January 9, 2024

Texas Optometric Association Granted Motion to Intervene In Federal Vision Plan Lawsuit

AUSTIN, Texas –The Texas Optometric Association (TOA) is pleased to relay that a federal judge has granted TOA and Dr. Simaan Shini’s motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit that vision plan plaintiffs have filed against the State of Texas.


The vision plan plaintiffs’ lawsuit centers on the anti-steering and anti-tiering provisions in the recently enacted HB 1696. With the advocacy of TOA and Texas optometrists, HB 1696 was passed unanimously by the Texas House and Senate and signed into law by the Governor.


The law seeks to curtail the anti-competitive and monopolistic actions of managed care plans, including vision plans, in Texas.


TOA is pleased to stand with the Texas Attorney General to fight for all Texas consumers to ensure that consumers have access to patient and doctor-driven eyecare, not eyecare deemed sufficient by international conglomerates. 


We echo the sentiment of the State’s defense of HB 1696:

"As is clear from its text and history, the Amendment seeks to promote fair business practices for managed care plans—an area of concern for the Legislature since at least 2015. Indeed, the express purposes of the Amendment are to “prevent managed care plans from directly or indirectly controlling or attempting to control the professional judgment, manner of practice, or practice of an optometrist,” and to prevent “steer[ing] patients to doctors at locations where [business] owned-products are being sold, and financially control[ing] doctors by incentivizing or disincentivizing plan benefits and reimbursements to prefer the products and services [the businesses] own.”

"The only thing the Amendment regulates is the level of control a managed care plan has over others in the vision care industry in Texas."


As an intervenor, TOA looks forward to fully defending the important consumer protection provisions of HB 1696 through the entirety of the legal process.

The TOA is committed to vigorously defending Texas optometrists and their patients against the continued abuses of these multibillion-dollar conglomerates.  The TOA is currently exploring all options to defend Texas optometrists, but we know that, unfortunately, all of these options are expensive.

Your contribution to this fund will make sure that the TOA has the necessary resources not only to prevail in court, but also to assist optometrists with enforcement actions to ensure that visions plans are complying with this important law.

Contributions to the Vision Plan Litigation Defense Fund are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses. Consult your tax advisor.

About TOA

Founded in 1900, The Texas Optometric Association (TOA) represents doctors of optometry, optometry students, and optometric technicians across the State of Texas. The TOA advocates for the profession of optometry at every level and works to advance excellence in eyecare for every Texan.

Texas Optometric Association

texas.aoa.org l [email protected] l 512.707.2020