Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
5/25/2022

Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Optometry

18VAC105-20-5. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Acute pain" means pain that occurs within the normal course of a disease or condition for which controlled substances may be prescribed for no more than three months.

"Active clinical practice" means an average of 20 hours per week or 640 hours per year of providing patient care.

"Adnexa" is defined as the conjoined, subordinate, or immediately associated anatomic parts of the human eye, including eyelids and eyebrows.

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Optometry.

"Chronic pain" means nonmalignant pain that goes beyond the normal course of a disease or condition for which controlled substances may be prescribed for a period greater than three months.

"Controlled substance" means drugs listed in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) in Schedules II through V.

"MME" means morphine milligram equivalent.

"NBEO" means the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

"Prescription Monitoring Program" means the electronic system within the Department of Health Professions that monitors the dispensing of certain controlled substances.

"TMOD" means the treatment and management of ocular disease portion of the NBEO examination.

"TPA" means therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.

"TPA certification" means authorization by the Virginia Board of Optometry for an optometrist to treat diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa and to prescribe and administer certain therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. November 30, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 20, eff. July 12, 2006; Volume 36, Issue 4, eff. November 13, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

18VAC105-20-10. Requirements for licensure.

A. The applicant, in order to be eligible for licensure to practice optometry in the Commonwealth, shall meet the requirements for TPA certification in 18VAC105-20-16 and shall:

1. Be a graduate of a school of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education or other accrediting body deemed by the board to be substantially equivalent; have an official transcript verifying graduation sent to the board;

2. Request submission of an official report from the NBEO of a score received on each required part of the NBEO examination or other board-approved examination;

3. Submit a completed application and the prescribed fee; and

4. Sign a statement attesting that the applicant has read, understands, and will comply with the statutes and regulations governing the practice of optometry in Virginia.

B. The board may waive the requirement of graduation from an accredited school of optometry for an applicant who holds a current, unrestricted license in another United States jurisdiction and has been engaged in active clinical practice for 36 out of the 60 months immediately preceding application for licensure in Virginia.

C. Required examinations. For the purpose of § 54.1-3211 of the Code of Virginia, the board adopts all parts of the NBEO examination as its written examination for licensure. After July 1, 1997, the board shall require passage as determined by the board of Parts I, II, and III of the NBEO examination, including passage of TMOD.

D. If an applicant has been licensed in another jurisdiction, the following requirements shall also apply:

1. The applicant shall attest that the applicant is not a respondent in a pending or unresolved malpractice claim.

2. Each jurisdiction in which the applicant is or has been licensed shall verify that:

a. The license is current and unrestricted, or if the license has lapsed, it is eligible for reinstatement;

b. All continuing education requirements have been completed, if applicable;

c. The applicant is not a respondent in any pending or unresolved board action; and

d. The applicant has not committed any act that would constitute a violation of § 54.1-3204 or 54.1-3215 of the Code of Virginia.

3. An applicant licensed in another jurisdiction who has not been engaged in active practice within the 12 months immediately preceding application for licensure in Virginia shall be required to complete 20 hours of continuing education as specified in 18VAC105-20-70.

4. In the case of a federal service optometrist, the commanding officer shall also verify that the applicant is in good standing.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR510-01-1 § 1, eff. October 30, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 3, eff. December 9, 1987; Volume 4, Issue 19, eff. July 20, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 10, eff. March 13, 1989; Volume 8, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 20, eff. July 26, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 19, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. November 30, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 20, eff. July 12, 2006; Volume 23, Issue 22, eff. September 24, 2007; Volume 31, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2015; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

18VAC105-20-15. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. November 30, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 20, eff. July 12, 2006; Volume 31, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2015; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

18VAC105-20-16. Requirements for TPA certification.

A. An applicant for licensure shall meet the following requirements for TPA certification:

1. Complete a full-time, postgraduate or equivalent graduate-level optometric training program that is approved by the board and that shall include a minimum of 20 hours of clinical supervision by an ophthalmologist; and

2. Submit a passing score on the TPA certification examination, which shall be TMOD or be TPA-certified by an examination satisfactory to the board.

B. A candidate for certification by the board who fails the examination as required in subdivision A 2 of this section, following three attempts, shall complete additional postgraduate training as determined by the board to be eligible for TPA certification.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. November 30, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 20, eff. July 12, 2006; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

18VAC105-20-20. Fees.

