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California Democrats Send Letter to FTC

California Democrats in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the Commissioner of the FTC, urging the commission to reconsider proposed changes to the Contact Lens Rule that would unfairly burden doctors of optometry without protecting patient safety. Read the full letter here

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Upcoming Discussion on Telemedicine and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Free event will be held in Washington, D.C. on September 27th; Event is open to the public, press

 

(ARLINGTON, Va.) - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety today announced that it will sponsor an event titled “Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education” on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 7:30 a.m. at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event is part of The Hill’s event series and is open to the public and members of the press. Those interested in attending can RSVP here. The event is free to attend.

Speakers, which will include a bipartisan group of lawmakers, industry professionals and vision and telehealth experts, will explore how telemedicine is making healthcare more efficient and effective, when in-person services might be more reliable and how to maintain a strong doctor-patient relationship as technology evolves.

Speakers will include:

  • Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA)
  • Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA)
  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • Dr. David Cockrell, Owner of Cockrell Eyecare Center in Stillwater, Okla.
  • Susan Polan, Associate Executive Director, Public Affairs & Advocacy, American Public Health Association
  • Natasa Sokolovich, Executive Director, Telehealth, University of Pittsburgh
  • Samantha Zenlea, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, National Council on Aging

Event details are as follows:

“Evolution of Telehealth: Patient Awareness and Education”
Thursday, September 27, 2018
7:30-9:30 a.m.
Washington Court Hotel Grand Ballroom
525 New Jersey Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20001


For more information on the event, please click here. Members or the general public can RSVP for the event by clicking here.

The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit www.PatientSafetyToday.com.

 

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Senate Bill Calls Attention to Vision Health

(ARLINGTON, Va.) – The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance) today applauded the United States Senate, which last Thursday passed a bill that instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to examine eye health research findings to increase patients’ vision safety and to update its reports on the burdens of keratitis – inflammation of clear tissue on the front of the cornea – and contact lens-related infections.

“The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety has worked diligently with lawmakers to ensure patients have a more complete understanding of vision health facts and potential dangers from using contact lenses sold by online retailers that may not have been prescribed, verified and properly fit by an eye doctor,” said Alliance Chairwoman Dr. Deanna Alexander, O.D. “Our members and patient safety advocates are eager to continue working with lawmakers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and relevant agencies to ensure that patients have access to proper data to make informed decisions regarding their vision health.”

Specifically, the bill states:

“Vision Health.—Vision impairment often occurs as a co-morbidity with other chronic illness, such as chronic heart disease, stroke, depression, and smoking, at substantially higher rates than individuals without vision impairment. CDC is encouraged to apply previous CDC vision and eye health research findings to develop effective prevention and early detection interventions, and to incorporate vision and eye health promotion activities into existing State and national public health chronic disease initiatives, with an initial focus on early detection of diabetic retinopathy. In addition, the Committee encourages CDC to update its reports on the estimated burden of keratitis and contact lens-related infections.”

The bill passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support, 85-7.

The Alliance was founded in 2018 to advocate for patient safety and to protect and defend the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personalized health care decision making. For more information, please visit www.PatientSafetyToday.com.

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CDC Launches Eye Care Database

In an effort to improve eye health awareness, the CDC launched a new vision and eye health surveillance system and database. The new system gives the public tools to better understand vision care in America.

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Contact Lens Health Week is August 20-24

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in close collaboration with their partners, has organized Contact Lens Health Week as a strategy to increase public awareness and promote healthy contact lens wear and care

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Rep. Denham Letter to the FTC

Rep. Jeff Denham led 7 members of Congress in a letter to the FTC. The Congressmen emphasize the unfair burdens to doctors of optometry and lack of enforcement of patient safety concerns in the proposed changes in the Contact Lens Rule. Read the full text of the letter here. 

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Sen. Heitkamp Letter to the FTC

Senator Heidi Heitkamp sent a letter to the FTC raising concerns about online contact lens distributors not requiring customers to have a valid prescription. Senator Heitkamp outlines several of the dangers of this activity. The full text of the letter is below, and can be viewed here as well.

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John Hoeven Congressional Letter to the FTC

Senator John Hoeven wrote a letter to the FTC voicing his concerns that the proposed changes to the Contact Lens Rule would unfairly burden small optometry practices in his home state and urging the commission to reconsider the rule. The full text of the letter is below, and can be viewed here as well.

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David Perdue Congressional Letter to the FTC

Senator David Perdue wrote a letter to the FTC urging that they reconsider their proposed changes to the Contact Lens Rule that would unnecessarily hinder small optometry practices across the country. The full text of the letter is below, and can be viewed here as well.  

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National Consumers League Recommends Rule Change

The Executive Director of the National Consumers League wrote a letter to the FTC, recommending that the agency requires all contact lens prescribers to post a sign in their offices noting that patients have a right to a copy of their contact lens prescription immediately after their fitting. The full text of the letter can be viewed here.

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