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Sponsors: Reps. Hayes, Battle, G. Brown, J. Hines, Jennings, Keegan and Richardson
Document Path: l:\council\bills\nbd\12201ac04.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 1019
Introduced in the House on February 19, 2004
Introduced in the Senate on April 28, 2004
Last Amended on May 26, 2004
Passed by the General Assembly on June 2, 2004
Governor's Action: December 6, 2004, Vetoed
Legislative veto action(s): Veto sustained
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2/19/2004 House Introduced and read first time HJ-58 2/19/2004 House Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs HJ-59 2/24/2004 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Keegan 3/2/2004 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Richardson 4/21/2004 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs HJ-6 4/26/2004 Scrivener's error corrected 4/27/2004 House Amended HJ-30 4/27/2004 House Read second time HJ-32 4/28/2004 House Read third time and sent to Senate HJ-8 4/28/2004 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-21 4/28/2004 Senate Referred to Committee on Medical Affairs SJ-21 5/13/2004 Senate Committee report: Favorable Medical Affairs SJ-7 5/19/2004 Senate Amended SJ-58 5/19/2004 Senate Read second time SJ-58 5/19/2004 Senate Ordered to third reading with notice of amendments SJ-58 5/20/2004 Senate Read third time and returned to House with amendments SJ-19 5/20/2004 Scrivener's error corrected 5/26/2004 House Senate amendment amended HJ-55 5/26/2004 House Returned to Senate with amendments HJ-73 6/2/2004 Senate Concurred in House amendment and enrolled SJ-42 6/3/2004 Ratified R 430 12/6/2004 Vetoed by Governor 1/12/2005 House Veto sustained Yeas-0 Nays-106 HJ-42
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NOTE: THIS COPY IS A TEMPORARY VERSION. THIS DOCUMENT WILL REMAIN IN THIS VERSION UNTIL PUBLISHED IN THE ADVANCE SHEETS TO THE ACTS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS. WHEN THIS DOCUMENT IS PUBLISHED IN THE ADVANCE SHEET, THIS NOTE WILL BE REMOVED.
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 37, TITLE 40, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE LICENSURE AND REGULATION OF OPTOMETRISTS, SO AS TO CONFORM THIS CHAPTER TO THE STATUTORY AND ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK ESTABLISHED FOR PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL BOARDS IN CHAPTER 1, TITLE 40, UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION; TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THE LICENSURE AND REGULATION OF OPTOMETRISTS, BY, AMONG OTHER THINGS, PROVIDING THAT A BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE IS REQUIRED FOR LICENSURE, ESTABLISHING LICENSURE BY ENDORSEMENT, CLARIFYING THAT THERAPEUTICALLY-CERTIFIED OPTOMETRIC EDUCATION COURSES MAY BE TAKEN WHILE ATTENDING SCHOOL RATHER THAN AFTER GRADUATION, PROVIDING THAT BY SEPTEMBER 30, 2007, ALL LICENSED OPTOMETRISTS MUST BE LICENSED AS THERAPEUTICALLY-CERTIFIED OPTOMETRISTS, AND TO PROVIDE TRANSITION PROVISIONS; BY ADDING SECTION 40-13-255 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PRACTICE OF HAIR BRAIDING AND PROVIDE THAT ONLY INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE LICENSED TO PRACTICE COSMETOLOGY OR WHO ARE REGISTERED TO PRACTICE HAIR BRAIDING MAY ENGAGE IN THE PRACTICE OF OR PERFORM HAIR BRAIDING SERVICES; TO AMEND SECTION 40-13-20, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS RELATING TO COSMETOLOGY, SO AS TO DEFINE "HAIR BRAIDING"; AND BY ADDING ARTICLE 10, CHAPTER 47, TITLE 40 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGISTERED CARDIOVASCULAR INVASIVE SPECIALISTS ACT, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE A PERSON MUST FOLLOW TO BECOME A REGISTERED CARDIOVASCULAR INVASIVE SPECIALIST, TO PROVIDE THE SERVICES A CARDIOVASCULAR INVASIVE SPECIALIST MAY PERFORM, TO PROVIDE FOR THE DISCIPLINE OF A PERSON WHO HAS BECOME UNFIT TO PRACTICE OR WHO HAS VIOLATED THIS ARTICLE, TO PROVIDE CERTAIN THINGS THAT A CARDIOVASCULAR INVASIVE SPECIALIST MUST DO AND MAY NOT DO, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Licensure and regulation of optometrists
SECTION 1. Chapter 37, Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Section 40-37-5. Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, Chapter 1 of Title 40 applies to optometrists regulated by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. If there is a conflict between this chapter and Article 1, Chapter 1 of Title 40, the provisions of this chapter control.
