Maybe not in South Carolina.
Not for people in need of new glasses or contact lenses, anyway.
Because there exists a new technology - in the form of a smartphone app, affordable to a wide range of consumers - that can read your retina, access your need for a lense and bypass an optometrist.
Would an optometrist do a better job than a smartphone app in assessing your needs for a new contact lense or glasses?
It is debatable.
First, a smart app does not cost much or long to develop, and is cheap.
On the contrary, medical equipment in an optometrist's office is expensive, as well as an optometrist's services - and is necessary built into the price of your lenses.
Moreover, an optometrist most definitely cannot afford to replace his medical equipment with newer one every year while retina reading and assessing smartphone app can be enhanced daily.
And, isn't it the consumer's final choice whether he or she wants or does not want an optometrist to advise him (presumably, with a higher level of precision), what kind of glasses/contact lenses he needs rather than a retina-reading smartphone app?
Not so, asserts the South Carolina optometrist association that lobbied a legislature that:
- passed South Carolina House and Senate;
- was vetoed last year by the then-governor Nikki Haley; and
- the veto was overridden by South Carolina Senate.