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optometrists

New three-part series unpacks ‘dark side’ of money, influence in Florida’s Eyeball Wars

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Florida’s Eyeball Wars rage on in Tallahassee, as optometrists continue pushing a bill allowing them to perform laser surgeries despite a potentially dangerous lack of medical training. Richard Miniter, the chief executive officer of American Media Institute, broke down the issue in-depth with a three-part series co-authored with Joseph Hammond, in which he describes how optometrists have lobbied lawmakers to perform eye surgery in Florida, as well as the pushback from ophthalmologists, who argue that only trained and licensed medical…

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American Medical Association sides against optometrists in Florida Eyeball Wars

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The nation’s largest association of physicians is the latest group to come out against a bill at the center of Florida’s so-called “Eyeball Wars” between ophthalmologists and optometrists. On Thursday, American Medical Association President and CEO James Madara sent a letter to House Health & Human Services Committee chair Travis Cummings, in which he called on lawmakers to reject HB 1037, a measure that seeks give optometrists expanded practice to perform a certain type of laser surgeries in Florida. The…

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Speaker moves ‘Eyeball Wars’ closer to House floor; docs say optometrist testimony ‘patently false’

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Florida’s “Eyeball Wars” between ophthalmologists and optometrists could soon be spilling onto the House floor. On Monday, Speaker Richard Corcoran removed HB 1037 — a controversial bill to allow optometrists to perform surgery, among other things — off the agenda of the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee. A representative for Corcoran told POLITICO Florida that the measure, which seeks to expand optometry further into the practice of surgery, was one of 12 bills removed from Appropriations under Rule 7.18(c) because…

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Ophthalmologists ‘disheartened’ by House advancing bill for optometrists to practice surgery

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Optometrists enjoyed a narrow victory Wednesday in Florida’s renewed Eyeball Wars when a House committee advanced a bill to allow optometrists to perform certain types of eye surgery. After a two-hour hearing, the House Health Quality Subcommittee approved HB 1037, sponsored by Rep. Manny Diaz and opposed by both the Florida Society of Ophthalmology and the American College of Surgeons. Diaz, a Republican from Hialeah, argued the bill gives patients in rural areas better access to eye surgery, as well…

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American Surgeons warn House against latest salvo in Florida’s resurgent Eyeball Wars

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Tallahassee has once again found itself in the thick of a renewed Eyeball Wars between optometrists and ophthalmologists. And no less than patient safety in Florida is on the line. After a four-year truce, optometrists have gone back on their word, drafting legislation to allow them to perform surgery; it is a proposal that ophthalmologists, the American College of Surgeons and recent scientific research suggest would be devastating to the long-term eye health for thousands of Floridians. A bill now making…

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Eyeball Wars: It’s all about knowing who takes care of your eyes

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Do you know who is taking care of your eyes? That question is at the heart of “Joanne’s Story” a video about a Vero Beach woman who nearly lost her eyesight after an ophthalmologist caught a rare diagnosis which was missed by her optometrist. Joanne was previously under the care of an optometrist who diagnosed her with a “small cataract.” A retinal surgeon removed the cataract, and Joanne returned to the optometrist for the remainder of her care. After several…

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We told you so; Eyeball Wars set to begin anew

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Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Nearly four years have passed since the truce was called in the decades-long “eyeballs war” between Florida optometrists and ophthalmologists. But with the Legislative Session approaching, that fragile peace seems all but finished. Optometrists are seemingly going back on their word, working behind the scenes to file legislation to allow them to perform surgery, a proposal that scientific research suggests may not be a good idea. Several signs indicate optometrists had become progressively uneasy since…

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