Section 40-37-10. (A) There is created the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry, which consists of seven members. Five members must be licensed optometrists appointed by the Governor upon nomination by all licensed optometrists in this State through an election conducted by the board. The Governor may reject any or all of those nominated upon satisfactory showing of the unfitness of those rejected. If the Governor declines to appoint any of the nominees submitted, additional nominees must be submitted in the same manner as the initial nominees. Vacancies must be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term. Two members of the board must be members of the general public who do not derive their income or support from any optical or optical-related business and who are not related to an optometrist or a person engaged in an optical-related business. The members from the general public may be nominated by any individual, group, or association and must be appointed by the Governor in accordance with Title 40, Chapter 1.
(B) The members of the board serve terms of four years and until their successors are appointed and qualify. No person may serve more than two consecutive four-year terms; however, if a person is appointed to fill an unexpired term, the person may be reappointed for two additional four-year terms. The Governor may remove a member of the board in accordance with Section 1-3-240. No member may be removed without first giving the member an opportunity to refute the charges filed against the member, who must be given a copy of the charges at the time they are filed.
(C) Any business conducted by the board must be by a positive majority vote. For purposes of this subsection, 'positive majority vote' means a majority vote of the entire membership of the board reduced by any vacancies existing at the time.
Section 40-37-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Board' means the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry;
(2) 'Contact lens' means any device placed in contact with the eye for the purposes of correcting vision, therapy, or cosmetic alteration;
(3) 'Direct supervision' means supervision provided by a licensed optometrist who must:
(a) be present in the department or facility where the supervisee is performing services;
(b) be immediately available to assist the supervisee in the services being performed; and
(c) maintain continued involvement in appropriate aspects of each treatment;
(4) 'Optical supplies' include, but are not limited to, contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses, ophthalmic frames;
(5) 'Basic certified optometrist' means an optometrist without education or training in the use of pharmaceutical agents and licensed to practice optometry without the use of pharmaceutical agents;
(6) 'Diagnostic certified optometrist' means an optometrist educated and trained in the use of pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes only and licensed to practice optometry in conjunction with the use of pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes only;
(7) 'Therapeutic certified optometrist' means an optometrist educated and trained in the use of pharmacological agents for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and licensed to practice optometry with the use of pharmacological agents for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Section 40-37-30. (A) It is unlawful for a person to engage in the practice of optometry in this State without being licensed by the board, except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.
(B) A person is deemed to be practicing optometry within the meaning of this chapter if the person:
(1) displays a sign or in any way advertises as an optometrist;
(2) employs any means for the measurement of the powers of vision or the adaptation of lenses for the aid of vision;
(3) uses lenses in the testing of the eye in the sale of spectacles, eyeglasses, or lenses other than lenses actually sold;
(4) examines the human eye by the employment of any subjective or objective physical means, to ascertain the presence of defects or abnormal conditions for the purpose of relieving them by the use of lenses, prisms, or other physical or mechanical means;
(5) practices orthoptics or prescribes contact lenses; or
(6) utilizes pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic and or therapeutic purposes in the practice of optometry in accordance with this chapter.
(C) The possession of appliances for the examination of the eye, optical supplies, ophthalmic instruments, or optical equipment, is prima facie evidence of practicing optometry and requires compliance with this chapter.
Section 40-37-40. (A) The board shall:
(1) determine the eligibility of applicants for examination and licensure as optometrists;
(2) prescribe the subjects, character, and manner of licensing examinations;
(3) adopt a code of professional ethics appropriate to the profession of optometry;
(4) evaluate and set criteria for continuing education course hours and programs;
(5) conduct hearings on alleged violations by licensees of this chapter or regulations promulgated under this chapter;
(6) discipline persons licensed under this chapter; and
(7) promulgate regulations in accordance with the South Carolina Administrative Procedures Act.
(B) The board may adopt an official seal and may adopt bylaws governing its proceedings.
Section 40-37-50. (A) The board must be administered by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in accordance with Title 40, Chapter 1. The department shall provide all administrative, fiscal, investigative, inspectional, clerical, secretarial, and license renewal operations and activities.
(B) Fees must be assessed, collected, and adjusted on behalf of the board by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in accordance with this chapter and Section 40-1-50(D).
Section 40-37-80. For the purpose of conducting an investigation under this chapter, the department shall subpoena witnesses, take evidence, and require the production of any documents or records that the board considers relevant to the inquiry. The department shall administer oaths and issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production and examination of books, papers, and records on behalf of the board or, upon request, on behalf of a party to a proceeding. Upon failure to obey a subpoena or to answer questions propounded by the board or its hearing officer or panel, the board may apply to an administrative law judge for an order requiring the person to comply. If a board member files a complaint, the board member must not participate in the capacity as a board member at the hearing of the complaint.
Section 40-37-90. The results of all investigations must be presented to the board. If from these results it appears that a violation has occurred or that a licensee has become unfit to practice optometry, the board, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, may take disciplinary action. No disciplinary action may be taken unless the matter is presented to and voted upon by the board. The board may designate a hearing officer or hearing panel to conduct hearings or take other action as may be necessary under this section.