A. Required fees.

Initial application and licensure (including TPA certification)

$250

Annual licensure renewal without TPA certification

$150

Annual licensure renewal with TPA certification

$200

Annual renewal of inactive license

$100

Late renewal without TPA certification

$50

Late renewal with TPA certification

$65

Late renewal of inactive license

$35

Handling fee for returned check or dishonored credit card or debit card

$50

Reinstatement application fee (including renewal and late fees)

$400

Reinstatement application after disciplinary action

$500

Duplicate wall certificate

$25

Duplicate license

$10

Licensure verification

$10

B. Unless otherwise specified, all fees are nonrefundable.

C. From October 31, 2018, to December 31, 2018, the following fees shall be in effect:

Annual licensure renewal without TPA certification

$75

Annual licensure renewal with TPA certification

$100

Annual professional designation renewal (per location)

$25

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR510-01-1 § 2, eff. October 30, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 3, eff. December 9, 1987; Volume 4, Issue 19, eff. July 20, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 10, eff. March 13, 1989; Volume 8, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 20, eff. July 26, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 19, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. November 30, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 13, eff. April 5, 2006; Volume 22, Issue 26, eff. October 4, 2006; Volume 30, Issue 2, eff. October 23, 2013; Volume 31, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2015; Volume 31, Issue 26, eff. September 23, 2015; Volume 34, Issue 16, eff. May 2, 2018; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2020; Volume 36, Issue 12, eff. March 4, 2020; Volume 37, Issue 2, eff. October 29, 2020.

18VAC105-20-30. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR510-01-1 § 3, eff. October 30, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 3, eff. December 9, 1987; Volume 4, Issue 19, eff. July 20, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 10, eff. March 13, 1989; Volume 8, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 20, eff. July 26, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999.

18VAC105-20-40. Standards of conduct.

The board has the authority to refuse to issue or renew a license, suspend, revoke, or otherwise discipline a licensee for a violation of the following standards of conduct. A licensed optometrist shall:

1. Use in connection with the optometrist's name wherever it appears relating to the practice of optometry one of the following: the word "optometrist," the abbreviation "O.D.," or the words "doctor of optometry."

2. Notify the board of any disciplinary action taken by a regulatory body in another jurisdiction.

3. Post in an area of the optometric office that is conspicuous to the public a chart or directory listing the names of all optometrists practicing at that particular location.

4. Maintain patient records, perform procedures or make recommendations during any eye examination, contact lens examination, or treatment as necessary to protect the health and welfare of the patient and consistent with requirements of 18VAC105-20-45.

5. Notify patients in the event the practice is to be terminated or relocated, giving a reasonable time period within which the patient or an authorized representative can request in writing that the records or copies be sent to any other like-regulated provider of the patient's choice or destroyed in compliance with requirements of § 54.1-2405 of the Code of Virginia on the transfer of patient records in conjunction with closure, sale, or relocation of practice.

6. Ensure his access to the practice location during hours in which the practice is closed in order to be able to properly evaluate and treat a patient in an emergency.

7. Provide for continuity of care in the event of an absence from the practice or, in the event the optometrist chooses to terminate the practitioner-patient relationship or make his services unavailable, document notice to the patient that allows for a reasonable time to obtain the services of another practitioner.

8. Comply with the provisions of § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia related to the confidentiality and disclosure of patient records and related to the provision of patient records to another practitioner or to the patient or his personal representative.

9. Treat or prescribe based on a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship consistent with criteria set forth in § 54.1-3303 of the Code of Virginia. A licensee shall not prescribe a controlled substance to himself or a family member other than Schedule VI as defined in § 54.1-3455 of the Code of Virginia. When treating or prescribing for self or family, the practitioner shall maintain a patient record documenting compliance with statutory criteria for a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship.

10. Comply with provisions of statute or regulation, state or federal, relating to the diversion, distribution, dispensing, prescribing, or administration of controlled substances as defined in § 54.1-3401 of the Code of Virginia.

11. Not enter into a relationship with a patient that constitutes a professional boundary violation in which the practitioner uses his professional position to take advantage of the vulnerability of a patient or his family to include actions that result in personal gain at the expense of the patient, a nontherapeutic personal involvement, or sexual conduct with a patient. The determination of when a person is a patient is made on a case-by-case basis with consideration given to the nature, extent, and context of the professional relationship between the practitioner and the person. The fact that a person is not actively receiving treatment or professional services from a practitioner is not determinative of this issue. The consent to, initiation of, or participation in sexual behavior or involvement with a practitioner by a patient does not change the nature of the conduct nor negate the prohibition.

