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Patient safety is our priority

Banner illustration for Impact Report on patient safety

In 2023, we defeated several scope expansion bills in partnership with state dermatology and medical societies. The AADA continues to advocate against state legislation that weakens the quality and safety of specialty care.

In partnership with state dermatology and medical societies, we defeated scope expansion bills in: 

  • Alabama: We joined the Alabama Dermatology Society, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, Alabama Academy of Eye Surgeons and Physicians, and the Alabama Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons to defeat legislation that would have lowered the standards of surgical eye care by authorizing optometrists to perform surgical procedures, including removal of lesions on the face, and to use lasers. 

  • Georgia: Together with the Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, our advocacy led to the enactment of health care transparency legislation that limited the use of medical specialty titles in advertisements and clinical settings to physicians. With this new law, physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners who hold doctorate degrees and use the title “doctor” in a clinical setting must clearly state that they are not a medical doctor or physician. 

  • Mississippi: We supported the advocacy efforts of the Mississippi State Medical Association and Mississippi Dermatology Association to advocate against legislation that would have authorized pharmacists to treat skin conditions.  

  • New Hampshire: We worked with the New Hampshire Medical Society to amend legislation that would have authorized naturopaths to be medical directors at medical spas. The sponsor withdrew the bill and asked for a study. 

  • South Dakota: We supported the South Dakota State Medical Association’s advocacy efforts to successfully reject legislation authorizing PAs to practice independently. We also successfully opposed legislation that would have lowered the standards of surgical eye care by adding laser and scalpel surgery to optometry’s scope of practice in South Dakota. 

Learn more about the Academy’s scope of practice advocacy efforts at www.aad.org/scope