Full Text of HB1976 102nd General Assembly
HB1976eng 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
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AN ACT concerning regulation.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
The Illinois Optometric Practice Act of 1987 is
amended by changing Section 9 and by adding Section 15.4 as
(225 ILCS 80/9)
(from Ch. 111, par. 3909)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2027)
In this Act:
(1) "Department" means the Department of Financial and
(2) "Secretary" means the Secretary
of Financial and
(3) "Board" means the Illinois Optometric
Board appointed by the Secretary.
(4) "License" means the document issued by the
person named thereon to
(6) "Direct supervision" means supervision of any
optometrist, requiring that the
optometrist authorize the procedure, remain
facility while the procedure is performed, approve the
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performed by the person assisting before dismissal of
the patient, but does
not mean that the optometrist must
be present with the patient, during the
procedure. For the
dispensing of contact lenses, "direct supervision" means
that the optometrist is responsible for training the
person assisting the optometrist in the dispensing or sale
of contact lenses, but does not mean that the optometrist
must be present in the facility where he or she practices
under a license or ancillary registration at the time the
contacts are dispensed or sold.
For the practice of
optometry through telehealth, "direct supervision" means
supervision by an optometrist of any person located at a
remote location who is assisting an optometrist with
procedures or optometric services administered to a
patient at the remote location when the optometrist is at
a distant site.
(7) "Address of record" means the designated address
recorded by the Department in the applicant's application
file or the licensee's license file maintained by the
Department's licensure maintenance unit.
(8) "Remote location" means the site at which the
patient is located at the time optometric services are
rendered through telehealth to that patient.
(9) "Distant site" means the location in Illinois from
which an optometrist is rendering services through
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(10) "Interactive telecommunications system" means an
audio and video system permitting 2-way, real-time
interactive communication between a patient located at a
remote location and an optometrist located at a distant
(11) "Telehealth" means the evaluation, diagnosis, or
interpretation of patient-specific data that is
transmitted by way of an interactive telecommunication
system between a remote location and an optometrist
located at a distant site that generates interaction or
treatment recommendations for a patient located at a
remote location. "Telehealth" includes the performance of
any of the activities set forth in Sections 3 and 15.1.
(Source: P.A. 98-186, eff. 8-5-13; 99-909, eff. 1-1-17.)
(225 ILCS 80/15.4 new)
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that, because
of technological advances and changing practice patterns, the
practice of optometry is occurring more frequently across
increasing distances within the State of Illinois and that
certain technological advances in the practice of optometry
are in the public interest. The General Assembly further finds
and declares that the practice of optometry is a privilege and
that the licensure by this State of practitioners outside this
State engaging in the practice of optometry within this State
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and the ability to discipline those practitioners is necessary
for the protection of the public health, welfare, and safety.
(b) An optometrist may practice optometry through
telehealth as authorized by this Act and the Telehealth Act.
(c) An optometrist treating a patient located in this
State through telehealth must be licensed under this Act.
(d) An optometrist practicing optometry through telehealth
is subject to the same standard of care and practice standards
that are applicable to optometric services provided in a
clinic or office setting.
(e) An optometrist may not provide telehealth services
unless the optometrist has established a provider-patient
relationship with the patient. In this subsection,
"provider-patient relationship" means a relationship in which
the optometrist has provided services to the patient at an
in-person consultation no more than 3 years prior to the date
on which telehealth services are provided. An in-person
consultation is not required for new conditions relating to a
patient with whom the optometrist has a provider-patient
relationship unless the optometrist deems an in-person
consultation is necessary to provide appropriate care.
(f) An optometrist treating a patient through telehealth
must perform a minimum eye examination as required by 68 Ill.
Adm. Code 1320.90 before prescribing eyeglasses or contact
lenses to the patient. Nothing in this Section authorizes an
eye examination that: (i) does not assess the ocular health
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and visual status of a patient, or (ii) consists solely of
objective refractive data or information generated by an
automated testing device, including an autorefractor, in order
to establish a medical diagnosis or to determine a refractive
(g) A person who engages in the practice of optometry
through telehealth without a license issued under this Act
shall be subject to discipline or penalties provided in
Sections 24 and 26.1.
(h) If the Department has reason to believe that a person
has violated this Section, the Department may issue a rule to
show cause why an order to cease and desist should not be
entered against that person. The rule shall clearly set forth
the grounds relied upon by the Department and shall provide a
period of 7 days from the date of the rule to file an answer to
the satisfaction of the Department. Failure to answer to the
satisfaction of the Department shall cause an order to cease
and desist to be issued immediately.