Section 40-37-100. In addition to initiating a criminal proceeding for a violation of this chapter, the board may seek civil penalties and injunctive relief in accordance with Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-110. (A) In addition to the grounds for disciplinary action provided in Title 40, Chapter 1, the board may revoke, suspend, reprimand, or otherwise restrict or limit the license of an optometrist or reprimand or otherwise discipline a licensee when it is established to the satisfaction of the board that the licensee:
(1) has been convicted of a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude; forfeiture of a bond or a plea of nolo contendere is considered a conviction;
(2) has knowingly performed an act that in any way assists a person to practice optometry illegally;
(3) has caused to be published or circulated, directly or indirectly, fraudulent, false, or misleading statements as to the skill or methods of practice of an optometrist;
(4) has failed to provide and maintain reasonable sanitary facilities;
(5) is guilty of obtaining fees or assisting in obtaining fees under deceptive, false, or fraudulent circumstances;
(6) has violated a provision of this chapter or regulations promulgated under this chapter;
(7) has been guilty of using third-party solicitation that is untruthful, deceptive, or coercive to obtain patronage.
(B) In addition to all other remedies and actions provided for in this chapter, the license of an optometrist adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction automatically must be suspended by the board until the optometrist is adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction or in any other manner provided by law as being restored to mental competency.
Section 40-37-115. The board has jurisdiction over the action of licensees and former licensees as provided for in Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-120. The board may take disciplinary action against a person as provided for in this chapter or Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-150. A licensee under investigation for a violation of this chapter or a regulation promulgated under this chapter may voluntarily surrender the license in accordance with Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-160. A person aggrieved by a final action of the board may seek review of the decision in accordance with Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-170. A person found in violation of this chapter or regulations promulgated under this chapter may be required to pay costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of the case in accordance with Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-180. All costs and fines imposed pursuant to this chapter must be paid in accordance with and are subject to the collection and enforcement provisions of Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-190. Investigations and proceedings conducted under the provisions of this chapter are confidential and all communications are privileged as provided for in Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-200. (A) It is unlawful for a person to practice optometry in violation of this chapter, and a person committing such a violation, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. Each violation constitutes a separate offense.
(B) In addition to the penalty provided in this section, optical supplies involved in the unlicensed practice of optometry in violation of this chapter must be confiscated and delivered to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction where the violation occurred, and these supplies are considered contraband material as provided for in law.
(C) Penalties provided for in this chapter or in Article 1, Chapter 1 of Title 40 apply to a corporation, association, or person aiding and abetting in committing a violation.
Section 40-37-230. As provided for in Title 40, Chapter 1, the board may deny licensure to an applicant based on the same grounds for which the board may take disciplinary action against a licensee.
Section 40-37-235. A license for optometry may be denied based on a person's prior criminal record as provided for in Title 40, Chapter 1.
Section 40-37-240. (A) A person is qualified to receive authorization to practice as an optometrist if the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that he or she:
(1) has submitted a written application in the form prescribed by the board;
(2) has received a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university;
(3) was graduated from an accredited school or college of optometry that required four years' attendance and that grants the degree of doctor of optometry, if the schools and courses are approved by the board;
(4) has satisfactorily passed all required examinations recognized or conducted by the board including, but not limited to, the examination of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry;
(5) demonstrates good moral character;
(6) has paid all applicable fees specified by the board.
(B) If an applicant satisfies all licensure requirements provided in this chapter, the board may issue an authorization to practice to the applicant. An authorization to practice is a personal privilege and not transferable, and the issuance of an authorization to practice is evidence that the person is entitled to all rights and privileges of a licensed optometrist while the authorization to practice remains current and unrestricted. However, the license is the property of the State and upon suspension or revocation immediately must be returned to the board.
(C) A licensee must display his or her license in a prominent and conspicuous place in the licensee's primary place of practice. Duplicates certified by the board must be displayed in any secondary places of practice.
(D)(1) Licenses issued under this chapter must be renewed every two years on or before a date approved by the board upon the payment of a renewal fee and providing documentation of a minimum of forty hours of continuing education courses or meetings.
(2) Continuing education instruction must be on subjects relative to optometry, exclusive of office management or administration, at board-approved and recognized educational seminars and courses or accredited institutions of learning. Four of the forty hours may be for courses directly related to mandated health care programs including, but not limited to, HIPAA, Medicare, and Medicaid, and Ethics or Jurisprudence. Sixteen of the forty hours must be pharmacology or pathology related. Satisfactory proof of compliance with this requirement is a prerequisite for biennial license renewal.
(E) Any licensee who allows his or her license to lapse by failing to renew the license in accordance with this section may be reinstated by the board upon satisfactory explanation by the licensee of failure to renew the license and upon payment of a reinstatement fee and the current renewal fee as established by the board. If a license has lapsed for more than one year, the board may impose further educational requirements for reinstatement. If a license has lapsed for more than two years, the person must reapply for licensure. A person practicing as an optometrist in this State during the time that his or her license has lapsed, has engaged in unlicensed practice and is subject to penalties provided for in this chapter.