12. Cooperate with the board or its representatives in providing information or records as requested or required pursuant to an investigation or the enforcement of a statute or regulation.

13. Not violate or cooperate with others in violating any of the provisions of Chapters 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.), 24 (§ 54.1-2400 et seq.) or 32 (§ 54.1-3200 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or regulations of the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR510-01-1 § 4, eff. October 30, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 3, eff. December 9, 1987; Volume 4, Issue 19, eff. July 20, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 10, eff. March 13, 1989; Volume 8, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 20, eff. July 26, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 19, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2003; Volume 26, Issue 12, eff. March 17, 2010; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019; Volume 37, Issue 2, eff. October 29, 2020.

18VAC105-20-41. Criteria for delegation of informal fact-finding proceedings to an agency subordinate.

A. Decision to delegate. In accordance with § 54.1-2400 (10) of the Code of Virginia, the board may delegate an informal fact-finding proceeding to an agency subordinate upon determination that probable cause exists that a practitioner may be subject to a disciplinary action.

B. Criteria for delegation. Cases may be delegated to an agency subordinate upon approval by a committee of the board, except those in which an optometrist may have conducted his practice in such a manner as to endanger the health and welfare of his patients or the public.

C. Criteria for an agency subordinate.

1. An agency subordinate authorized by the board to conduct an informal fact-finding proceeding may include current or past board members and professional staff or other persons deemed knowledgeable by virtue of their training and experience in administrative proceedings involving the regulation and discipline of health professionals.

2. The executive director shall maintain a list of appropriately qualified persons to whom an informal fact-finding proceeding may be delegated.

3. The board may delegate to the executive director the selection of the agency subordinate who is deemed appropriately qualified to conduct a proceeding based on the qualifications of the subordinate and the type of case being heard.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 and Chapter 31 (§ 54.1-3100 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 18, eff. June 15, 2005.

18VAC105-20-45. Standards of practice.

A. An optometrist shall legibly document in a patient record the following:

1. During a routine or medical eye examination:

a. An adequate case history, including the patient's chief complaint;

b. The performance of appropriate testing;

c. The establishment of an assessment or diagnosis; and

d. A recommendation for an appropriate treatment or management plan, including any necessary follow-up.

2. During an initial contact lens examination:

a. The requirements of a routine or medical eye examination as prescribed in subdivision 1 of this subsection;

b. Assessment of corneal curvature;

c. Evaluation of contact lens fitting;

d. Acuity through the lens; and

e. Directions for the wear, care, and handling of lenses.

3. During a follow-up contact lens examination:

a. Evaluation of contact lens fitting and anterior segment health;

b. Acuity through the lens; and

c. Such further instructions as necessary for the individual patient.

4. In addition, the record of any examination shall include the signature of the attending optometrist and, if indicated, refraction of the patient.

B. The following information shall appear on a prescription for ophthalmic goods:

1. The printed name of the prescribing optometrist;

2. The address and telephone number at which the patient's records are maintained and the optometrist can be reached for consultation;

3. The name of the patient;

4. The signature of the optometrist;

5. The date of the examination;

6. If an expiration date is placed on a prescription for ophthalmic goods, the date shall not be less than one year unless the medical reason for a shorter expiration date is documented in the patient record; and

7. Any special instructions.

C. Contact lens.

1. Sufficient information for complete and accurate filling of an established contact lens prescription shall include (i) the power, (ii) the material or manufacturer or both, (iii) the base curve or appropriate designation, (iv) the diameter when appropriate, and (v) medically appropriate expiration date.

2. An optometrist shall provide a patient with a copy of the patient's contact lens prescription at the end of the contact lens fitting, even if the patient does not ask for it. An optometrist may first require all fees to be paid, but only if he requires immediate payment from patients whose eye examinations reveal no need for corrective eye products.

3. An optometrist shall provide or verify the prescription to anyone who is designated to act on behalf of the patient, including contact lens sellers.

4. An optometrist shall not require patients to buy contact lenses, pay additional fees, or sign a waiver or release in exchange for a copy of the contact lens prescription.

