Advocacy

An affiliate of the American Optometric Association, the OPW is the only professional organization in our state dedicated to advancing and protecting our shared profession and, as important, the interest of our patients who entrust us to provide excellent eye care in our state.

Driven by our volunteer doctors, our state association's history is well established. We are an active lobby each year and enjoy strong relationships with our elected leaders. The OPW is your voice in various state legislative and regulatory bodies.      

Our track record of success is real.  Take, for example, just a few of our legislative victories.  

  • Staved off 1-800 CONTACTS' attempt to undermine the profession / diminish the importance of the doctor / patient relationship (2015, 2016)
  • Solidified an optometrist's ability to prescribe hydrocodone-containing medications via an important update in state law (2015)
  • Supported legislation requiring students to be screen in both near and distance visual acuity. (2015)
  • Successfully defeated legislation that would have allowed Physicians Assistants to refract and write corrective prescriptions. (2014)
  • Limited the length of time for health insurers to take back paid claims to 18 months. (2013)
  • Ensured optometric care is an important component of any health care plan sold on the state's health exchange. (2012)
  • Fought for and earned Optometric Physicians rights to refer to physical and occupational therapists. (2012)
  • Worked to ensure that optometrists are reimbursed the same as ophthalmologists for performing the same care - parity. (2006)
  • Passed bills that grant ODs rescriptive authority for oral drugs. (2003)


In addition to our lobby efforts, the OPW provides its' optometrists with important and timely news relating to insurance issues as well as billing and healthcare reform matters.  Our state association has a rich and deep history that's produced tangible and effective results.  These results have directly benefited ALL of the Evergreen State optometrists and their patients. OPW members enjoy our robust and first-class continuing education program that provides ample opportunities to network and discuss best practices with their optometric colleagues. Our Association is only as strong as its volunteer members who drive our success and we encourage our members to attend our meetings and play an important role in what we do!   The OPW is a strong organization and is made even stronger with you on our team.  Thanks you for bolstering our ranks and for your support of our shared profession!       - The Members of the OPW