TO:  All Licensed North Carolina Optometrists

FROM: William B. Rafferty, O.D., Executive Director, North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry


Board Policy on Compliance With GS 90-121.6

It is important that you read and understand your reporting responsibility associated with the Policy which is available on the Board’s website here.

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly passed GS 90-121.6 entitled “Reporting and publication of judgments, awards, payments, and settlements.”  (A copy may be found at this link)  Simply put, this law requires optometrists to report two types of events to the Board:

1.      Any malpractice judgment or award, no matter when such judgment or award occurred or the size of the judgment or award, and

2.      Any settlement payment of $75,000 or more, or any series of payments totaling $75,000 or more occurring after May 1, 2008, relating to the same incident of alleged malpractice.

The law specifies the information that such report must contain and further requires the Board to publish such information on the Board website for seven years.  See subsection (c) of the law for other important information about such publication.

The law, however, does not specify how or when such reports must be made to the Board.  In some cases, the Board has received the required information—or portions of such information—years after the judgment or settlement at issue.  Because the information contained in such reports will be important to North Carolina consumers making decisions about their eye care and visual health, the Board believes that it is important for such information to be reported promptly to the Board so that it can promptly be made available to the public.

Accordingly, the Board has adopted the attached Policy on Compliance With GS 90-121.6 to inform licensees how and when the information required by GS 90-121.6 must be provided to the Board.   Please review the Policy and become familiar with its requirements, including the possible consequences of non-compliance.

Hopefully you will never have occasion to file a report under the Policy.  However, should you find yourself subject to GS 90-121.6 and the Policy, you should consult with your attorney about how and when to respond, and you may contact me if you have any additional questions.


William B. Rafferty, O.D.

Executive Director
North Carolina State Board of Optometry
109 N. Graham St.

Wallace, NC  28466
(910) 285-3160 or (800) 426-4457
Fax: (910) 285-4546

Scam Alert:

The NC Optometry Board has received notification from two different NC licensed optometrists this week regarding someone contacting them posing as a DEA agent. The caller indicates that the optometrist's DEA number was used in a drug purchase and the optometrist is in jeopardy as a potential accomplice. The caller says that the DEA is involving the FBI in the deal to waive arrest and that the OD can avoid loss of licensure by posting a financial bond. The agent is identifying himself as Kevin McCoy. Dr. Rafferty, Executive Director, has talked to the DEA and they have assured him there is no Kevin McCoy in the DEA and that the DEA would never solicit bond payment by phone. 

We want everyone to be aware of this scheme in case you are approached in this or a similar manner. If this should happen to you, let the Board know as well as the DEA Department of Diversion (336) 547-4210. 


Notice Of Hearing - September 8, 2017

The Board will hold a hearing under Board Rule 42L .0102(h) pursuant to the request of a party subpoenaed by the Board and objection to the subpoena filed by the party subpoenaed.  The hearing will take place on Friday September 8, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in the law offices of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, 555 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1100, Raleigh, North Carolina.


Update to the Board's Position on 'board certification' in Optometry


August 31, 2012


To:  North Carolina Licensed Optometrist

From: North Carolina State Board of Optometry  

Re: Update to Board’s Position on “board certification” in optometry

The Board is aware of the conclusion of litigation between the American Optometric Society and the American Board of Optometry (Case number CV 10-03983 AHM) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California involving a Lanham Act “false advertising” claim and other claims relating to the ABO’s administration of a “board certification” program for optometrists. This update is issued for the purpose of clarifying this Board’s position on the ABO’s board certification program.

In its Findings of Fact dismissing the AOS Lanham Act claim, the District Court found only that AOS had not proved that ABO violated the act; he made no finding that the ABO did not violate the act. We do not believe that such a finding is binding in any way on this Board, in part because the jurisdiction of the two bodies is so different and because the Board does not have any authority to enforce the Lanham Act. In other words, the Board has its own authority to determine what practices violate its statutes and rules, and such authority is unaffected by the court’s ruling.

We note also that in January 2011, during the course of the California proceeding, ABO removed certain statements that had appeared on its website, including statements relating to competence beyond entry level for optometric licensure, exceeding requirements for licensure, and highest level of certification possible in connection with the ABO board certification program.

To date, this Board has not been presented with any information tending to indicate that the ABO board certification program denotes education, training, or experience beyond that possessed by the typical optometrist licensed by this Board. Likewise, the Board sees no evidence that an ABO board certified North Carolina optometrist is, solely as a result of such board certification, likely to be any more competent that an optometrist licensed by this Board who is not ABO board certified.

Accordingly, this Board has not changed its position as expressed in its August 6, 2009 Notice to North Carolina Optometrists that “Board certification by The American Board of Optometry is not recognized by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry as denoting any education, training, experience, or expertise other than that required for continued licensure in North Carolina.”

Should you have questions concerning the Board’s position in this matter you may access previous memoranda from the Board on “board certification” and “maintenance of competence” under “News” on the Board’s website at; or you can call the Board’s Executive Director at (910) 285-3160 or (800) 426-4457.

Information is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

The State of North Carolina and the North Carolina State Board of Optometry disclaims liability for any errors or omissions.

To verify any information please contact:


North Carolina State Board of Optometry

109 North Graham Street Wallace, NC 28466


(910)-285-4546 Fax