Welcome to the second edition of the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS)’s monthly newsletter!

APS-Backed Bill Heading to Markup in the U.S. Senate

Since we last reached out, APS and our members have been busy defending the doctor-patient relationship and advocating for patient health and safety. We’re pleased to report big news related to the Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act (S.4613).

Just yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that a markup of the Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act will take place on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. You can read our press release here.

This bipartisan legislation, if passed, would protect patients by eliminating the use of robocalls for contact lens prescription verification.

The bill would also eliminate the burden of collecting and maintaining paperwork from patients — the so-called “signed acknowledgment form” — and instead alert them to their patient rights via written notifications placed within prescribers’ clinics. The use of signage and other notifications is a standard implemented in California, where patient safety advocates find the measure informative and nonintrusive.

If you believe, as we do, that this legislation will better protect patients, please click below to support the Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act. Voicing your support will help build momentum for the bill’s passage and make it clear that this patient safety measure should be a priority before the year’s end.

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National Consumers League Announces Support for APS-Backed Policies

Yesterday, the National Consumers League (NCL) published an article advocating for the end of robocalls in the contact lens prescription verification process and announced its support for signage over signed acknowledgement. The article stated, “As many consumers can attest from being bombarded with marketing robocalls, making sense of them is a nightmare. Using robocalls to verify important patient information [...] is unsafe.” APS applauds the NCL for sharing this important message in support of patient safety.

Eye Health & Vision Care Research Update

The American Public Health Association Vision Care Section recently met for their virtual Annual Meeting and Expo, where two poster presentations and accompanying paper abstracts advanced the optometry practice and vision science in key areas important to APS and our members: telehealth and myopia.

At the Southern College of Optometry’s Center for Eye and Health Outcomes, Dr. Gregory Wolfe, OD, MPH, FAAO and Dr. Lori Grover OD, PhD, FAAO, led research that reviewed 44 telehealth apps, including those used for eye and vision care. Read their abstract and slides to see their results.

And, at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, Dr. Joseph Ruskiewicz, OD, MPH and optometry graduate student Carrie Hilinski showed how time spent outdoors, organized by schools as part of a concerted public health effort, could reduce the growing increase in myopia.

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Your advocacy actions make a difference in Washington, expanding awareness and support for key patient safety legislation. Every APS advocacy action earns you advocacy points.

Have you checked your place on the leaderboard and taken advocacy action lately?

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Thank you to our many patient safety advocates. We’ll be back in touch in December with more ways to get involved in the fight for the doctor-patient relationship and for patient safety.