Call to Action Against Bill SB230 in Florida

the FOA had a recent webinar to answer questions about SB 230. One of the most important takeaways from that meeting for those of us in FL is this: We all must continue to call Governor Ron DeSantis daily at 850-717-9337 to VETO SB 230.
When you call, press option 1 and wait to speak to a staff member. You can also leave a voice message which also counts as a call. Leave your name, phone number, and that you wish to have DeSantis VETO SB 230. If the voice box is full, call again.
Please also send one e-mail: We have to keep at it, Divas!

Here’s an email sample:

Honorable Governor DeSantis,

I am respectfully requesting for you to VETO SB 230. As a Doctor of Optometry, I provide essential eyecare services to my community.

SB 230 is an anti-competitive bill that unfairly targets optometrists who provide 85% of the primary eye care to the citizens of Florida and will create more confusion for patients and interfere with the important optometric physician-patient relationship. Additionally, as the population of our country grows, the number of ophthalmologists will not be able to keep up with demand for eye care services. Patients over 65 need significantly more eye care services than younger patients, and anything that interferes with the optometric physician-patient relationship is harmful and unnecessary for the people of Florida.

It is worth noting that optometrists have received recognition as “physicians” in the Federal Register, as well as from CMS and Florida Medicaid. However, if SB 230 is not vetoed, optometrists will be charged with a FELONY if they use the term “optometric physician.” Doctors of Optometry have invested a significant amount of time and money into earning a four-year doctoral degree, yet will not be able to use the term “optometric physician” like chiropractic physicians, podiatric physicians, and dentists who earn their degrees in four years or less. Please VETO SB 230.


Dr. _____, Doctor of Optometry

Below are some important FAQs and answers for SB 230 to help give some clarity about this bill.

Can I call myself a “Doctor”?

Yes, but when introducing yourself to any new patient and for advertising purposes, you must make clarifications.

How do I use the term in a clinical setting?

“I am Dr. X, your optometrist.” “I am Dr. X, a certified optometrist.” “My name is X, I am a Doctor of Optometry.” Should the bill pass, you CANNOT say “I am Dr. X, the optometric physician.”

Why does “physician” matter?

Though we may still be able to call ourselves “doctors,” the term “physician” holds value for insurance purposes.

How will medical reimbursement be affected?

It is unknown at this time.

Is the penalty truly a felony?


If the Governor signs the bill, when does the law take effect?

July 1, 2023

Does the Governor actually read our emails?

He has a team who reads and tallies every email and call received.

What has the FOA been doing to prevent this from happening?

FOA raises money to donate to Florida OD-EYEPAC. PAC money pays for lawyers and lobbyists to help garner support from key legislators to support bills that elevate optometry or to help fight legislation that hurts optometry, such as this bill, on our behalf. The FOA also keeps us informed on these types of legislation, so that we know and understand what our responsibilities are.

What can the FOA do to reverse this?

The FOA will continue to raise awareness and work with lobbyists and legislators to preserve and defend the optometric profession as well as the scope of practice for all dues-paying members and non-dues-paying members. The hardship is working with only 47-49% of dues-paying members and only 14% of those members contribute to OD-EYEPAC. If our goals and responsibilities are aligned, and we significantly increase these percentages, we have more strength in what we can achieve.
If you have not joined, consider doing so today.
For those of you in other states, please share any updates you may have in the comments and a link where we can all take action in support. Let’s make our voices heard!

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