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RULE §193.19Collaborative Management of Glaucoma

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to implement the mandate of the 76th Legislature as it relates to the Optometry Act, Texas Occupations Code Chapter 351, regarding the minimum standards for the collaborative management of glaucoma.

(b) Minimum requirements. At a minimum, the treating ophthalmologist should follow the guidelines outlined in paragraphs (1) - (10) of this subsection.

  (1) The ophthalmologist will confirm the diagnosis within 30 days of the diagnosis of glaucoma made by the optometrist. While the ophthalmologist may, in his or her discretion, require that the patient visit the ophthalmologist for a face-to-face visit, such a face-to-face visit is not mandated. The ophthalmologist may, at the ophthalmologist's discretion, rely upon the results of diagnostic tests performed originally by the optometrist, unless reaffirmation is needed.

  (2) The ophthalmologist must communicate in written form the confirmation of the diagnosis within 30 days, as well as the refinement of the treatment plan as recommended by the optometrist.

  (3) A proper medical record must be generated for each patient by the ophthalmologist and shall include all correspondence and testing results. The medical record must also include a written note made in the record by the ophthalmologist or a copy of the written informed consent demonstrating that the patient understands that he or she is participating in a co-management of primary open angle glaucoma.

  (4) The necessity for follow-up visits will be at the discretion of the ophthalmologist based on the communication of the patient's progress by the optometrist.

  (5) The ophthalmologist must report any irregular behavior of the optometrist to the Texas Medical Board for referral to the Texas Optometry Board.

  (6) The ophthalmologist must enter into the patient's written medical records that the ophthalmologist has elected to enter into a co-management agreement with an optometrist.

  (7) It is at the discretion of the ophthalmologist to complete a clinical skills assessment with each optometrist in which a co-management arrangement exists. The ophthalmologist will, however, receive written confirmation and documentation that the co-managing optometrist has completed all of the requirements of the Optometric Health Care Advisory Committee to obtain the designation of "optometric glaucoma specialist."

  (8) A physician may charge a reasonable consultation fee for a consultation given when a patient is referred with a diagnosis of primary open angle glaucoma.

  (9) When a physician examines a patient involved in a co-management consultation with a therapeutic optometrist for treatment of primary open angle glaucoma, the physician shall forward to the therapeutic optometrist, not later than the 30th day following the examination, a written report on the results of the examination. A physician who, for a medically appropriate reason, does not return a patient to the therapeutic optometrist, shall state in the physician's report to the therapeutic optometrist the specific medical reason for failing to return the patient.

  (10) In order to enter into a co-management agreement with an optometrist, there must be an agreement between the two professionals that, following each visit, specified information, previously agreed upon by both the ophthalmologist and the optometrist, about the patient examined will be forwarded to the other practitioner.

Source Note: The provisions of this §193.19 adopted to be effective November 7, 2013, 38 TexReg 7711

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