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“Sec. 6. Every license issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act shall automatically be renewed annually upon application by the holder of the license and payment of the annual renewal fee. Such annual renewal fee shall be fixed by the Commissioners. If the holder of a license fails to renew his license in accordance with this section, such license shall be suspended and such individual shall not thereafter practice optometry in the District of Columbia until such license shall be reinstated or a new license issued to him under this Act. If such individual thereafter applies for reinstatement of his license, it shall automatically be reinstated upon payment of all intervening renewal and other fees. If such individual fails to have his license reinstated within five years after the date it is suspended under this section, he shall not thereafter be licensed to practice optometry in the District of Columbia until he shall have passed a practical examination given by the Commissioners and paid all intervening renewal and other fees.
“Sec: 7. (a) The Commissioners are authorized (A) to refuse to issue, renew, or restore any license authorized by this Act, and (B) to suspend or revoke any license issued under authority of this Act, for any of the following causes
“(1) the use of any title or any other word or abbreviation indicating that the licensee is engaged in the practice of medicine or surgery;
“(2) conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
"(3) willful violation or repeated violations of any provision of this Act or any of the regulations promulgated by the Commissioners under this Act;
"(4) gross incompetence;
"(6) affliction with a contagious or infectious disease which, in the opinion of the Commissioners, renders the practice of optometry by the licensee or applicant for a license, dangerous to the public health;
*(7) conduct which disqualifies the licensee from practicing optometry with safety to the public;
“(8) advertising directly or indirectly the performance of optometric servo ice or any part thereof, including the furnishing of ophthalmic or optical material, in any form, manner, or way, or through any medium whether it be printed, audible, visible, electronic, or in any other fashion, except as authorized by regulations issued under section 10 of this Act;
“(9) practicing or offering to practice optometry under any name other than that under which he has been duly licensed;
"(10) offering free examinations or other gratuitous services, bonuses, premiums, discounts, credit, or any other inducements for the purpose of obtaining patronage;
“(11) the display of any spectacles, eyeglasses, or spectacle frames or mountings, goggles, sunglasses, lenses, prisms, spectacle or eyeglass cases, ophthalmic material, optometric instruments, diagnostic devices, optical tools, or machinery, or any merchandise, material, or advertising in a manner so as to make it visible from the street or the public corridor of a building;
“(12) the display of his license, diplomas, or certificates, in such manner that they may be seen from the outside of the premises where he practices;
"(13) except as provided in section 9, the use of the words 'clinic', 'infirmary', 'hospital', 'school', 'college', 'university', or 'institute' in English or any other language in connection with any activity which is essentially the practice of optometry;
"(14) to cause or permit the use of his name, profession, or professional title by or in conjunction with the advertising of his professional services in any form or manner by any person;
*(15) holding himself forth by any means or manner of possessing professional superiority or the ability to perform professional services in a superior manner;
“(16) the employment of or any arrangement, written or oral, with persons who use their efforts or influence to direct patronage to the optometrist;
“(17) practice optometry in any retail, mercantile, or commercial store, office, or premises, not exclusively devoted to the practice of optometry or other health care professions;
“(18) except as provided in section 9, the practicing of optometry as an employee of and pursuant to any written or oral arrangement with any person other than a duly-licensed optometrist;
"(19) any other unprofessional conduct. "(b) The denial, suspension, or revocation of a license issued under this Act shall be made only upon specific charges in writing and after notice and hearing (unless such hearing is waived). A certified copy of any such charge and a notice of hearing, specifying the time and place thereof, shall be served upon the holder of or applicant for such license to practice as an optometrist in the District of Columbia, at least twenty days before the hearing. The respondent may waive the requirement of hearing contained in this subsection but only in writing. At the hearing, the respondent shall be entitled to counsel and to call witnesses in his defense.
