Oregon Optometric Public Affairs Council [OOPAC]

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What is OOPAC?  OOPAC is the Oregon Optometric Public Affairs Council. While separate organizations, OOPAC works closely with the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association.  Contributions are made to campaigns of legislators and candidates for the Oregon Legislature who support optometry and its role as primary eye-care providers.  The PAC also allows special interest groups to contribute to campaigns and reaffirm support for legislators who support optometry’s goals.  A strong PAC is critical to our industry success.

Why I Support OOPAC and AOAPAC, By David Wolf, OD

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Click here to donate to OOPAC thru PayPal

 

Recent OOPAC Bill Accomplishments

SB 129: Patient Protection from Predatory Online Actors
This bill gave the Oregon Board of Optometry the authority to investigate and defend against online “vision apps” from taking advantage of a consumer’s need for new glasses or contacts. These apps and websites jeopardized eye health by purposefully disrupting the relationship between a patient and their doctor; not providing a clinical consultation, denying the health aspect of a visit to an OD. SB 129 also provided that any kind of online-based vision service would need to ensure that the patient’s records are accessible and that the initial consult was done in person. This modernization of the Oregon Statutes and Rules that govern Optometry in Oregon was an important move.

HB 3530: Patient Choice on Non-Covered Services
This bill protected the rightful relationship between the patient and doctor. It ensured that the services a patient was seeking and those recommended by the OD were made available without greater expense and greater hassle for all parties. With challenges afoot from VSP, this bill is being put to the test. We’ve created an enforceable action at the DCBS and now should prove to be instrumental in maintaining the patient-doctor relationship into 2021.

SB 575: Comprehensive Eye Exams for Students
SB 575 strived to ensure that the near 80% of the students who are referred to Special Education for: Reading Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury, ADHD, Developmental Disabilities, Emotional Disturbance - and Juvenile Offenders have vision problems - yet most do not get comprehensive eye exams to rule out sensory barriers. While non-profit community-based groups offer the opportunity for vision screenings, all children need comprehensive eye exams; screenings are not exams. Screenings may test distance vision, but do not test the way the eyes track and hold focus - which are critical to reading and learning. OOPAs bill ensures that all children referred for a special education evaluation receive comprehensive eye exams to rule out vision and eye health problems as barriers to learning.

SB 289: Vision Screening Funding via Dept. of Education
SB 289 is a continuation of the funding for the Lion’s Screening Program in the public schools. This is a grant program that is also available to other community-based non-profits who administer mobile vision screenings across the state of Oregon. This legislation was key to helping get students who needed the vision and eye health in to see an OD for a comprehensive eye exam. OOPA was able to work closely with Lion’s behind the scenes to ensure that the referral process was as easy as possible for parents and students.