Section 40-37-245. An optometrist currently licensed and practicing at the therapeutic level in another jurisdiction may obtain a license by endorsement as an optometrist in this State. An applicant for licensure by endorsement must have:
(1) submitted a written application in the form prescribed by the board;
(2) received a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university;
(3) graduated from an accredited school or college of optometry that required four years' attendance and that grants the degree of doctor of optometry, if the schools and courses are approved by the board;
(4) satisfactorily passed all required examinations recognized or conducted by the board including, but not limited to, the examination of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry;
(5) presented to the board evidence that all optometry licenses possessed by the applicant are current and in good standing;
(6) presented to the board proof that no professional licenses granted to the applicant in any other state have been suspended, revoked, or restricted for any reason except nonrenewal or for the failure to obtain the required continuing education; and
(7) paid all applicable fees specified by the board.
Section 40-37-280. (A) It is unlawful for a licensee to permit his or her license to be used by any unlicensed person, and it is unlawful for an unlicensed person to practice or attempt to practice or conduct business under the rights and privileges conferred upon another licensed person.
(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an optometrist may delegate tasks to assistants working under his or her direct supervision. However, under no circumstances may an assistant be allowed to make a refraction for eyeglasses or prescribe contact lenses. Nothing in this section precludes an optometrist who is supervising an assistant from being absent from the practice for reasonable periods during the working day including, but not limited to, lunch or other customary, practice-related absences. Nothing in this section may be construed to interfere with the operation of offices in accordance with Section 40-37-325.
Section 40-37-290. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an optometrist may purchase, possess, administer, supply, and prescribe pharmaceutical agents, including oral and topically applied medications other than Schedule I and II controlled substances as defined in Section 44-53-110, for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in the practice of optometry, except that:
(1) when prescribing oral and topically applied medications, an optometrist is limited to these oral pharmaceutical agents: antihistamines, antimicrobial, antiglaucoma, over-the-counter drugs, and analgesics for the treatment of ocular and ocular adnexal eye disease. An optometrist may only prescribe these medications for the treatment of ocular and ocular adnexal eye disease;
(2) when prescribing medications for the treatment of ocular and ocular adnexal disease, documentation in the patient's chart and appropriate consultations and referrals must be in accordance with the standard of care provided for in Section 40-37-310(E);
(3) when prescribing analgesics, the prescription must be limited to a seven-day supply;
(4) when prescribing topical steroids, if after twenty-one days of treatment it is necessary to continue this medication, the optometrist shall communicate and collaborate with an ophthalmologist;
(5) no medications may be given by injection or intravenously.
Section 40-37-300. (A) An optometrist may not establish a pharmacy in an optometry office or sell pharmaceutical agents prescribed in treatment unless there is a licensed pharmacist on staff and present when these prescriptions are filled. However, nothing in this section or in any other provision of law prohibits a licensed optometrist from administering or supplying pharmaceutical agents to a patient, without charge for the pharmaceutical agents, to initiate appropriate treatment.
(B) Notwithstanding subsection (A) or any other provision of law, an optometrist may purchase, possess, administer, sell, prescribe, or dispense contact lenses, contact lens solutions, and topically applied dyes.
(C) For purposes of this chapter 'supply' is limited to pharmaceutical agents given to a patient by an optometrist for the purpose of initiating treatment until the patient's prescription can be filled by a registered pharmacist.
Section 40-37-310. (A) In the diagnosis and treatment of ocular and ocular adnexal eye disease, documentation in the patient's chart and appropriate consultations and referrals must be in keeping with the standards of care provided for in this section.
(B) In the diagnosis or treatment of eye disease, an optometrist, using judgment and that degree of skill, care, knowledge, and attention ordinarily possessed and exercised by optometrists in good standing under like circumstances, shall refer a patient to an appropriate medical or osteopathic doctor including, but not limited to, corneal, glaucoma, or retinal ophthalmological specialists when additional evaluation or treatment is necessary. However, an optometrist may refer a patient to another optometrist when additional evaluation or treatment is necessary or to a medical or osteopathic doctor as provided for in this section, and an optometrist may refer a patient to another optometrist for the purpose of fitting or dispensing eyeglasses, contact lenses, or low vision aids. The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry shall promulgate regulations for the maintenance of records of referrals by optometrists in accordance with this section.
(C) Notwithstanding subsection (B), in treating and managing glaucoma an optometrist must strive to achieve a stable range of intraocular pressures considered unlikely to cause further optic nerve damage in that patient. Once this range of pressures is selected based on conditions presented by the patient, the optometrist must enter this range in the patient's chart. If no measurable progress is achieved in realizing the selected range of pressures within sixty days of initiating treatment, the optometrist shall refer the patient to an ophthalmologist. However, when treating acute angle closure glaucoma, an optometrist immediately shall initiate treatment, after which, the optometrist shall make an appropriate referral to an ophthalmologist.
(D) An optometrist is prohibited from performing surgery. For purposes of this section surgery includes, but is not limited to, an invasive procedure using instruments that require closure by suturing, clamping, or other similar devices or a procedure in which the presence or assistance of a nurse anesthetist or an anesthesiologist is required. An optometrist is also prohibited from performing laser surgery. However, nothing in this section or any other provision of law may be construed to prohibit an optometrist from removing superficial ocular and ocular adnexal foreign bodies; removal of other foreign bodies must be referred to an ophthalmologist.
