defined in s. 463.002(7), such as removing an eyelash by epilation, probing an uninflamed tear duct in a patient 18 years of age or older, blocking the puncta by plug, or superficial scraping for the purpose of removing damaged epithelial tissue or superficial foreign bodies or taking a culture of the surface of the cornea or conjunctiva.
(5) No rule of the board shall prohibit a licensed practitioner from authorizing a board-certified optician to fill, fit, adapt, or dispense a contact lens prescription as authorized under chapter 484.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; s. 318, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 26, ch. 83-329; ss. 15, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 6, ch. 93-101; s. 7, ch. 2013-26.
463.0141 Reports of adverse incidents in the practice of optometry.—
(1) Effective January 1, 2014, an adverse incident occurring in the practice of optometry must be reported to the department in accordance with this section.
(2) The required notification must be in writing and submitted to the department by certified mail. The required notification must be postmarked within 15 days after the adverse incident if the adverse incident occurs when the patient is at the office of the licensed practitioner. If the adverse incident occurs when the patient is not at the office of the licensed practitioner, the required notification must be postmarked within 15 days after the licensed practitioner discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the occurrence of the adverse incident.
(3) For purposes of notification to the department, the term “adverse incident,” as used in this section, means any of the following events when it is reasonable to believe that the event is attributable to the prescription of an oral ocular pharmaceutical agent by the licensed practitioner:
(a) Any condition that requires the transfer of a patient to a hospital licensed under chapter 395.
(b) Any condition that requires the patient to obtain care from a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, other than a referral or a consultation required under this chapter.
(c) Permanent physical injury to the patient.
(d) Partial or complete permanent loss of sight by the patient.
(e) Death of the patient.
(4) The department shall review each incident and determine whether it potentially involved conduct by the licensed practitioner who may be subject to disciplinary action, in which event s. 456.073 applies. Disciplinary action, if any, shall be taken by the board.
History.—s. 8, ch. 2013-26.
463.015 Violations and penalties.— (1) Each of the following acts constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:
(a) Practicing or attempting to practice optometry without a valid active license issued pursuant to this chapter.
(b) Attempting to obtain or obtaining a license to practice optometry by fraudulent misrepresentation.
(c) Using or attempting to use a license to practice optometry which has been suspended or revoked.
(2) Each of the following acts constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083:
(a) Identifying one’s activity by using the name or title “optometrist,” “licensed practitioner,” “certified optometrist,” “Doctor of Optometry,” or “O.D.” in a manner which represents to the public that the person is a licensed practitioner or certified optometrist when the person has not been licensed or certified pursuant to this chapter.
(b) Knowingly employing unlicensed persons in the practice of optometry, except as specifically authorized by this chapter.
(c) Knowingly concealing information relating to violations of this chapter.
(d) Willfully making any false oath or affirmation when required to make an oath or affirmation pursuant to this chapter.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 16, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 89, ch. 91-224; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 53, ch. 2000-318.
463.016 Grounds for disciplinary action; action by the board.— (1) The following acts constitute grounds for denial of a license or disciplinary action, as specified in s. 456.072(2):
(a) Procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice optometry by bribery, by fraudulent misrepresentations, or through an error of the department or board.
(b) Procuring or attempting to procure a license for any other person by making or causing to be made any false representation.
(c) Having a license to practice optometry revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including the denial of licensure, by the licensing authority of another jurisdiction.
(d) Being convicted or found guilty, regardless of adjudication, of a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of optometry or to the ability to practice optometry. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this chapter.
(e) Making or filing a report or record which the licensee knows to be false, intentionally or negligently failing to file a report or record required by state or federal law, willfully impeding or obstructing such filing, or inducing another person to do so. Such reports or records shall include only those which are signed by the licensee in her or his capacity as a licensed practitioner.
(f) Advertising goods or services in a manner which is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content.
(g) Fraud or deceit, negligence or incompetency, or misconduct in the practice of optometry.
(h) A violation or repeated violations of provisions of this chapter, or of chapter 456, and any rules promulgated pursuant thereto.
(i) Conspiring with another licensee or with any person to commit an act, or committing an act, which would coerce, intimidate, or preclude another licensee from lawfully advertising her or his services.
(j) Willfully submitting to any third-party payor a claim for services which were not provided to a patient.
(k) Failing to keep written optometric records about the examinations, treatments, and prescriptions for patients.
(l) Willfully failing to report any person who the licensee knows is in violation of this chapter or of rules of the department or the board. However, a person who the licensee knows is unable to practice optometry with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material, or as a result of a mental or physical condition, may be reported to a consultant operating an impaired practitioner program as described in s. 456.076 rather than to the department.
(m) Gross or repeated malpractice.
(n) Practicing with a revoked, suspended, inactive, or delinquent license.
(o) Being unable to practice optometry with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material or as a result of any mental or physical condition. A licensed practitioner affected under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate that she or he can resume the competent practice of optometry with reasonable skill and safety to patients.
(p) Having been disciplined by a regulatory agency in another state for any offense that would constitute a violation of Florida laws or rules regulating optometry.
(q) Violating any provision of s. 463.014 or s. 463.015.
(r) Violating any lawful order of the board or department, previously entered in a disciplinary hearing, or failing to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena of the board or department.
(s) Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law or accepting and performing professional responsibilities which the licensed practitioner knows or has reason to know she or he is not competent to perform.
(t) Violating any provision of this chapter or chapter 456, or any rules adopted pursuant thereto.
(2) The board may enter an order imposing any of the penalties in s. 456.072(2) against any licensee who is found guilty of violating any provision of subsection (1) of this section or who is found guilty of violating any provision of s. 456.072(1).
(3) The board shall not reinstate the license of a person, or cause a license to be issued to a person it has deemed unqualified, until such time as it is satisfied that she or he has complied with all the terms and conditions set forth in the final order and that such person is capable of safely engaging in the practice of optometry.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 17, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 92-178; s. 175, ch. 94-119; s. 238, ch. 97-103; s. 65, ch. 98-166; s. 122, ch. 2000-160; s. 30, ch. 2001-277; s. 76, ch. 2002-1; s. 8, ch. 2005-240; s. 13, ch. 2017-41.
463.018 Reciprocity.—In order to ensure that licensed practitioners may be considered for licensure in other states, the board may enter into reciprocity agreements with other states.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-194; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 18, 20, 21, ch. 86-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429.