SB 16 Provides that each child enrolled in kindergarten or first grade is to receive a comprehensive vision examination
Sponsor: Scott
LR Number: 0236S.03T Fiscal Note: 0236-03
Committee: Seniors, Families and Public Health
Last Action: 6/21/2007 - Signed by Governor Journal Page:
Title: SCS SB 16 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2007
House Handler: Pearce

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Current Bill Summary


SCS/SB 16 -Beginning July 1, 2008, every child enrolling in kindergarten or first grade shall receive one comprehensive vision examination performed by a state licensed optometrist or physician.

The act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Health and Senior Services to compile and maintain a list of sources to which children who may need vision examinations or children who have been found to need further examination or vision correction may be referred for treatment on a free or reduced cost basis. A child may be excused from taking a vision examination by submitting a written request to the appropriate school administrator.

Beginning July 1, 2008, all public school districts shall conduct an eye screening for each student once before the completion of first grade and again before the completion of third grade. The eye screening method shall be approved by the Children's Vision Commission, which is established in this act, and shall be performed by an appropriately trained school nurse or other trained and qualified employee of the school district. The screening results, with all identifying information removed, shall be sent, via electronic form, to the Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Children's Vision Commission shall be composed of seven members including two ophthalmologists, two optometrists, one school nurse, one representative from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and one from the Missouri State School Boards Association. The duties of the Commission shall be to adopt standardized eye screening and examination tests, reporting forms, and appropriate training programs for school district staff. The Commission shall also conduct a pilot project to track the results of the eye screening versus eye examinations conducted based on the reports submitted by school districts to the Department of Health and Senior Services. By December 31, 2011, the Commission shall submit a report to the General Assembly detailing the results of the study along with data on the number of students who received a follow-up examination from an optometrist, ophthalmologist, physician, or doctor of osteopathy and the results of those examinations to determine the effectiveness of eye examinations versus eye screening. The Department of Health and Senior Services shall provide staff support to the Commission.

Further, the act alters the statutorily-allowed uses for the "Blindness Education, Screening and Treatment Program Fund." The fund shall cover additional costs for vision examinations under this act that are not covered by existing public health insurance. Subject to appropriations, moneys from the fund shall be used to pay for those additional costs, provided that the costs from the fund not exceed ninety-nine thousand dollars a year. Payment from the fund for vision examinations under this act shall not exceed the allowable state medicaid reimbursement amount for vision examinations.

This act shall sunset in five years. This act is similar to SCS/SB 687 (2006).

ADRIANE CROUSE