Seeing is Believing: The Effects of Optometrist Scope of Practice Expansion

51 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2023

See all articles by Kihwan Bae

Kihwan Bae

West Virginia University

Edward Timmons

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Protik Nandy

University of Minnesota

Date Written: August 29, 2023

Abstract

We examine how the emergence of optometrists as new “eye doctors” due to a scope of practice expansion affected population eye health outcomes and optometrist earnings in the United States. Using the staggered adoption of optometrist prescription authority across states, we find suggestive evidence that optometrist scope of practice expansion reduced vision impairment and mitigated racial and ethnic disparities in eye health. We also find that the policy change is associated with an increase in hourly wages among optometrists who are not self-employed. These findings imply that allowing optometrists to use medications for eye treatments effectively expanded the primary eye care workforce and therefore improved public eye health.

Note:

Funding Information: We received no funding for this paper.

Conflict of Interests: We have no competing interests to declare.

Keywords: scope of practice, optometry, vision impairment, earnings

JEL Classification: I18, J44, K31

Suggested Citation

Bae, Kihwan and Timmons, Edward and Nandy, Protik, Seeing is Believing: The Effects of Optometrist Scope of Practice Expansion (August 29, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4556268 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4556268

Kihwan Bae

West Virginia University ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Edward Timmons (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Protik Nandy

University of Minnesota

10 University Avenue
Duluth, MN 55812
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
143
Abstract Views
447
Rank
381,021
PlumX Metrics