5. An optometrist shall not disclaim liability or responsibility for the accuracy of an eye examination.

D. Spectacle lens.

1. A licensed optometrist shall provide a written prescription for spectacle lenses immediately after the eye examination is completed. He may first require all fees to be paid, but only if he requires immediate payment from patients whose eye examinations reveal no need for corrective eye products.

2. An optometrist shall not require patients to buy ophthalmic goods, pay additional fees, or sign a waiver or release in exchange for a copy of the spectacle prescription.

3. An optometrist shall not disclaim liability or responsibility for the accuracy of an eye examination.

E. Practitioners shall maintain a patient record for a minimum of six years following the last patient encounter with the following exceptions:

1. Records that have previously been transferred to another practitioner or health care provider or provided to the patient or his personal representative; or

2. Records that are required by contractual obligation or federal law to be maintained for a longer period of time.

F. Practitioners shall post information or in some manner inform all patients concerning the time frame for record retention and destruction. Patient records shall only be destroyed in a manner that protects patient confidentiality.

G. For the purpose of prescribing spectacles, eyeglasses, lenses, or contact lenses to a patient, a licensee shall establish a bona fide provider-patient relationship in accordance with requirements of § 54.1-2400.01:2 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; amended, Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 12, eff. March 17, 2010; Volume 31, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2015; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

18VAC105-20-46. Treatment guidelines for TPA-certified optometrists.

A. TPA-certified optometrists may treat diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa that may be treated with medically appropriate pharmaceutical agents as referenced in 18VAC105-20-47.

B. In addition, the following may be treated:

1. Glaucoma (excluding the treatment of congenital and infantile glaucoma). Treatment of angle closure shall follow the definition and protocol prescribed in subsection C of this section.

2. Ocular-related post-operative care in cooperation with patient's surgeon.

3. Ocular trauma to the above tissues as in subsection A of this section.

4. Uveitis.

5. Anaphylactic shock (limited to the administration of intramuscular epinephrine).

C. The definition and protocol for treatment of angle closure glaucoma shall be as follows:

1. As used in this chapter, angle closure glaucoma shall mean a closed angle in the involved eye with significantly increased intraocular pressure, and corneal microcystic edema;

2. Treatment shall be limited to the initiation of immediate emergency care with appropriate pharmaceutical agents as prescribed by this chapter;

3. Once the diagnosis of angle closure glaucoma has been established by the optometrist, the ophthalmologist to whom the patient is to be referred should be contacted immediately;

4. If there are no medical contraindications, an oral osmotic agent may be administered as well as an oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitor and any other medically accepted, Schedule III, IV or VI, oral antiglaucomic agent as may become available; and

5. Proper topical medications as appropriate may also be administered by the optometrist.

D. An oral Schedule VI immunosuppressive agent shall only be used when (i) the condition fails to appropriately respond to any other treatment regimen; (ii) such agent is prescribed in consultation with a physician; and (iii) treatment with such agent includes monitoring of systemic effects.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 8, eff. December 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

18VAC105-20-47. Therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.

A. A TPA-certified optometrist, acting within the scope of his practice, may procure, administer, and prescribe medically appropriate therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (or any therapeutically appropriate combination thereof) to treat diseases and abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa within the following categories:

1. Oral analgesics - Schedule II controlled substances consisting of hydrocodone in combination with acetaminophen and Schedules III, IV, and VI narcotic and nonnarcotic agents.

2. Topically administered Schedule VI agents:

a. Alpha-adrenergic blocking agents;

b. Alpha-adrenergic agonists;

c. Cholinergic agonists;

d. Anesthetic (including esters and amides);

e. Anti-allergy (including antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers);

f. Anti-fungal;

g. Anti-glaucoma (including carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and hyperosmotics);

h. Anti-infective (including antibiotics and antivirals);

i. Anti-inflammatory;

j. Cycloplegics and mydriatics;

k. Decongestants; and

l. Immunosuppressive agents.

3. Orally administered Schedule VI agents:

a. Aminocaproic acids (including antifibrinolytic agents);

b. Anti-allergy (including antihistamines and leukotriene inhibitors);

c. Anti-fungal;

d. Anti-glaucoma (including carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and hyperosmotics);

e. Anti-infective (including antibiotics and antivirals);

f. Anti-inflammatory (including steroidal and nonsteroidal);

g. Decongestants; and

h. Immunosuppressive agents.

