The Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology announced that it is running radio advertisements in response to Senate Bill 220 and House Bill 555. These bills would allow optometrists – who are not medical doctors – to inject anesthesia with a needle into the delicate tissues surrounding the eye for the purpose of performing surgeries on the eyelid to remove lesions, cysts and tumors. The 30-second advertisements are running on radio stations throughout the state and are designed to educate Tennesseans about this dangerous legislation that, if passed, would pose a risk to patient safety and would lower the quality of surgical eye care that Tennesseans currently receive. The Tennessee legislation comes on the heels of a proposal in the California legislature that would give allied health professionals, including optometrists, a greatly expanded scope of practice. If passed, the new law would allow optometrists to perform a multitude of surgical eye procedures. California legislators have cited the federal Affordable Care Act as justification for loosening the state’s quality of health care delivery. Read more.