(A) In accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and by an affirmative vote of a majority of its members, the state board of optometry, for any of the reasons specified in division (B) of this section, shall refuse to grant a certificate of licensure to an applicant and may, with respect to a licensed optometrist, do one or more of the following:
(1) Suspend the operation of any certificate of licensure, topical ocular pharmaceutical agents certificate, or therapeutic pharmaceutical agents certificate, or all certificates granted by it to the optometrist;
(2) Permanently revoke any or all of the certificates;
(3) Limit or otherwise place restrictions on any or all of the certificates;
(4) Reprimand the optometrist;
(5) Impose a monetary penalty. If the reason for which the board is imposing the penalty involves a criminal offense that carries a fine under the Revised Code, the penalty shall not exceed the maximum fine that may be imposed for the criminal offense. In any other case, the penalty imposed by the board shall not exceed five hundred dollars.
(6) Require the optometrist to take corrective action courses.
The amount and content of corrective action courses shall be established by the board in rules adopted under section 4725.09 of the Revised Code.
(B) The sanctions specified in division (A) of this section may be taken by the board for any of the following reasons:
(1) Committing fraud in passing the licensing examination or making false or purposely misleading statements in an application for a certificate of licensure;
(2) Being at any time guilty of immorality, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;
(3) Being guilty of dishonesty or unprofessional conduct in the practice of optometry;
(4) Being at any time guilty of a felony, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;
(5) Being at any time guilty of a misdemeanor committed in the course of practice, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed;
(6) Violating the conditions of any limitation or other restriction placed by the board on any certificate issued by the board;
(7) Engaging in the practice of optometry as provided in division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of section 4725.01 of the Revised Code when the certificate authorizing that practice is under suspension, in which case the board shall permanently revoke the certificate;
(8) Being denied a license to practice optometry in another state or country or being subject to any other sanction by the optometric licensing authority of another state or country, other than sanctions imposed for the nonpayment of fees;
(9) Departing from or failing to conform to acceptable and prevailing standards of care in the practice of optometry as followed by similar practitioners under the same or similar circumstances, regardless of whether actual injury to a patient is established;
(10) Failing to maintain comprehensive patient records;
(11) Advertising a price of optical accessories, eye examinations, or other products or services by any means that would deceive or mislead the public;
(12) Being addicted to the use of alcohol, stimulants, narcotics, or any other substance which impairs the intellect and judgment to such an extent as to hinder or diminish the performance of the duties included in the person's practice of optometry;
(13) Engaging in the practice of optometry as provided in division (A)(2) or (3) of section 4725.01 of the Revised Code without authority to do so or, if authorized, in a manner inconsistent with the authority granted;
(15) Soliciting patients from door to door or establishing temporary offices, in which case the board shall suspend all certificates held by the optometrist;
(16) Except as provided in division (D) of this section:
(a) Waiving the payment of all or any part of a deductible or copayment that a patient, pursuant to a health insurance or health care policy, contract, or plan that covers optometric services, would otherwise be required to pay if the waiver is used as an enticement to a patient or group of patients to receive health care services from that optometrist.
(b) Advertising that the optometrist will waive the payment of all or any part of a deductible or copayment that a patient, pursuant to a health insurance or health care policy, contract, or plan that covers optometric services, would otherwise be required to pay.
(C) Any person who is the holder of a certificate of licensure, or who is an applicant for a certificate of licensure against whom is preferred any charges, shall be furnished by the board with a copy of the complaint and shall have a hearing before the board in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
(D) Sanctions shall not be imposed under division (B)(16) of this section against any optometrist who waives deductibles and copayments:
(1) In compliance with the health benefit plan that expressly allows such a practice. Waiver of the deductibles or copayments shall be made only with the full knowledge and consent of the plan purchaser, payer, and third-party administrator. Documentation of the consent shall be made available to the board upon request.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.169, HB 247, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.
Effective Date: 03-09-1999