With projected shortfalls of primary care providers across the U.S., legislators are exploring ways to increase access to needed care. And, eye care is one form of primary care.

NCSL’s Scope of Practice Policy website has a new, “eye-catching” addition: optometrists are now featured as a new practitioner. Providing more than two-thirds of all primary eye and vision health care in the U.S., doctors of optometry, or optometrists, are an important access point to the health care system for many patients. They are trained to examine, diagnose, treat and manage eye disorders, diseases, injuries and diseases that manifest in the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, they may also play a key role in an individual’s general health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases.

The new optometrists page features three interactive policy maps outlining optometrists’ authority to perform ophthalmic procedures, administer injections and prescribe controlled substances.