(E) An optometrist must be held to the same standard of care as persons licensed under Title 40, Chapter 47, Physicians, Surgeons, and Osteopaths and shall maintain a minimum of one million dollars in malpractice insurance coverage.
Section 40-37-320. (A) An optometrist shall post in a conspicuous place the office hours that he or she will maintain. Office hours are those hours in which a licensed optometrist is actually present on the premises; however, this section does not prevent the office from being open for the purpose of accepting appointments or payments or performing other duties that by law do not require the presence of a licensed optometrist. Advertisements or any other public announcement of office hours must specify those hours in which a licensed optometrist is present on the premises.
(B) Mobile units may be used; however, the optometrist shall obtain a registration for the mobile unit from the board. A mobile unit must be limited to visiting and providing services to licensed health care facilities within this State.
(C) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A), the board may promulgate regulations regarding optometrists' offices so as to provide for:
(1) adequate and appropriate office facilities for the practice of optometry;
(2) the proper handling of patient records; and
(3) appropriate sanitation for office facilities.
Section 40-37-325. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to limit the number or to prescribe or restrict the location of offices an individual optometrist or group of optometrists may operate. Every optometrist must display a separate certificate of licensure certified by the board in each location in which the optometrist practices. Duplicate certificates of licensure may be obtained from the board by filing an application on a form prescribed by the board and paying the prescribed fees.
Section 40-37-330. (A) Whenever it is required by law that a visual test of the eye must be made or optometric care of the eye is required of a person by a school or college or a state or county agency, the test or care may be given by an optometrist licensed in this State. When a person is required to furnish evidence of visual efficiency, a report of a licensed optometrist is sufficient evidence to comply with the requirement.
(B) All agencies of the State and its subdivisions and all commissions, clinics, and boards administering relief, public assistance, public welfare assistance, social security, or health services under the laws of this State shall accept the services of licensed optometrists for all services that they are licensed to perform relating to a person receiving benefits from such an agency or subdivision of the State. These agencies or agents, officials, or employees of these agencies, including the public schools, may counsel with and advise the persons needing eye care as to the type of service needed and as to those qualified to render the service; however no attempt may be made to guide an individual seeking vision or eye care to either an optometrist or a physician licensed under Title 40, Chapter 47, Physicians, Surgeons, and Osteopaths. The patient must be given free choice in selecting a specialist to serve the patient's vision or eye-care needs in examinations, vision screening, or other vision related services. However, an exception must be made in emergency cases of obvious eye injury or disease where delay in obtaining the services of a physician licensed under Title 40, Chapter 47, Physicians, Surgeons, and Osteopaths might endanger the patient's visual health. Additionally, in recognized instances of disease or anomalies disclosed in the original physical evaluation by an agency, these cases may be referred directly to specialists, ophthalmologists, or optometrists as considered appropriate by the evaluating agency.
(C) There may be no differential in the fee schedule for payment of vision or eye-care services, whether performed by an optometrist or a physician licensed under Title 40, Chapter 47, Physicians, Surgeons, and Osteopaths, that is, for like services common to both professions.
(D) No funds appropriated for vision or eye care may be used by an agency that practices discrimination between a licensed optometrist or a physician licensed under Title 40, Chapter 47, Physicians, Surgeons, and Osteopaths.
(E) Nothing in this section may prevent a nurse, school teacher, or welfare worker employed in public service from ascertaining the probable need of visual services, if the person does not attempt to diagnose, prescribe, or recommend a particular practitioner or system of practice.
Section 40-37-350. (A) This chapter does not apply to:
(1) a bona fide student of optometry, medicine, or osteopathy in the clinic rooms or an approved program of an accredited school of optometry, medicine, or osteopathy;
(2) a commissioned officer in the armed services who is engaged in the practice of optometry in this State as long as the practice is in the performance of the officer's military duties; or
(3) an individual licensed in another jurisdiction who is in this State to make a clinical demonstration before a professional society or association, convention, school or college, or agency of the government.
(B) Nothing in this chapter may be construed to apply to:
(1) a physician licensed under Title 40, Chapter 47, Physicians, Surgeons, and Osteopaths, in the due course of professional practice; or
(2) persons who sell as merchandise from an established place of business, ready-made eyeglasses or spectacles if the person does not aid the purchaser in the fitting of the eyeglasses or spectacles; or
(3) persons representing supply companies in the act of selling supplies or equipment to licensed eye care providers.
(C) Nothing in this chapter precludes a licensed optician from practicing opticianry as defined by the laws of this State.
Section 40-37-360. Nothing contained in this chapter or any other provision of law may be construed to restrict or set the price that may be charged for eyeglasses.
Section 40-37-370. Nothing in this chapter or any other provision of law may be construed to prevent an optometrist licensed under this chapter from maintaining and operating a laboratory required for private professional practice.
