September 1, 2022| Issue 10
Be sure to click on "view entire message" at the bottom of this email...some browsers will clip the message.
Legislative Report - Fall 2022
Where did we leave off?
We’re going for scope expansion in 2022-2023. We are removing the exclusion of therapeutic lasers from our law, allowing for YAG, SLT, and LPI for those that choose to offer these services to your patients.
The State Board of Optometry (reminder - not the IOP) is undergoing a rules review by DOPL (Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses) under the zero-based regulation executive order. This means that the rules that clarify our statute are being reviewed to get rid of “costly, ineffective, and outdated regulations.” The proposed changes so far have been administrative in nature. The IOP will continue to keep a close eye on any proposed changes and will weigh in if necessary.
What has happened since then?
The legislative committee has been hard at work checking off the boxes on our legislative strategy plan for the upcoming legislative session. There have been a couple of meetings held by DOPL regarding the rules changes that we have weighed in on to ensure there are no changes that would be unfavorable for optometry in Idaho.
We have completed the following since our last meeting:
-Created a website for the coming legislation
-Re-filmed doctor interview footage with pre-written talking points to make sure all our talking points are covered in video format - now in the final editing stages
-Reached out to all members to ask if they have any relationships with the new legislators coming in from the primary results
-Received a favorable review from the Freedom Foundation regarding our legislation
What’s to come for the Fall:
-Talk with DOPL and make sure they are at least neutral on the bill
-Talk with the Governor’s Office staff about the bill
-General election donations
-Develop a Radio Ad to use during the Session
-Develop an Op-Ed to use during the Session
-Talk with the Idaho Ophthalmology Society regarding the legislation (which will be required by legislators)
-Finalize Statement of Purpose and Fiscal Note
What do I need to do now?
Take a look at the legislators in your district now that the primaries are behind us to see if you know someone as a patient, neighbor, or friend of a friend. If you are a key person, talk to your legislator about the upcoming laser roadshow and make sure they receive a personal invitation from you to attend. If you have any concerns about the legislation, please reach out and we would be happy to discuss things further with you.
If you are a key person and are having a hard time getting in touch with your legislator, or need to update us on anything, please send your regional director, myself, or Lisa an email. We are really needing optometrists that are willing to step up to the plate and help us in these efforts to establish a relationship with legislators. For those of you who already volunteer - thank you so much!
Dr. Lauren Huber
IOP Legislative Committee Chair
Fall Legislative Report
Idaho Special Session
At the request of Governor Brad Little (R), the Idaho Legislature came back to the Idaho Statehouse for a rare Special Session on September 1, 2022. The Legislature considered one bill, House Bill 1, which spent some of the nearly $2 billion surplus. Below is a summary of the bill and what it means.
The Governor signed House Bill 1 into law after the House passed the bill on a vote of 55 to15 and the Senate approved the bill on a vote of 34 to 1. The bill will do the following:
Deliver Tax Rebates: $500 million in immediate one-time income tax rebates. Idahoans will get back 10 percent of 2020 income taxes paid, with minimum rebates of $300 for individuals and $600 for joint filers. Seniors who apply for the grocery tax credit are also eligible for the minimum rebate. Rebates will start rolling out as soon as September.
Provide Ongoing Tax Relief: Eliminates the first $2,500 of income from taxation for individuals and $5,000 for joint filers, and establishes a new lower flat tax of 5.8-percent across the board (down from 6 percent), to provide more than $150 million in ongoing relief to all working Idahoans starting in January 2023.
Investment in Education: $410 million total to Idaho education through sales tax transfer, the single largest investment in education in state history. The plan puts $330 million toward K-12 public schools to help with rising costs due to inflation, and $80 million will go toward training for in-demand careers and prepare our institutions for the likely increase in workforce development training that occurs during times of economic uncertainty.
Zero Based Regulation
The Idaho Board of Optometry is getting close to finishing up Zero Based Regulation (ZBR). ZBR is a process where the Board of Optometry throws out its administrative rules and puts back only what is necessary to protect the health and safety of the public. The Board has held multiple meetings, and they have welcomed IOP’s comments and suggestions along the way. The new rules have eliminated a lot of redundancy and unnecessary language, and have significantly simplified many “wordy” sections.
The Board is expected to send the latest draft to the Proposed status in early September 2022. What that means is that the new version of the Rules will officially be published in the Idaho Administrative Bulletin. IOP and the rest of the public will have another shot to comment on the Proposed Rules. After that, the Board will make revisions and vote on a new version sometime in November or December where the Rules will become Pending and ready to be approved by the Idaho Legislature in 2023.
Preparation for 2023 Legislative Session
IOP has taken significant steps to get ready for the 2023 Legislative Session, particularly as it pertains to the elimination of the prohibition of the use of therapeutic laser by Optometrists. Below are some key milestones that have been accomplished and other key milestones that are still in process:
Key Completed Milestones
- Secured Senator Scott Grow (R-Eagle) as the bill sponsor in the Senate.
- Secured a positive Attorney General Opinion Regarding the phrase “any means.”
- Secured a positive score from The Idaho Freedom Foundation.
- Hired the lobbying firm, Sullivan & Reberger, to help us lobby the bill during the Legislative Session.
- Drafted and completed various legislative Hand-Outs.
- Contributed to key political candidates during the May primaries.
- Attended and contributed to Governor Little’s Fundraiser at Otter Ranch.