B. Schedules I, II, and V drugs are excluded from the list of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents with the exception of controlled substances in Schedule II consisting of hydrocodone in combination with acetaminophen and gabapentin in Schedule V.

C. Over-the-counter topical and oral medications for the treatment of the eye and its adnexa may be procured for administration, administered, prescribed, or dispensed.

D. Beginning July 1, 2020, a prescription for a controlled substance that contains an opioid shall be issued as an electronic prescription consistent with § 54.1-3408.02 of the Code of Virginia, unless the prescription qualifies for an exemption as set forth in subsection C of § 54.1-3408.02. Upon written request, the board may grant a one-time waiver of the requirement for electronic prescribing, for a period not to exceed one year, due to demonstrated economic hardship, technological limitations that are not reasonably within the control of the prescriber, or other exceptional circumstances demonstrated by the prescriber.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 8, eff. December 8, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 26, eff. September 23, 2015; amended Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 9, eff. January 22, 2020; Volume 37, Issue 7, eff. December 9, 2020; Volume 38, Issue 10, eff. February 2, 2022; Volume 38, Issue 18, eff. May 25, 2022.

18VAC105-20-48. Prescribing an opioid for acute pain.

A. Nonpharmacologic and non-opioid treatment for pain shall be given consideration prior to treatment with opioids. If an opioid is considered necessary for the treatment of acute pain, a TPA-certified optometrist shall follow the regulations for prescribing and treating with opioids.

B. Prior to initiating treatment with a controlled substance containing an opioid for a complaint of acute pain, a TPA-certified optometrist shall perform a health history and physical examination appropriate to the complaint, query the Prescription Monitoring Program as set forth in § 54.1-2522.1 of the Code of Virginia, and conduct an assessment of the patient's history and risk of substance abuse.

C. Initiation of opioid treatment for all patients with acute pain shall include the following:

1. A prescription for an opioid shall be a short-acting opioid in the lowest effective dose for the fewest number of days, not to exceed seven days as determined by the manufacturer's directions for use, unless extenuating circumstances are clearly documented in the patient record.

2. A TPA-certified optometrist shall carefully consider and document in the patient record the reasons to exceed 50 MME per day.

3. A prescription for naloxone should be considered for any patient when any risk factor of prior overdose, substance misuse, or concomitant use of benzodiazepine is present.

D. If another prescription for an opioid is to be written beyond seven days, a TPA-certified optometrist shall:

1. Reevaluate the patient and document in the patient record the continued need for an opioid prescription; and

2. Check the patient's prescription history in the Prescription Monitoring Program.

E. The patient record shall include a description of the pain, a presumptive diagnosis for the origin of the pain, an examination appropriate to the complaint, a treatment plan, and the medication prescribed (including date, type, dosage, strength, and quantity prescribed).

F. Due to a higher risk of fatal overdose when opioids are prescribed for a patient also taking benzodiazepines, sedative hypnotics, tramadol, or carisoprodol, a TPA-certified optometrist shall only co-prescribe these substances when there are extenuating circumstances and shall document in the patient record a tapering plan to achieve the lowest possible effective doses if these medications are prescribed.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 4, eff. November 13, 2019.

18VAC105-20-49. Prescribing an opioid for chronic pain.

If a TPA-certified optometrist treats a patient for whom an opioid prescription is necessary for chronic pain, he shall either:

1. Refer the patient to a doctor of medicine or osteopathic medicine who is a pain management specialist; or

2. Comply with regulations of the Board of Medicine, 18VAC85‑21‑60 through 18VAC85‑21‑120, if he chooses to manage the chronic pain with an opioid prescription.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 4, eff. November 13, 2019.

18VAC105-20-50. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR510-01-1 § 5, eff. October 30, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 3, eff. December 9, 1987; Volume 4, Issue 19, eff. July 20, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 10, eff. March 13, 1989; Volume 8, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 20, eff. July 26, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 19, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2003; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 2, eff. October 29, 2020.

18VAC105-20-60. Renewal of licensure; reinstatement; renewal fees.

A. Every person authorized by the board to practice optometry shall, on or before December 31 of 2018, submit a completed renewal form and pay the prescribed annual licensure fee. Beginning with calendar year 2020, the renewal of licensure deadline shall be March 31 of each year. For calendar year 2019, no renewal is required.