Section 40-37-390. (A) It is unlawful for a person, partnership, or corporation that provides optometric services to disseminate, directly or indirectly, or cause to be disseminated any untruthful, deceptive advertisement or representation concerning eye examinations, ophthalmic goods, ophthalmic services, or the practice of optometry. It is also unlawful for a person, partnership, or corporation to disseminate, directly or indirectly, or cause to be disseminated any untruthful, impossible, improbable, misleading, or deceptive advertisement or representation concerning the terms, guarantee, or warranty that relates to the procurement of ophthalmic goods or services.
(B) It is unlawful for a person, partnership, or corporation that provides optometric services to offer or give eye examinations as a premium or bonus with the purchase of merchandise or in any other manner to induce trade without offering the following information:
(1) if the offered examination fee is represented as being a reduced price, sale price, or discounted price, the offer must disclose whether the reduced price, sale price, or discounted price is from the offeror's regular selling price or must disclose any other price and its source if it serves as the standard from which the offeror represents the offered price as being a reduced price, sale price, or discounted price;
(2) if ophthalmic materials are offered in conjunction with a reduced examination fee, the offer must include complete price information regarding all ophthalmic materials;
(3) the date the offer terminates.
(C) It is unlawful for a person, partnership, or corporation to disseminate price information concerning ophthalmic goods and services without including whether an advertised price for:
(1) eyeglasses includes single vision or multi-focal lenses;
(2) contact lenses refers to hard or soft contact lenses;
(3) ophthalmic materials includes all dispensing fees;
(4) ophthalmic materials includes an eye examination;
(5) eyeglasses includes both frame and lenses; and
(6) ophthalmic materials carries restrictions on selection.
(D) Nothing in this chapter prevents a person from making truthful, nondeceptive claims of qualifications and professional affiliations.
Section 40-37-400. No member of the board, its committees, special examiners, agents, and employees may be held liable for acts performed in the course of official duties except where actual malice is shown.
Section 40-37-410. If a provision of this chapter or the application of a provision to a person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this chapter that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.
Section 40-37-420. (A) An optometrist licensed for basic practice of optometry as of July 1, 2004, may continue to practice under the conditions provided for in this section, and regulations promulgated under this chapter, as of July 1, 2004, until September 30, 2007. A basic certified optometrist may:
(1) employ any means, other than the use of drugs, for the measurement of the powers of vision or the adaptation of lenses for the aid of vision;
(2) in the sale of spectacles, eyeglasses, or lenses, use lenses in the testing of the eye other than lenses actually sold;
(3) examine the human eye by the employment of any subjective or objective physical means, without the use of drugs, to ascertain the presence of defects or abnormal conditions for the purpose of relieving them by the use of lenses, prisms, or other physical or mechanical means;
(4) practice orthoptics or prescribe or fit contact lenses.
(B)(1) An optometrist licensed for diagnostic practice of optometry as of July 1, 2004, may continue to practice under the conditions provided for in this section, and regulations promulgated under this chapter, as of July 1, 2004, until September 30, 2007, if the optometrist has:
(a) complied with the educational requirements promulgated by the board; and
(b) passed a pharmaceutical agent examination which must be approved by the board.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a diagnostically certified optometrist may purchase, possess, and administer pharmaceutical agents, including pharmaceutical agents for topical application, other than controlled substances, as defined in Section 44-53-110, for diagnostic purposes in the practice of optometry. For the purposes of this subsection, 'pharmaceutical agent' means: anesthetics, mydriatics, cycloplegics, miotics, dyes, and over-the-counter drugs. Miotics may be used only pursuant to the following restrictions:
(a) miotics may not be used for treatment purposes;
(b) miotics may be used only for emergency purposes involving the buildup of pressure within the eyeball and immediately upon this emergency use, the optometrist shall refer the patient to an ophthalmologist and file with the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry a written report of the incident in the manner prescribed by the board by regulation; and the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Optometry shall ensure that the quality and quantity of miotics possessed by a diagnostically certified optometrist is consistent with the use of miotics only for emergency purposes involving the buildup of pressure within the eyeball.
(C) After September 30, 2007, no person may practice as an optometrist in this State if the person has not met all requirements of this title, as amended in 2004 and as may be amended in the future. A basic and diagnostically licensed optometrist who wishes to be recertified after September 30, 2007, shall conform to the licensing requirements for a therapeutically-certified optometrist as provided for in regulation.
(D) A licensee under this chapter must indicate his or her category of licensure following his or her name or signature on all professional documents."
Practice of hair braiding
SECTION 2. Chapter 13, Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 40-13-255. (A) Only those individuals who are licensed to practice cosmetology or who are registered to practice hair braiding in this State may engage in the practice of hair braiding or perform hair braiding services in this State.
