New Practitioner Information
Continuing education requirements in Colorado
State law requires that each optometrist seeking to renew a license have completed 24 hours of CE within each 2-year period with the period ending on March 31 of each odd numbered year.
Not all continuing education courses count as CE for licensure purposes in Colorado. For detailed information on what courses qualify for CE, please consult the State Board's CE policy. The policy is listed on the State Board's website at www.dora.state.co.us/optometry.
Colorado Vision Summit
The Colorado Optometric Association joins forces with the Mountain States Congress of Optometry to present a top-notch conference each year in Colorado called the Colorado Vision Summit. In addition to continuing education, there is a substantial exhibitors program, a lively theme party and several COA events, including the annual business meeting and the 'Celebrating Colorado Optometrists' dinner and awards event.
Local optometric societies
There are four optometric societies that meet on a regular basis. These meetings usually offer continuing education plus the opportunity to socialize with fellow optometrists.
- Denver Metro Optometric Society - serves Denver area
- Southern Colorado Optometric Society - serves Southern Colorado including Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
- Northern Colorado Optometric Society - serves the Northern Front Range including Ft. Collins, Greeley and Loveland.
- Western Colorado Optometric Society - serves the Western Slope of Colorado.
The following are the classes of pharmaceutical agents approved for optometric use.
Examination Purposes: Topically applied mydriatics, miotics, cycloplegics and anesthetics.
Treatment Purposes: Topical and oral antimicrobials (except oral antifungal agents), topical and oral antihistamines, topical anti-inflammatory agents, topical and oral nonscheduled analgesics, and any controlled substance for ocular pain and inflammation except those specified in schedules I and II.
Treatment of Glaucoma: topical and oral antiglaucoma agents.
Be sure to check out the COA website's Prescribing Controlled Substances page for all the info you'll need, including information on how to obtain a DEA number.
Participating in insurance plans
To become a provider for a particular insurance plan, you will need to contact the specific insurance company to begin their application process. Most insurance plans require the following provider numbers to apply for their plans:
Patients who qualify for Medicare are usually 65 and older or may be disabled. Many insurance companies will ask for a Medicare UPIN (User Provider Identification Number) during the application process. It can take several months to receive a Medicare UPIN number, so applying as soon as possible is a good idea. Providers can enroll as a Medicare provider using PECOS (Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System). Novitas' home page can be found here.
Patients that are low income may qualify for services through Medicaid. A Medicaid number may also be required for other insurance applications. The application process can be lengthy so start early. The number to call for Medicaid Provider Services is 1-800-237-0757 or click here to go to the Colorado Medicaid provider enrollment page.
Tax Identification Number (TIN)
- Optometrist with no employees: If you will be working as a contract labor optometrist and not paying any employees, you can use your Social Security Number as your Tax ID number. You would be considered a sole proprietor by the IRS.
- Optometrist with employees: The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is the Tax ID number for optometrists who have employees. You may want to consider forming some type of entity, such as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) through which to conduct business (Consult your personal attorney for what is best for your business situation).
To obtain a Tax ID number you need to fill out the SS-4 Form from the IRS. You should receive your Tax ID number in about a week.
The IRS number to call to receive the SS-4 Form is 1-800-829-3676. The form can be downloaded at www.irs.ustreas.gov. If your city has a local IRS office, the form can be picked up there.