(225 ILCS 80/15.4)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2027)
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that, because of technological advances and changing practice patterns, the practice of optometry is occurring more frequently across increasing distances within the State of Illinois and that certain technological advances in the practice of optometry are in the public interest. The General Assembly further finds and declares that the practice of optometry is a privilege and that the licensure by this State of practitioners outside this State engaging in the practice of optometry within this State and the ability to discipline those practitioners is necessary for the protection of the public health, welfare, and safety.
(b) An optometrist may practice optometry through telehealth as authorized by this Act and the Telehealth Act. If there is any conflict between the provisions of this Act and the provisions of the Telehealth Act, the provisions of this Act control.
(c) An optometrist treating a patient located in this State through telehealth must be licensed under this Act.
(d) An optometrist practicing optometry through telehealth is subject to the same standard of care and practice standards that are applicable to optometric services provided in a clinic or office setting.
(e) An optometrist may not provide telehealth services unless the optometrist has established a provider-patient relationship with the patient. In this subsection, "provider-patient relationship" means a relationship in which the optometrist has provided services to the patient at an in-person consultation no more than 3 years prior to the date on which telehealth services are provided. An in-person consultation is not required for new conditions relating to a patient with whom the optometrist has a provider-patient relationship unless the optometrist deems an in-person consultation is necessary to provide appropriate care. An optometrist may treat a patient through telehealth in the absence of a provider-patient relationship when, in the professional judgment of the optometrist, emergency care is required.
(f) An optometrist treating a patient through telehealth must perform at least a minimum eye examination as required by 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1320.90 before prescribing eyeglasses or contact lenses to the patient. Nothing in this Section authorizes an eye examination that: (i) does not assess the ocular health and visual status of a patient, or (ii) consists solely of objective refractive data or information generated by an automated testing device, including an autorefractor, in order to establish a medical diagnosis or to determine a refractive error.
(g) A person who engages in the practice of optometry through telehealth without a license issued under this Act shall be subject to discipline or penalties provided in Sections 24 and 26.1.
(h) If the Department has reason to believe that a person has violated this Section, the Department may issue a rule to show cause why an order to cease and desist should not be entered against that person. The rule shall clearly set forth the grounds relied upon by the Department and shall provide a period of 7 days from the date of the rule to file an answer to the satisfaction of the Department. Failure to answer to the satisfaction of the Department shall cause an order to cease and desist to be issued immediately.
(Source: P.A. 102-153, eff. 1-1-22