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Double whammy for optometry!

Friday, November 28, 2014


• Loss of independent glaucoma management to medicine
• Hits in federal budget come into force on 1 January
Optometry in Australia is to be hit with a double whammy.
Within a few weeks, it will lose the right to independent management of chronic glaucoma, returning to the collaborative care arrangement that was traditionally in place until the Optometry Board of Australia introduced guidelines in early 2013 that permitted optometrists to diagnose and treat glaucoma without involvement of ophthalmologists.
Optometry will also be hit by changes under Medicare, which will affect practitioners to the tune of $89.6 million over four years (Click 'Read More' to see story).
As agreed by the OBA at a settlement conference in Brisbane on 24 November, as soon as certain administrative formalities are completed by the OBA, including amendment of its 20-months-old guidelines, an optometrist’s diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma is to be checked by an ophthalmologist within a maximum of four months of a management plan being established by the optometrist.
The ophthalmologist and the optometrist will now concur on the management plan before it is signed off by the ophthalmologist, which was the procedure before the OBA issued its revised guidelines in early 2013.
In the event of any side-effects being experienced at any time during the four months, the optometrist must immediately refer the patient to an ophthalmologist. To not do that could lead to a sanction. ...read more

Retinal-scan analysis can predict advance of macular degeneration

Friday, November 28, 2014

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States have found a new way to more accurately forecast which patients with age-related macular degeneration are likely to suffer from the most debilitating form of the disease.
Using imaging data that is already commonly collected in ophthalmologists’ practices, they could make smarter decisions about when to schedule an individual patient’s next visit in order to optimise the chances of detecting AMD progression before it causes blindness.
However a senior author of the research paper published in the November issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Dr Daniel Rubin, MD, of Stanford University, said that while the model accurately predicted every occurrence of progression to the wet stage within one year, About 40 per cent of the time when the model did predict progression to wet AMD within one year, the prediction was not borne out. ...read more

OA retains OBA’s accreditation contract for CPD providers

Friday, November 28, 2014

Optometry Australia has been awarded the three-year contract to accredit the optometry profession’s continuing professional development courses, it was announced on 14 November.
The chief executive of Optometry Australia, Ms Genevieve Quilty, said her organisation has provided CPD accreditation for many years and it was “delighted” to be continuing in that role, following a rigorous competitive tender process conducted by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
Ms Quilty said the accreditation program will be managed by Optometry Australia’s new business arm, Eye on CPD.  ...read more

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