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      RS 37:1048     


§1048. Powers of the board

            The board shall be responsible for the control and regulation of the practice of optometry and may:

            (1) Adopt by-laws and regulations for the management of the board and define the duties of its officers.

            (2) Promulgate and publish rules and regulations for the purpose of administering the provisions of this Chapter.

            (3) Employ the necessary persons, including an attorney, to administer this Chapter.

            (4) Summon witnesses and compel the attendance of witnesses. No subpoena shall be issued until the party who wishes to subpoena the witness first deposits with the agency a sum of money sufficient to pay all fees and expenses to which a witness in a civil case is entitled pursuant to R.S. 13:3661 and 3671. A summons may order a person to appear at a hearing, or appear and produce at a hearing books, papers, documents, or any other tangible things in his possession or under his control, if a reasonably accurate description thereof is given.

            (5)(a) Conduct hearings on proceedings, and generally enforce those provisions of this Chapter, relating to conduct and competence, including but not limited to revocation, summary suspension, suspension, probation, reprimand, fines, and warnings, when evidence has been presented showing violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter.

            (b) In addition to the power and duties granted in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, the board may, in its discretion, impose a fine against any person licensed under this Chapter when evidence has been presented showing the person is in violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter and may assess costs and attorney fees against the person found to have been in violation of any of the provisions of this Chapter.

            (6)(a) Issue a subpoena to any person or persons who the board has probable cause to believe has engaged in the practice of optometry without a current valid license or permit and conduct hearings when evidence has been presented showing that the person or persons have been engaged in the practice of optometry without a current valid license or permit.

            (b) Levy a civil penalty of no more than five thousand dollars per offense upon any unlicensed person who, after a hearing or informal resolution in accordance with all provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and this Chapter, is found to have practiced optometry without benefit of a current valid license having been issued by the board pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter and assess costs and attorney fees against the unlicensed person found to have been practicing optometry without a current valid license.

            (c) Levy a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars upon any person who fails to attend a hearing as a witness, or otherwise, after timely service of a summons or subpoena.

            (7) Establish and enforce compliance with professional standards and rules of conduct of optometrists engaged in the practice of optometry.

            (8) Inspect during hours of operation any licensed, permitted, certified, or registered person including, but not limited to, pertinent records for the purpose of determining if any provision of law governing the legal distribution of drugs or devices or the practice of optometry is being violated.

            (9) Cooperate with all agencies charged with the enforcement of the laws of the United States, of this state, and of all other states relating to drugs, devices, or the practice of optometry.

            (10) Compel a person applying for or holding any license, registration, certificate, permit, or any other designation deemed necessary to engage or assist in the practice of optometry to submit to an evaluation by such persons as the board may designate.

            (11) Permit optometrists to join such professional organizations and associations organized exclusively to promote the improvement of the standards of the practice of optometry for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the public or whose activities facilitate the work of the board.

            (12) Educate the public and optometrists on issues of public health, safety, and welfare by sponsoring, promoting, managing, operating, or improving health-related education services, programs, or facilities in the state.

            (13) Place under seal all drugs or devices that are owned by or in the possession, custody, or control of a licensee at the time his license is suspended or revoked or at the time the board refused to renew his license. Except as otherwise provided in this Section, drugs or devices so sealed shall not be disposed of until appeal rights under the Administrative Procedure Act have expired, or an appeal filed pursuant to that Act has been determined.

            (14) Establish minimum standards for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of prescription information and other patient health care information.

            (15) Require that any therapeutically licensed optometrist licensed to practice pursuant to this Chapter meet the educational and competence criteria established by the board in order to perform expanded therapeutic procedures. Evidence of proof of continuing competency shall be determined by the board.

            Acts 2003, No. 987, §1; Acts 2006, No. 596, §1; Acts 2009, No. 289, §1; Acts 2014, No. 398, §1, eff. June 1, 2014; Acts 2018, No. 206, §3.

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