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2015 Legislative Victories for the VOA

posted May 2, 2015, 6:00 PM by Jen Weigel
From our guest blogger, Dr. Jerry Neidigh, VOA President:

(courtesy of VOA newsletter)

"We Won! Two Legislative victories for Virginia Optometry in 2015.

First, the Hydrocodone Combination Fix passed unanimously. Once again you will be able to write prescriptions for hydrocodone combination drugs. This law will be enacted after July 1st.  We lost this 18-year privilege back in October when these drugs were reclassified to Schedule II, now we have this privilege back.

Next, the Fair Practice Vision Care Bill (also known as the “Optometry Bill” by the legislators) passed unanimously... but don’t let the vote count fool you. This was a hard fought battle that met much intense opposition from the Health and Vision Plans. In the end we prevailed and we will no longer be forced to give discounts on non-covered services plus the vision plans will not be able to dictate which optical labs, frames, contact lenses, or distributors we use as a requirement to participate in their plan. Be on the lookout for more on this. You will see new vision plan contracts and contract amendments as well as information on how to deal with the changes from the VOA."

This was my first year as a Legislative Keyperson for the VOA.  I asked to be assigned to Delegate David Bulova.  He was so nice, immediately accepting my first request to meet with him to discuss our VOA Legislative Agenda.  He was responsive to all of my questions.  And, I don't mean to brag ... OK ... I totally mean to brag ... but when the VOA did in-person legislative visits in Richmond, many Delegates, Senators, and staff were delayed by icy road conditions, but not Delegate Bulova!  I went to his office first thing in the morning to thank him for his attention to our matters, and he was already busy clicking away on his computer.  Awesome job there, Delegate!  - jw