FTC and USDOJ Joint Comment to the Massachusetts House of Representatives Regarding House Bill 1973 to Allow Non-Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma by Optometrists

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The FTC and DOJ Antitrust Division jointly submitted a statement, in response to a request by Massachusetts State Representative Bradley H. Jones, encouraging the Massachusetts legislature to consider expanding the services that optometrists can provide to glaucoma patients, subject to certain training and referral requirements, consistent with practice in other states. The statement described the potential benefits to patients of enhanced competition among glaucoma care providers, including greater access to timely and cost-competitive care, noting that unnecessarily broad scope of practice restrictions “can impose significant competitive costs on health care consumers and other payors.” The statement recommended that the legislature restrict optometrists’ ability to treat glaucoma only to the extent necessary to ensure patient health and safety.