"(c) Upon written application and after hearing, pursuant to notice, the Commissioners may reinstate a license which has been previously revoked, except that no application for reinstatement of a license shall be accepted for consideration prior to the expiration of at least one year following the date on which the applicant's license was revoked. “SEC. 8. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person--
“(1) to engage in the practice of optometry in the District of Columbia without a valid license issued under this Act so to do;
“(2) to practice or offer to practice optometry under the name of any company, association, corporation, trade name or business na'ne, or any other name, except his own proper name as appears on the license issued to him under this Act by the Commissioners;
“(3)(A) to sell or fraudulently obtain or furnish any diploma, license, or record required by this Act or required by the Commissioners under authority of this Act, or aid or abet in the selling, fraudulently obtaining, or furnishing thereof;
“(B) to practice optometry as an optometrist under cover of any diploma, license, or record required by this Act or required by the Commissioners under authority of this Act, illegally or fraudulently obtained or signed or issued unlawfully or under fraudulent representation;
“(C) to use in connection with his name any designation tending to imply that he is an optometrist licensed to practice under this Act if he is not licensed to practice under this Act; or
“(D) to practice optometry as an optometrist during any time his license issued under this Act shall be suspended or revoked.
“(4) to sell or offer to sell eyeglasses, spectacles, frames, mountings, or lenses, or to fit or duplicate lenses, without a written prescription from a physician or optometrist licensed to practice in the District of Columbia;
“(5) to advertise or cause to be advertised any optometric or ophthalmic material of any character which includes or contains any price cost or any reference thereto, whether related to any eye examination or to the cost or price of lenses, glasses, mountings, or ophthalmic articles or devices;
“(6) to offer or cause to be offered free eye examinations or other gratuitous services, bonuses, premiums, discounts, credit, or any other inducements for the purpose of obtaining patronage;
“(7) if he writes a prescription for another, to receive any part of the sum paid or other valuable considerations paid by such person to a third person for filling such prescription; or for such third person to pay to the person writing a prescription any part of the sum paid or other valuable considerations received by such third person for filling of such prescription;
“(8) other than an optometrist to utilize the services of another optometrist on a salary, commission, lease, or any other basis, to engage or undertake to engage, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever, in the practice of optometry;
“(9) to display any sign offering ophthalmic materials for sale in violation of any regulation of the Commissioners issued under authority of section 10 to this Act;
“(10) to practice optometry without conspicuously displaying his license and his current annual renewal registration where he practices. “(b) A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not more than $500, and upon a second or subsequent conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the District jail for not less than three months nor more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. “Sec. 9. (a) This Act shall not apply
“(1) to any bona fide student of optometry in the clinic rooms of a school of optometry approved by the Commissioners;
“(2) to any commissioned officer in the armed services practicing optometry in the District of Columbia solely in the performance of his military duties;
"(3) to an individual licensed in another jurisdiction who is in the District of Columbia to make a clinical demonstration before an optometric society, convention, association of optometrists, or school or college of optometry.
“(b) This Act shall not be deemed to require a physician or surgeon licensed under the laws of the District of Columbia for the practice of medicine or surgery to have a license under this Act to perform those services defined by this Act as the practice of optometry.
"(c) This Act, other than section 8, shall not apply to any person who fills the written prescription of a physician, surgeon, or an optometrist, and who does not otherwise practice optometry, but this subsection shall not be deemed to authorize such a person to fit contact lenses. "(d) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prevent
"(1) an optometric clinic approved by the Commissioners from being conducted on a nonprofit basis by a school or college of optometry or by an association of optometrists;
“(2) an optometrist from being employed by or associated with any hospital, clinic, group health practice, nonprofit health service, health expense indemnity corporation or group, or any department, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of the United States or of the government of the District of Columbia, or as an employee of any person to render optometric service and care solely to employees of such person;
“(3) the widow or widower of a deceased optometrist from continuing for a period not to exceed one year after the death of such deceased optometrist, the practice of such deceased optometrist through the services of another optometrist;
“(4) the wife or husband of an optometrist who, in the opinion of the Commissioners, is temporarily mentally incapacitated, from continuing the practice of such optometrist through the services of another optometrist;
“(5) the wife or husband of an optometrist who, in the opinion of the Commissioners, is permanently mentally incapacitated, from continuing for a period not to exceed one year from the date the Commissioners determine such incapacity, the practice of such optometrist through the services
of another optometrist. "(e) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prohibit an optometrist from using the title 'doctor' or any abbreviation thereof except that if he uses such title or such an abbreviation it must be with such qualifications as may be necessary to clearly indicate to the public that he is an optometrist.
