July 29, 2019
1 min read

Contact lens prescription verification bill introduced in Congress

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Deanna Alexander
Deanna Alexander

The Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act was introduced in the House of Representatives July 25.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), is aimed at making the contact lens prescription verification process easier and safer, according to a press release from the Health Care Alliance for Patience Safety.

“HR 3975 increases patient safety by prohibiting prescription verification made via robocall and establishing a paper trail by instead requiring that online sellers use direct communication – a live phone call, fax or email – to confirm prescriptions,” the alliance said in the release. “The bill also requires online sellers to develop HIPAA-compliant methods for patients to electronically transmit contact lens prescriptions.”

The text of the bill is not yet available.

Deanna Alexander, OD, alliance chair, said in the release: “Increasing patients’ choice in the contact lens marketplace should never jeopardize patient safety.”

She said this legislation would address, “a loophole in the current passive verification system, which often leaves patients at risk of being provided incorrect prescriptions that can lead to adverse health conditions and even vision loss.”

While the FTC’s proposed supplemental rulemaking to the Contact Lens Rule, announced May 2, acknowledges problems with prescription verification via robocalls, it does not close the loophole, the alliance said in the release.

“The alliance believes congressional action is necessary to ensure that patients receive the exact lenses prescribed by their doctor and increase patient safety,” the group said.

Members of the alliance include the American Optometric Association, Johnson & Johnson Vision, VSP, CooperVision and Sightbox.