Information from the Department of Justice states that individuals with HIV are protected under the ADA. Since an optometrist’s office may be a public accommodation under the ADA, an optometrist may not be able to discriminate against patients with HIV/AIDS. This link is to a publication by the Department of Justice regarding this issue: HIV Publication. The website for the DOJ also lists other ADA publications: DOJ website.
Federal law protecting privacy of a person’s medical records. Since HIPAA is a federal law, questions should be directed to the federal government. Links are provided on the Optometry Board’s Website: HIPAA.
State law, regulating personal health information, found in Chapter 181 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, imposes additional duties, including staff training requirements, deadlines for providing copies of electronic records, and notice requirements for electronically transmitted records (See brief discussion of House Bill 300).
A doctor not practicing optometry in Texas may renew as “inactive.” An inactive license is not required to obtain Continuing Education.
The Board has investigated offices and initial patient examinations for over 30 years. The current procedure requests doctors to give the Board’s investigator copies of a few recent patient records — only records of first time patients for whom an ophthalmic prescription was issued. These records are reviewed for compliance with Section 351.353 and Board Rule 277.7.