- Confirmed a Legislative Lunch date for Monday, January 30, 2023.
Key Pending Milestones
- Hosting Laser Roadshows throughout the state.
- Attending various events where legislators will be attending, including the North Idaho Chamber tour, Associated Taxpayer of Idaho Conference, The Governor’s Ball, etc.
- Contributing to general election candidates and the major political caucuses.
- Securing a House Sponsor (Looking at Rep. Blanksma)
- Meeting with key Administrative staff and Officials.
- Meeting with new Committee Chairs and Members once they are assigned in early December.
- Meeting with the Idaho Ophthalmologist Society.
As always, it is my pleasure to represent you before the Idaho Legislature. If you have any questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The Giles Group
Insurance Advisory Committee
Aetna has been downcoding optometrists since 2019. AOA encourages every doctor
that has encountered this practice to file an appeal with Aetna and contact me or AOA
Third Party Center, who is continuing to fight this practice.
Additionally, the prior-authorization requirement imposed by Aetna ended July 1, 2022,
for all patients—except Medicare Advantage in Georgia and Florida.
Noridian has been auditing ODs, but not OMDs. Also, there are some reports coming into AOA TPC about modifier 58 being required for the second eye on CE co-management claims. If you are audited by Noridian, or getting denials on second eye CE claims, please contact me or AOA TPC.
Effective 01 January 2023, Cigna will be partnering with VSP.
Lastly, there have been some complications in billing Tricare as secondary insurance.
Again, please contact me or AOA TPC should you have any difficulties in this regard.
Best wishes to everyone as we enter Fall!!
Dr. Terri L. Haley
Our “Laser Roadshow” is kicking off on September 6th at the Ada Vision Center in Boise. It will be the first of nine stops throughout the state. This event has been very instrumental in other states who have passed scope expansion. We anticipate that it will be a key part of our legislative efforts as well. If you haven't already made plans to attend please do. We need as much community support and energy as we can get. Legislators and candidates have already been contacted and we anticipate good attendance. Not only will this event help us educate legislators about our cause but it will help them build relationships as they are campaigning for their election in November. If you have any questions or need more information please reach out to your regional director or one of the board members.
I wanted to remind everyone of our legislative website called Access Eyedaho (www.accesseyedaho.com). It is up and running and looks great. I encourage everyone to visit the site and get familiar with the content. It will help all of you be able to answer questions that may come up during our legislative battle. Being united and knowledgeable in our communications as a profession will go a long way in helping our cause. Please share it with legislators, staff, patients, and colleagues.
Dr. Cody Jones
IOP President Elect
Congress is at the end of this month in Sun Valley. We still have some openings and would love to have you join us! All of our speakers are excited to share their knowledge with you.
Classes begin Thursday afternoon, September 29th, and continue all day on Friday, September 30th! For those seeking continuing education credits, we have ten CPC credit hours and eight ABO credits.
Can’t make it to Sun Valley this year? Mark your calendars for Boise in 2023, October 5th-7th. We are working on plans for our speakers to bring in diverse topics - is there something you have been interested in? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any suggestions!
If you are considering advancing your knowledge and becoming certified, but have questions or don’t know what to study, I have answers! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for any resources or questions!
Hope to see you in person!
Tami Arnett, CPOA, ABOC
IOP Paraoptometric Committee Chair
Welcome to our newest members!
Dr. Christina Danley, email@example.com, Ada Vision Center
Dr. Chase Francoeur, firstname.lastname@example.org, Marmin Health Center
Dr. Jacob Shipton, email@example.com, Eyecare Associates of Nampa
It is with great excitement that I announce a change of hands at the IOP Membership Chair
Transitioning into this role is Dr. Aaron Bronner, a Boise optometrist at Pacific Cataract and
Laser Institute. We could not be more confident in how well IOP’s membership will be
maintained with Dr. Bronner at the helm.
With so many upcoming IOP events and announcements, be sure to check in with IOP’s social
media outlets for the latest news. Additionally, all IOP members are invited to join our newest
online community, IOP OD’s on Facebook. This group is designed to provide our members with
another way to connect with one another. Following the QR code below will allow you to request
admission to the page.
As always, please reach out with any membership-related questions, concerns, or suggestions.
Your membership is the heartbeat of the IOP; with your continued commitment we will ensure a
better future for Idaho ODs and their patients.
Dr. Jeff Ness
IOP Membership Committee Chair
- Weekly email updates will begin arriving on September 12th.
- Exhibit Hall - Friday, September 29, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
- Please visit each vendor during the exhibit hall. Their support helps us to keep registration rates low.
- Vendor door prize drawing at 1:30
- Registration opens at noon on Thursday, September 29th
- OD and Para classes begin at 1:00 pm.
Laser Roadshows: Add your name to this form if you plan to attend,
- September 6, Ada Vision Center, Boise
- September 7, Eagle Vision One, Meridian Location
- September 8, Family Eyecare Specialists, Caldwell
- September 19, Alameda Vision Center, Pocatello
- September 20, Summit Eye Care, Idaho Falls
- September 27, Eastland Vision Clinic, Twin Falls
- September 28, Hailey Eye Center, Hailey
- October 24, Hayden Vision Source, Hayden
- October 25, Pacific Cataract & Laser, Lewiston
Email me if you would like copies of our legislative one-page fact sheets.
As always, contact me with your comments, questions, or concerns.
Enjoy the summer and see you in September!
IOP Executive Director