Florida prohibits the corporate practice of optometry (CPOO). In contrast to the provisions of Florida’s Medical Practice Act, which governs medical doctors, Florida’s Optometry Practice Act, which governs optometrists, expressly prohibits any corporation or other business entity from engaging in the practice of optometry. Likewise, Florida’s Optometry Practice Act also prohibits any optometrist from engaging in the practice of optometry with any corporation or other business entity. The purpose of this law is to prevent non-optometrists from having authority over and controlling the professional judgment of optometrists.
Florida, instead, allows optometrists to organize as a professional service corporation (PA) or a professional limited liability company (PLC). Under a PA or PLC, only an optometrist or multiple optometrists may be members of such entities. For example, physicians (MD or DO) may not form a PA or PLC with optometrists.
Despite the above, Florida law allows optometrists to “associate” with a multidisciplinary group of licensed healthcare professionals, the primary objective of which is the diagnosis and treatment of the human body. In other words, Florida law seemingly allows optometrists to be employed by, contract with, or be an owner of an entity composed of other licensed healthcare professionals. As there appears to be no law against whether other licensed healthcare professionals can form entities other than PAs or PLCs (except for optometrists, dentists and chiropractors), Florida law may allow an optometrist to join an entity comprised of a multidisciplinary group of licensed healthcare professionals, the primary objective of which is the diagnosis and treatment of the human body, whether that entity is an LLC, corporation, or another entity form.
As a boutique law firm dedicated to supporting the healthcare community, our goal is to help healthcare professionals comply with all laws so that they can be safe in their profession and practices.If you would like to learn more about the corporate practice of optometry in Florida and get advice on how to proceed, contact us at Florida Healthcare Law Firm to set up a consultation today.