(B) Unless hair braiding is performed in a licensed cosmetology school, beauty salon, or a licensed barbershop, all implements used in connection with the hair braiding must be disposable or must be sanitized in a disinfectant approved for hospital use or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
(C) To practice hair braiding in this State, an individual shall:
(1) apply to the department for registration in a manner prescribed by the department;
(2) provide satisfactory proof of successful completion of a sixty hour department approved hair braiding course;
(3) pass an examination administered by the department; and
(4) pay a twenty-five dollar registration fee.
(D) The hair braiding instruction course shall consist of:
(1) twenty hours of instruction regarding sanitation and sterilization including:
(a) universal sanitation and sterilization precautions;
(b) how to distinguish between disinfectants and antiseptics;
(c) how to sanitize hands and disinfect tools used in the practice of hair braiding;
(2) thirty-five hours of instruction regarding disorders and diseases of the scalp, including:
(a) disorders and diseases of the scalp and how to distinguish between them;
(b) when hair braiding services can be performed on a client with disorders or diseases of the scalp;
(3) five hours of instruction regarding state law and regulations which pertain to the practice of hair braiding, including:
(a) the state laws and regulations promulgated by the board that:
( i) protect the health, safety, and welfare of the consumer;
( ii) determine where and when an individual may legally practice hair braiding;
(iii) specify prohibited conduct and the penalties for such conduct and for failure to follow state law and regulations;
(b) the composition of the Board of Cosmetology, how its members are appointed and their powers and duties;
(c) the organizational structure of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and its responsibilities as they relate to hair braiding; and
(d) the procedures, fees, and requirements for renewal of a hair braiding registration.
(E) Registration to practice hair braiding is valid for two years or until the end of the biennial licensure renewal cycle in which the registration is first issued, whichever occurs first. The holder of a registration to practice hair braiding shall renew his or her registration by paying the renewal fee and furnishing proof to the department that he or she has completed eight hours of continuing education approved and administered by the department.
(F) An individual currently engaging in the practice of hair braiding on the effective date of this section has one year from the effective date to complete the licensing requirements as provided in this section."
SECTION 3. Section 40-13-20 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 222 of 2000, is further amended by adding:
"(11) 'Hair braiding' means the weaving or interweaving of natural human hair for compensation without cutting, coloring, permanent waving, relaxing, removing, or chemical treatment and does not include the use of hair extensions or wefts."
Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist Act
SECTION 4. A. The General Assembly recognizes that the practice of cardiovascular invasive specialists is potentially harmful to the public in that the public does not have an adequate method to verify the qualifications of those persons who hold themselves out as qualified to practice.
B. Chapter 47, Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 40-47-1510. This article may be cited as the 'South Carolina Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist Act'.
Section 40-47-1520. As used in this article:
(1) 'Cardiologist' means a physician who has successfully completed an approved cardiology training program including, but not limited to, a program approved by the Accreditation Committee on Graduate Medical Education, or its equivalent or successor.
(2) 'Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist' means a cardiovascular invasive specialist who is currently registered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International, has graduated from an accredited program of Cardiovascular Invasive Technology, and who working under the direct supervision of a cardiologist performs procedures on patients resulting in accurate diagnosis and/or optimal treatment of congenital or acquired heart disease.
(3) 'Supervising cardiologist' means a South Carolina licensed physician currently possessing an active, unrestricted license to practice medicine in South Carolina who practices in the medical specialty of cardiology and has successfully completed a residency in cardiology, approved by the Accreditation Committee on Graduate Medical Education, or its equivalent or successor.
(4) 'Supervision' means medically directing and accepting responsibility for the cardiac services rendered by a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist in a manner provided for in law and the adopted protocol of the licensed facility. The supervising cardiologist must be in the facility and in the operative area such that he can be immediately available to participate directly in the care of the patient with whom the invasive cardiovascular specialist and the cardiologist are jointly involved.
Section 40-47-1530. A person may not wilfully practice or offer to practice as a cardiovascular invasive specialist unless that person is registered by the department. A person who uses the title cardiovascular specialist in any advertisement, business card or letterhead, or billing document or who makes another verbal or written communication indicating that the person is a cardiovascular specialist or who acquiesces in that representation violates this section.
Section 40-47-1540. To be registered by the department as a cardiovascular invasive specialist, a person must:
(1) apply in writing to the department on a form available from the department;
(2) successfully complete an approved cardiology training program including, but not limited to, a program approved by the Accreditation Committee of Graduate Medical Education, or its equivalent or successor approved by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners;
(3) provide satisfactory evidence of current registration with Cardiovascular Credentialing International;
(4) provide satisfactory evidence that the applicant's practice protocol is in place, signed by each supervising cardiologist and by an appropriate representative of each licensed facility where practice is anticipated;
(5) pay a fee established by the department.
Section 40-47-1550. (A) Registration by the department as a cardiovascular invasive specialist must be renewed every two years. To renew a registration, a person shall:
(1) submit a complete application in writing;
(2) demonstrate continued competency including current registration with Cardiovascular Credentialing International and other requirements as provided by this article or regulation;
(3) pay a fee established by the department.
(B) A registration by the department as a cardiovascular invasive specialist automatically lapses if the registered person fails to make a timely and complete application for renewal or if the registered person fails to maintain current registration with Cardiovascular Credentialing International or another organization approved by the board.
