This is our third and final Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) monthly newsletter for 2020 - but we'll be back in January with more updates!

APS Welcomes Alcon to the Alliance

On December 1st, the APS announced Alcon joined the Alliance as an Associate Partner alongside CooperVision and Leadership Partners Johnson & Johnson Vision and the AOA.

Deanna Alexander, O.D., APS chair, said, "As a leader in vision health and eye care, Alcon’s voice will be instrumental in our effort to advance policies that surround patient safety.” Rick Weisbarth, O.D., vice president of professional affairs for Alcon U.S. Vision Care and representative to the APS, added, “Alcon is pleased to join APS in our common goal to enhance policies that protect patients’ vision safety. Together with fellow APS members and dedicated health care providers across the country, Alcon is committed to working collaboratively with policymakers to promote the safe, healthy and effective use of medical devices to improve patient health outcomes.”

Welcome to our newest member, Alcon

APS Year in Review

Despite the challenges posed by a global pandemic, APS organized important advocacy at the state and federal level to policies involving contact lenses and patient safety. Here are a few highlights from this year:

  • In May, APS helped maintain the doctor-patient relationship and uphold patient safety laws in both Maine and Georgia.
  • Despite the cancellation of in-person events this year, APS participated in the Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill, the #AskAOA FTC Rule Update webinar, and the American Public Health Association Vision Care Section business meeting.
  • APS worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on safety messages during the 2020 Contact Lens Health Week, emphasizing that contact lenses remain safe for patients during the pandemic as long as normal hygiene routines are followed.
  • On Capitol Hill, advocacy efforts led to the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act gaining over 47 cosponsors in the U.S. House this year. After the FTC implemented the Contact Lens Rule, the APS supported the newly introduced Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act in the U.S. Senate, promoting the legislation and drawing attention and bipartisan support from members of the U.S. Senate and the National Consumers League.

As we conclude a productive 2020, the Alliance thanks Dr. Alexander as she has decided to transition out of her role as APS chair, a role she has held since the alliance’s founding in 2018, and into the AOA’s Federal Relations Committee.

Eye Health & Vision Care Research Update

Last month, JAMA Ophthalmology published the work of Frank Brodie, MD, MBA, Michael Repka, MD, Stephen Allan Burns, PhD, et al., titled "Development, Validation, and Innovation in Ophthalmic Laser-Based Imaging." Their article summarizes presentations, discussion, and future directions from the US Food and Drug Administration's April 2019 forum on laser-based imaging.

The paper reviews and summarizes the dramatic improvements in ophthalmic laser-based imaging, and the positive developments that will improve how eye disease is diagnosed, managed, and understood as technology and research continue to advance.

Secure Your Place on Our Leaderboard

Are you on The APS Advocacy Leaderboard?

Your advocacy actions have made a difference in Washington this year, expanding awareness and support for key patient safety legislation. Every APS advocacy action earns you advocacy points. Keep engaging your elected officials in 2021, and keep moving up the leaderboard!

Check out the Leaderboard

Thank you to our many patient safety advocates.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, and look for our next edition when we return in January 2021.