Statutory History

The Board of Optometry was created in 1909. Three members constituted the Board.  In 1909, approximately 70 licenses were held.  The sections of the law governing optometry are found in K.S.A.  1501 to 65-1515 as amended.  Rules and Regulations relative to these statutes have been promulgated.  The law has had three major changes:

In 1977, optometrists were permitted to take an additional 50 clock hours of education in pharmacology, pass an additional state board examination, and were then allowed to utilize pharmaceutical agents to dilate pupils, anesthetize corneas for tonometry, and temporarily paralyze focusing muscles for diagnosis.

In 1987, optometrists were permitted to take an additional 100 clock hours beyond the diagnostic level, pass one more state board examination, and were then allowed to treat certain eye diseases with topical (i.e., drops or ointments) pharmaceutical agents and remove embedded foreign bodies that do not penetrate into the eyeball.  There are still a small number of optometrists who are taking pharmacological courses to upgrade their licenses to the TPA level; no one is permitted to take only the DPA exam presently; they must take the TPA exam, which also includes DPA subject matter.

On April 1, 1996, Governor Graves signed into law a provision which allows optometrists to treat Adult Open Angle Glaucoma. TPA certified O.D.s are required to take an extra 24 hour glaucoma course and co-manage at least 20 glaucoma patients for at least two years with an ophthalmologist.  This provision is applicable to all O.D.s who graduate before 1998.  An Interprofessional Advisory Committee composed of optometrists and ophthalmologists was established to help the Board administer this law.  Each co-managing optometrist is required to submit a treatment plan for each patient as they are enrolled, and annually. Other changes which this law has effected include a requirement of 4 hours of glaucoma continuing education annually, the removal of a limitation on the number of offices in which a licensee may practice, and a requirement for a minimum of $1,000,000 in professional liability insurance coverage.  (This last was a regulation change, the law didn't specify the amount.) 

In 2006, optometrists were required by law to complete TPA license requirements by May 31, 2008 and to complete glaucoma license requirements by May 31, 2010.