The Massachusetts Society of Optometrists has a bill pending in the Mass. state legislature right now that would change this. S.2334, An Act Relative to the Modernization of Optometric Patient Care, if passed, would bring Massachusetts up to the level of every other state in the country, and remove the current barriers to care for glaucoma patients.
Glaucoma is a serious and debilitating eye disease. It is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, and it affects over 3 million Americans, including 60,000 Massachusetts citizens. Glaucoma is significantly more common in elderly and African-American and Latino populations. Optometrists are widely found throughout Massachusetts, treating patients in rural settings and urban community health centers. Under current state law, glaucoma patients must travel to see an ophthalmologist to receive treatment for glaucoma--a situation that happens nowhere else in the country. This has been the case for over a decade.
It is up to the Massachusetts legislature to pass S.2334, and remove unnecessary barriers to care for glaucoma patients. The legislature has until July 31 to pass this bill.
Contact your legislator and ask them to move S.2334 for a vote! You can look up your legislators here.