The 2024 General Legislative Session concluded on April 15th. As we have shared before, there were several issues and pieces of legislation that the KOA closely tracked. One particular issue was resolved on the final legislative day – never a dull moment!

Please see the summary below of the

most pertinent issues impacting optometry –

feel free to contact the KOA with questions at any time!

DRIVERS VISION RETEST: The driver’s vision testing requirements that were passed by the General Assembly in 2021 are now effective January 1, 2025. The previous effective date was July 2024. This six-month delay will assist regional licensing sites which are dealing with several other administrative issues. The KOA will continue to work with the Transportation Cabinet to establish the process. More importantly, the KOA will make sure our members are equipped with as much information as possible before the requirements are in place, so you can help educate your patients and your office is also prepared for the changes. Stay tuned for much more on this topic in the coming months!

MEDICAID: Increased Kentucky Medicaid reimbursements has been a large topic of conversation by multiple healthcare providers, including Kentucky optometry. The General Assembly decided that a comprehensive analysis should be conducted on the entire reimbursement fee schedule. The legislature allocated funding for this study to take place in the next fiscal year. Based upon those findings, an additional $25 million has been allocated in the following fiscal year for increased provider reimbursements. The KOA will continue to provide information regarding optometry reimbursement rates for this study, as well as detail the increased demands that providers face across the board. Thank you to those members who have assisted us in sharing so much information already on this issue!

BUDGET BILL: The Budget Bill passed during this session included the two provisions that the KOA requested: 1) complete funding for the Optometry Scholarship Program (formerly the ‘contract seats’); and 2) the requirement that a Medicaid appeal filed by an optometrist must be reviewed by an optometrist. The KOA will continue to share information each year on the Optometry Scholarship Program and the application process. In the meantime, additional information can be found at KHEAA’s website HERE.

PRIOR AUTHORIZATION: The KOA partnered with several other healthcare providers to address several concerns with the prior authorization process implemented by insurers. While the legislation was not successfully passed during this session, the KOA will continue to advocate on behalf of process changes which result in better patient outcomes as well as increased provider efficiency.