"Sec. 10. (a) The Commissioners from time to time shall prescribe and adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out this Act and govern the practice of optometry and the sale of ophthalmic materials which shall include but not be limited to rules and regulations governing the number, size, location, and illumination of signs offering the services of (1) an individual as an optome trist and (2) ophthalmic materials for sale. With respect to the offering of services of an individual as an optometrist, such regulations shall limit the offering thereof to the carrying or publishing of a modest professional card and the display of a modest window or street sign at the location of the individual's practice, which professional card or window or street sign shall display only the name, address, profession, office hours, telephone connections, and if the practice is so limited the specialty practiced by the individual, and in the case of change of address or the starting of practice, to modest announcements thereof. With respect to the offering for sale of ophthalmic materials, such regulations shall limit the offering for sale thereof to a modest window or street sign at the location of the person's place of business and other modest advertisements. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorize any optometric service or ophthalmic materials to be advertised in any manner which includes or contains any price, cost, or reference thereof.
"(b)(1) The Commissioners are authorized and empowered, after public hearing, to establish, abolish, increase, or decrease, from time to time, such fees and charges as are necessary to defray the approximate cost of administering the provisions of this Act.
“(2) All funds derived from fees and charges collected in connection with the administration of this Act shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the District of Columbia.
"(c) The Commissioners shall design and adopt a seal to be used for authenticating records and papers pertaining to the licensing and regulation of optometrists in the District of Columbia. Copies of all records and papers duly certified and authenticated by such seal shall be received in evidence in all courts of the District of Columbia equally and with like effect as the original. Records kept by the Commissioners pertaining to the licensing and regulation of optometrists in the District of Columbia shall be open to public inspection under reasonable rules and regulations prescribed by the Commissioners.
"Sec. 11. The Commissioners may make such inspections, studies, and investigations, and obtain or require the furnishing of such information under oath or affirmation or otherwise, as they deem necessary or proper to assist them in prescribing any regulation or order under this Act, or in the administration or enforcement of this Act and any regulations or rules or orders thereunder. For such purposes, the Commissioners may administer oaths and affirmations, may require by subpena or otherwise the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the production of documents at any designated place within the District of Columbia. In the event of contumacy or refusal to obey any such subpena or requirement under this section, the Commissioners may make application to the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions for an order requiring obedience thereto. Thereupon, the Court, with or without notice and hearing, as it, in its discretion, may decide, shall make such order as is proper and may punish as a contempt, any failure to comply with such order in accordance with section 11-982 of the District of Columbia Code.
"SEC. 12. Whenever, in the judgment of the Commissioners, any person has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice which constitutes or will constitute a violation of any provision of this Act, the Commissioners may make application to the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions for an order either temporarily or permanently enjoining such act or practice, and upon showing by the Commissioners that such person has engaged in or is about to engage in any such act or practice, an injunction, restraining order, or such other order as may be appropriate shall be granted by the court, without bond.
"Sec. 13. (a) Prosecutions for violations of any of the provisions of this Act shall be conducted in the name of the District of Columbia in the District of Columbia Court of General Sessions by the Corporation Counsel or any of his assistants.
"(b) It shall be necessary to prove in any prosecution or hearing authorized by this Act, only a single act prohibited by law, without proving a general course of conduct in order to constitute a violation.
"(c) Testimony of an optometrist licensed under this Act relating to the practice of optometry as defined in this Act shall be received at any trial or hearing in the courts of the District of Columbia as qualified expert evidence and testimony in respect to the practice of optometry. Certificates of ocular or visual condition, acuity, and efficiency issued by any duly licensed optometrist under this Act, shall be accepted as qualified evidence of the ocular and visual condition, acuity, and efficiency of the person to whom such certificate shall relate, in any trial or hearing in the courts of the District of Columbia and by any officer or employee of the government of the District of Columbia in the performance of his duties.
“Sec. 14. No officer or employee of the District of Columbia shall, in the administration of any law applicable to the District of Columbia, deprive any person of his freedom of choice of practitioner with respect to his visual problems.
“SEC. 15. The Commissioners are authorized to delegate to the Board of Optometry established by Reorganization Order No. 59 all or any part of the powers, duties, and functions vested in them by this Act. The Commissioners are authorized to delegate to any other officer or employee of the government of the District of Columbia all or any part of such powers, duties, and functions. Any delegation made under authority of this section shall be for such periods and subject to such conditions as the Commissioners determine necessary.”