B. It shall be the duty and responsibility of each licensee to assure that the board has the licensee's current address of record and the public address, if different from the address of record. All changes of address or name shall be furnished to the board within 30 days after the change occurs. All notices required by law or by these rules and regulations are to be deemed to be validly tendered when mailed to the address of record given and shall not relieve the licensee of the obligation to comply.

C. The license of every person who does not complete the renewal form and submit the renewal fee each year may be renewed for up to one year by paying the prescribed renewal fee and late fee, provided the requirements of 18VAC105-20-70 have been met. After the renewal deadline, a license that has not been renewed is lapsed. Practicing optometry in Virginia with a lapsed license may subject the licensee to disciplinary action.

D. An optometrist whose license has been lapsed for more than one year and who wishes to resume practice in Virginia shall apply for reinstatement. The executive director may grant reinstatement provided that:

1. The applicant has a current, unrestricted license in another United States jurisdiction and has been engaged in active clinical practice within the 12 months immediately preceding application for reinstatement; or

2. The applicant has satisfied current requirements for continuing education as specified in 18VAC105-20-70 for the period in which the license has been lapsed, not to exceed two years; and

3. The applicant has paid the prescribed reinstatement application fee.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3223 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR510-01-1 § 6, eff. October 30, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 3, eff. December 9, 1987; Volume 4, Issue 19, eff. July 20, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 10, eff. March 13, 1989; Volume 8, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 20, eff. July 26, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 17, Issue 17, eff. June 6, 2001; Volume 19, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2003; Volume 25, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 2009; Volume 31, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2015; Volume 34, Issue 16, eff. May 2, 2018; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019.

18VAC105-20-61. Inactive licensure; reactivation.

A. An optometrist who holds a current, unrestricted license in Virginia may, upon a request on the renewal application and submission of the required fee, be issued an inactive license. The holder of an inactive license shall not be required to maintain continuing education requirements and shall not perform any act requiring a license to practice optometry in Virginia.

B. A licensee whose license has been inactive and who requests reactivation to an active license shall file an application, pay the difference between the inactive and active renewal fees for the current year, and provide documentation of having completed continuing education hours equal to the requirement for the number of years in which the license has been inactive, not to exceed 40 contact hours.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 12, eff. March 4, 2020.

18VAC105-20-70. Requirements for continuing education.

A. Each license renewal of an active license shall be conditioned upon submission of evidence to the board of 20 hours of continuing education taken by the applicant during the previous license period. A licensee who completes more than 20 hours of continuing education in a year shall be allowed to carry forward up to 10 hours of continuing education for the next annual renewal cycle.

1. The 20 hours may include up to two hours of recordkeeping for patient care, including coding for diagnostic and treatment devices and procedures or the management of an optometry practice, provided that such courses are not primarily for the purpose of augmenting the licensee's income or promoting the sale of specific instruments or products.

2. For optometrists who are certified in the use of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents, at least 10 of the required continuing education hours shall be in the areas of ocular and general pharmacology; diagnosis and treatment of the human eye and its adnexa, including treatment with new pharmaceutical agents; new or advanced clinical devices, techniques, modalities, or procedures; or pain management.

3. At least 10 hours shall be obtained through real-time, interactive activities, including in-person or electronic presentations, provided that during the course of the presentation, the licensee and the lecturer may communicate with one another.

4. A licensee may also include up to two hours of training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

5. Two hours of the 20 hours required for annual renewal may be satisfied through delivery of professional services, without compensation, to low-income individuals receiving health services through a local health department or a free clinic organized in whole or primarily for the delivery of those services. One hour of continuing education may be credited for three hours of providing such volunteer services, as documented by the health department or free clinic.

B. Each licensee shall attest to fulfillment of continuing education hours on the required annual renewal form. All continuing education shall be completed prior to the renewal deadline unless an extension has been granted by the Continuing Education Committee. A request for an extension shall be received prior to the renewal deadline of each year.

C. All continuing education courses shall be offered by an approved sponsor or accrediting body listed in subsection H of this section. Courses that are not approved by a board-recognized sponsor in advance shall not be accepted for continuing education credit. For those courses that have a post-test requirement, credit will only be given if the optometrist receives a passing grade as indicated on the certificate.

