Texas Optometric Political Action Committee (TOPAC)
The Texas Optometric Political Action Committee (TOPAC) supports legislative efforts to benefit the safe and effective practice of eye and vision care in Texas.
The efforts of the Texas Optometric Association and TOPAC have resulted in a long line of legislative successes that benefit optometrists and their patients. Recent achievements include:
- 2021: TOA guided legislation for scope of practice enhancement into law. Optometrists can now prescribe all oral medications related to eye treatment, and can treat glaucoma without required co-management.
- 2017: TOA stopped misguided legislation proposed by the Texas Sunset Commission that would have abolished the independent Texas Optometry Board and placed the regulation of the practice of optometry underneath a different state agency.
- 2017: TOA helped pass legislation requiring Medicaid MCOs to accept a new provider if joining a practice that is already on the panel.
- 2015: TOA helped pass legislation prohibiting any attempts to control an optometrist's practice by insurance plans, including choice of labs and products used for patients. Additionally, TOA helped pass legislation that requires insurance companies to allow optometrists to join the insurance plans when they join a practice that already accepts those plans.
- 2013: TOA helped pass legislation that prohibits vision plans from requiring discounts or setting prices on non-covered services and products. Additionally, TOA helped pass legislation requiring the expedited credentialing of optometrists onto insurance plans.
- 2011: TOA was the first state in the country to help pass legislation prohibiting insurance companies from coercing doctors into joining vision plans in order to stay on medical panels.
- 2007: TOA helped to pass the Medicaid "Direct Access" bill, allowing Medicaid patients to see optometrists without referrals from primary care physician.
- 2003: TOA helped to pass the 'Eyecare Savings Bill' which required insurance medical panels to accept optometrists who are on that company's vision panels.
- 2001: TOA successfully fended off attacks from 1-800-CONTACTS to weaken the Texas Contact Lens law.
- 1999: TOA helped pass a bill allowing optometrists to prescribe oral medications and treat glaucoma.
- 1991: Optometrists won the right to independently administer all diagnostic eye drops and most topical eye drops, including topical steroids.
- 1989: TOA successfully lobbied to have optometrists included in Medicaid.
Without the strength of TOPAC, many of these successes would not have been possible. A strong TOPAC directly influences access to optometric services and optometrists' authority to practice to the fullest extent of their training.Please consider supporting TOPAC today. All contributions to TOPAC are investments in the future of the optometric professsion