Written by The Business Journal Staff
Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill (AB) 443, authored by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), which seeks to improve eye health care access by expanding the types of treatment and procedures optometrists can offer to patients.
“I am glad the governor signed this important legislation,” said Assemblyman Sals. “Improving access to eye care and additional healthcare for Californians, especially in rural areas, is a win-win.”
Salas’s 32nd district includes all of Kings County.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2017 annual county health rankings, Kern County’s ratio of primary care physicians to population is 2,043 to 1 and Kings County is 2,500 to 1, nearly double the statewide benchmark at 1,280 to 1.
AB 443 seeks to alleviate pressure on the health care system and and make eye care more accessible by broadening the scope of practice for optometrists. Specifically, the bill allows optometrists to test patients for diabetes, administer flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines after receiving additional training, broaden treatment options for glaucoma and expand the types of eye disease optometrists can treat.