D. Licensees shall maintain continuing education documentation for a period of not less than three years. A random audit of licensees may be conducted by the board which will require that the licensee provide evidence substantiating participation in required continuing education courses within 30 days of the audit notification.

E. Documentation of hours shall clearly indicate the name of the continuing education provider and its affiliation with an approved sponsor or accrediting body as listed in subsection H of this section. Documents that do not have the required information shall not be accepted by the board for determining compliance. Correspondence courses shall be credited according to the date indicated on the continuing education certificate.

F. A licensee shall be exempt from the continuing competency requirements for the first renewal following the date of initial licensure by examination in Virginia.

G. The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the requirements for circumstances beyond the control of the licensee, such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters.

H. An approved continuing education course or program, whether offered by correspondence, electronically, or in person, shall be sponsored, accredited, or approved by one of the following:

1. The American Optometric Association and its constituent organizations.

2. Regional optometric organizations.

3. State optometric associations and their affiliate local societies.

4. Accredited colleges and universities providing optometric or medical courses.

5. The American Academy of Optometry and its affiliate organizations.

6. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and its affiliate organizations.

7. The Virginia Academy of Optometry.

8. Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE).

9. State or federal governmental agencies.

10. College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

11. The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education of the American Medical Association for Category 1 credit.

12. Providers of training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

13. Optometric Extension Program.

I. In order to receive credit for continuing education courses, a licensee shall submit a certificate that shows:

1. The date, location, presenter or lecturer, content hours of the course, and contact information of the provider or sponsor for verification. The certificate of attendance shall be based on verification by the sponsor of the attendee's presence throughout the course, either provided by a post-test or by a designated monitor.

2. Whether the course was in real-time and interactive, including in-person or electronic presentations.

J. Falsifying the attestation of compliance with continuing education on a renewal form or failure to comply with continuing education requirements may subject a licensee to disciplinary action by the board, consistent with § 54.1-3215 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR510-01-1 § 7, eff. October 30, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 3, eff. December 9, 1987; Volume 4, Issue 19, eff. July 20, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 10, eff. March 13, 1989; Volume 8, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 20, eff. July 26, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 19, Issue 7, eff. January 15, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. November 30, 2005; Volume 26, Issue 12, eff. March 17, 2010; Volume 32, Issue 26, eff. September 21, 2016; Volume 33, Issue 11, eff. March 9, 2017; Volume 34, Issue 16, eff. May 2, 2018; Volume 36, Issue 4, eff. November 13, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 6, eff. December 11, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 12, eff. March 4, 2020.

18VAC105-20-75. Registration for voluntary practice by out-of-state licensees.

Any optometrist who does not hold a license to practice in Virginia and who seeks registration to practice on a voluntary basis under the auspices of a publicly supported, all volunteer, nonprofit organization that sponsors the provision of health care to populations of underserved people shall:

1. File a complete application for registration on a form provided by the board at least five business days prior to engaging in such practice. An incomplete application will not be considered;

2. Provide a complete list of professional licensure in each state in which he has held a license and a copy of any current license;

3. Provide the name of the nonprofit organization, the dates and location of the voluntary provision of services;

4. Pay a registration fee of $10; and

5. Provide a notarized statement from a representative of the nonprofit organization attesting to its compliance with provisions of subdivision 2 of § 54.1-3202 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 19, eff. July 2, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 22, eff. August 6, 2008.

FORMS (18VAC105-20).

Application Instructions for Licensure/TPA Certification (rev. 6/2020)

Application for a License to Practice as a TPA-Certified Optometrist, online form available at https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Optometry/optometry_forms.htm.

Instructions/Checklist for Reactivation of an Inactive License (rev. 6/2020)

Instructions/Checklist for Reinstatement of an Expired License (rev. 6/2020)

Application for Registration for Volunteer Practice (rev. 6/2020)

Sponsor Certification for Volunteer Registration (rev. 6/2020)

Licensure Verification Form (rev. 6/2020)

Employment Verification Form (rev. 6/2020)

Instructions for Completing the Continuing Education (CE) Reporting Form (rev. 6/2020)

Continuing Education Credit Form for Volunteer Practice (rev. 6/2020)

Name/Address Change Form (rev. 6/2020)

Written Evidence for Injections (rev. 6/2020)

Request for Verification of a Virginia License (rev. 6/2020)

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.