SEC. 2. Every license to practice optometry in the District of Columbia which is valid on the effective date of this Act shall continue to be valid under the District of Columbia Optometry Act as amended by this Act until such date within one year of the effective date of this Act as the Commissioners of the District of Columbia fix as the date for the automatic annual renewal for such license under the District of Columbia Optometry Act, and any such license which would have expired between the effective date of this Act and the annual renewal date fixed for such license by the Commissioners under this section shall continue in effect until such renewal date, unless sooner suspended or revoked in accordance with the District of Columbia Optometry Act.
Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 11-742 of the District of Columbia Code is amended (1) by striking out “and” at the end of paragraph (9); (2) by striking out the period at the end of paragraph (10) and inserting in lieu thereof a semicolon; and (3) by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph:
“(11) final decisions and orders of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia denying, suspending, or revoking any license, denying any renewal of a license or reinstatement of a license, pursuant to the District of Columbia Optometry Act."
Sec. 4. This Act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after the date of its enactment.
Mr. Dowdy. I have a memorandum prepared by the staff, setting forth in brief the main provisions of the bills and what they amend. I will make that a part of the record.
(The staff memorandum, dated March 21, 1966, follows:) RE Bills To REGULATE THE PRACTICE OF OPTOMETRY: H.R. 12937 (Sisk),
H. R. 10249 (FUQUA), H.R. 13155 (SHRIVER), H.R. 13176 (SPRINGER), H.R. 13623 (HuoT)
PURPOSE OF BILLS
To amend 1924 District of Columbia optometry law (approved May 28, 1924, 43 Stat. 177, D.C. Code, title 2, secs. 501-522) and set up new and improved standards to conform to those in the 50 States and territories which now require higher qualifications than the District of Columbia.
MAIN PROVISIONS OF BILLS
(1) Optometry is declared a profession (sec. 2).-The practice of optometry affects the health, welfare and safety of the public thereby requiring regulation.
Present law: Optometry is defined as application of optical principles through technical methods and devices (2-501).
(2) Practice of optometry defined (sec. 3(2)).—Expands and extends present definition to bring it up to date with definitions of other States.
(3) Requirements for licensure (sec. 4).- Requires high school diploma plus 2 years college level courses preparatory to professional study and 4 years professional training at accredited institutions.
Present law: Requires 2-year high school course and graduation from a course in optometry of not less than 1,000 hours (2–511).
(4) Reciprocity with other States (sec. 5).- Provides reciprocity privileges to an individual licensed to practice in another State who passes a practical and oral examination.
Present law: Does not require examination of applicant for reciprocity license (2-518).
(5) Revocation, suspension and refusal to grant licenses (sec. 7).-Prohibits advertising, displays, signs (other than modest announcements) by holder of license, and similar arrangements to solicit or induce patronage. Also prohibits practice as an employee of a person other than a duly licensed optometrist.
Present law: Specifically names the following reasons only for suspension, revocation, cancellation or refusal of a license: crime involving moral turpitude or habitual use of narcotics.
(6) Unlawful for other persons to engage in practice of optometry (sec. 8). Prohibits the advertising of optometric services or materials which contain price, cost or reference thereto; rebates or kickbacks; other inducements to induce patronage; the payment for the services of an optometrist except by another optometrist; and deceptive practices. Provides penalties for such unlawful acts.
Present law: Is limited to the following: practice of optometry without a license prohibited, misrepresentation, false impersonation, penalties.
(7) Exemptions from the act (sec. 9).-Sets forth a series of exemptions. It provides that a physician or surgeon shall not be required to have a license under the optometry law. Opticians are permitted to fill the written prescription of a physician or an optometrist.
Present law: Physicians, surgeons persons selling spectacles or eyeglasses are not governed by the act.
(8) Power of injunction (sec. 12).—Commissioners have right to invoke an injunction to restrain a violation. Present law: No provision for injunction.
(9) Freedom of choice (sec. 14). ---Persons with visual problems related to the practice of optometry cannot be denied their right to obtain the services of an optometrist by any agent or employee of the District of Columbia.
Present law: Does not contain any provision relating to the deprivation of a person's freedom to select between the licensed disciplines who provide vision care.
(10) Current licenses continue to be valid (sec. 15).-Holders of licenses on the effective date of the act continue to be in effect.