Section 40-47-1560. (A) Cardiovascular invasive specialists may perform medical tasks and services within the framework of a facility's written practice protocol developed for the cardiovascular invasive specialist. Within this practice protocol the registered cardiovascular invasive specialist, under the supervision of a cardiologist, may engage in these functions and duties: (1) perform baseline patient assessment;
(2) evaluate patient response to diagnostic or interventional maneuvers and medications during cardiac catheterization laboratory procedures;
(3) provide patient care and drug administration commonly used in the cardiac catheterization laboratory under the direction of a qualified physician and subject to the oversight of the facility;
(4) act as the first assistant during diagnostic and therapeutic catheterization procedures; and
(5) assist in advanced cardiac life support procedures.
(B) A cardiovascular invasive specialist shall practice only under the supervision of a physician who is actively and directly engaged in the clinical practice of medicine as a cardiologist.
(C) A cardiovascular invasive specialist practicing at all sites shall practice pursuant to written scope of the facility's practice protocols signed by all supervising cardiologists and the cardiovascular invasive specialists. Copies of the protocols must be on file at all practice sites. The protocols shall include at a minimum the:
(1) name, license number, and practice addresses of the supervising cardiologists;
(2) name and practice address of the cardiovascular invasive specialists;
(3) date the protocol was developed and dates it was reviewed or amended;
(4) situations that require direct evaluation by or immediate referral to a cardiologist.
Section 40-47-1570. The department is responsible for all administrative activities of the registration program. The department shall employ and supervise personnel necessary to effectuate the provision of this article and shall establish fees sufficient, but not excessive, to cover expenses including direct and indirect costs to the State for the operations of this registration program. Fees must be adjusted as required by Title 40, Chapter 1.
(B) The department shall maintain a registry of all applications for registration and of all persons holding registration and shall make the roster of registered cardiovascular invasive specialists available on the department web site.
(C) The Board of Medical Examiners may promulgate regulations as necessary to effectuate this chapter.
Section 40-47-1580. If the department has reason to believe that a person registered pursuant to this article has become unfit to practice as a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist or if a complaint is filed with the department charging the registered person with the violation of a provision of this article or if a complaint is filed with the department alleging that an unregistered person is fraudulently holding him or herself out as registered, the department shall institute an investigation in accordance with the procedures of Chapter 40, Title 1 and this article.
Section 40-47-1590. (A) If, after investigation, it appears that the person registered pursuant to this article has become unfit to practice or has violated this article, the department shall file a petition with the Administrative Law Judge Division, stating the facts and the particular statutes and regulations at issue.
(B) The Administrative Law Judge Division, after opportunity for hearing, may order that the registration be revoked, suspended, or otherwise disciplined in accordance with Section 40-1-120 on the grounds that the registrant:
(1) used a false, fraudulent, or forged statement or document or committed a fraudulent, deceitful, or dishonest act or omitted a material fact in obtaining registration pursuant to this article;
(2) has had an authorization to practice a regulated profession or occupation in another state or jurisdiction canceled, revoked, or suspended, or has otherwise been disciplined by another jurisdiction;
(3) has lost or let lapse an underlying credential that served as the basis of registration;
(4) has intentionally used a false or fraudulent statement in a document connected with the practice of a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist;
(5) has obtained fees or assisted in obtaining fees under fraudulent circumstances; or
(6) has sustained a physical or mental disability or uses alcohol or drugs to such a degree as to render further practice as a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist dangerous to the public.
Section 40-47-1600. (A) A cardiovascular invasive specialist may not:
(1) perform a task which has not been listed and approved on the scope of the practice protocol currently on file with the facility;
(2) prescribe drugs, medications, or devices of any kind.
(B) A cardiovascular invasive specialist must clearly identify himself or herself to ensure that the cardiovascular invasive specialist is not mistaken or misrepresented as a physician. A cardiovascular invasive specialist must wear a clearly legible identification badge or other adornment at least one inch by three inches in size bearing the cardiovascular invasive specialist's name and the words 'Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist'. Patients in facilities utilizing cardiovascular invasive specialists must be informed when a cardiovascular invasive specialist will be involved in their cardiac care.
Section 40-47-1610. (A) The Administrative Law Judge Division, after opportunity for hearing, may order injunctive relief against a person who, without possessing a valid certificate pursuant to this article, uses the title or term registered cardiovascular invasive specialist. For each violation the administrative law judge may impose a fine of no more than ten thousand dollars.
(B) A person who is not registered as required by this article may not bring an action either at law or in equity to enforce the provisions of a contract for providing services as a registered cardiovascular invasive specialist.
Section 40-47-1620. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation shall promulgate regulations necessary to insure implementation or the provisions of this article."
SECTION 5. This act takes effect July 1, 2004.
Ratified the 3rd day of June, 2004.
President of the Senate
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Approved the ____________ day of _____________________2004.
This web page was last updated on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 10:14 A.M.