June 4, 2021
The Ripon Advance - U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) last month introduced a bipartisan bill to modernize the verification process for contact lens prescriptions, which are worn by an estimated 45 million Americans. “This bill will maintain consumers’ freedom while ensuring that physicians can verify their patients’ prescriptions,” said Rep. Burgess.
June 2, 2021
Healio - Members of the House and Senate introduced bipartisan legislation intended to improve online contact lens sale practices. The Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act (HR 3352), introduced by U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-Texas), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.), would make purchasing contact lenses online easier and safer, ban the use of robocalls to verify patient information and ensure that protected medical information sent over email is encrypted, according to a press release from Rush’s office.
Alliance for Patient Safety Applauds Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act Reintroduction
May 21, 2021
Invision Magazine - Bipartisan Legislation to Modernize the Contact Lens Prescription Verification and Increase Patient Safety Introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Rush (IL-1), Burgess (TX-26), Blunt Rochester (Delaware) and McKinley (WV-1).
January 15, 2021
Optometry Times - Chief Optometric Editor Ben Casella, OD, FAAO, talks with Deanna Alexander, OD, FAAO, chair of the Alliance for Patient Safety, about recent changes from the FTC on contact lenses.
(WASHINGTON) – The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) today announced David A. Cockrell, O.D. as its new chairman. Dr. Cockrell, a practicing optometrist in Stillwater, Okla., succeeds Deanna Alexander, O.D., whose term as chairwoman concluded at the end of 2020. A photo of Dr. Cockrell can be found here.
“Under the leadership of inaugural chairwoman Deanna Alexander, O.D., the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety quickly established itself as the leader in advocating for policy that safeguards the millions of contact lens-wearing patients across the United States,” said David Cockrell, O.D. “I’m eager to begin working on priority initiatives that strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, enhance contact lens prescription verification methods to protect patients and modernize the means by which patients are informed of their rights.”
Dr. Cockrell has a long history of advocating for patient safety. He is a past president of the American Optometric Association, American Board of Optometry, Oklahoma State Board of Optometric Examiners and the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians.
He has been recognized for a lifetime of service and advocacy on behalf of patients by being inducted into the American Optometric Association National Hall of Fame, receiving the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians Distinguished Service Award and being named the Optometrist of the Year by the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians.
Dr. David A. Cockrell and his wife, Cherry Cockrell, O.D., own and operate Cockrell Eyecare Center in Stillwater, Okla., where he is active in the Stillwater Rotary Club, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, the Stillwater Public Education Foundation and the Stillwater Medical Foundation.
Dr. David Cockrell completed his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Oklahoma State University and received his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry.
January 04, 2021
Healio - The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations requested that the Federal Trade Commission delay the effective date for the Contact Lens Rule until March 31, 2021.
Patient Safety Advocates Applauds Congressional Directive to Delay Implementation of the FTC Contact Lens Rule
(WASHINGTON) – The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) today applauded Congress for acting to delay the implementation, effective date and enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) updated Contact Lens Rule (Rule) until March 31, 2021. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 – the recently passed omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2021 – allowed the directive included in the House Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) report to stand as the operative language directing the FTC’s treatment of the Rule.
The FSGG report, which can be read here, states:
Contact Lenses.—The Committee is disappointed that the FTC’s final amendments to the Contact Lens Rule do not sufficiently address the patient safety concerns the Committee has repeatedly outlined in report language for the past four years. The rule fails to sufficiently modernize the prescription verification process by eliminating the use of robocalls and imposes new burdensome paperwork requirements on providers and patients. To allow providers sufficient time to implement the necessary changes and to prevent additional interruptions in service due to the coronavirus, the Committee directs the FTC to delay the effective date for the amendments, and to suspend any implementation or enforcement of those amendments, until March 31, 2021.
Dr. Deanna Alexander, OD, Chairwoman of APS stated, “Patient safety advocates from across the country applaud Congress for acting to protect patients by delaying the effective date of the Contact Lens Rule. While we are appreciative of Congress’ work, we resolve to continue fighting for patient safety next year when Congress returns. Along with our supporters in both the House and Senate, the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety will tirelessly advocate for policy that prevents harmful inaccurate contact lens prescriptions from being shipped to patients and onerous regulations being forced upon local doctors.”
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers have gone on the record calling for changes to how contact lens prescriptions are verified and how patients are notified of their prescription rights. APS has consistently advocated for these important measures to keep patients safe, including through advocacy with the FTC and Congress. Past actions from Members of Congress include:
June 23, 2020: FTC announces final amendments to the Contact Lens Rule
June 30, 2020: Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) issue a statement calling for the passage of their Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act (H.R. 3975) as a legislative remedy to a portion of the FTC’s Rule.
July 15, 2020: The House Committee on Appropriations Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) funding bill includes report language directing the FTC to delay the effective and enforcement dates of the Rule
August 3, 2020: Ninety-four Members of the U.S. House of Representatives write to chamber leadership requesting action against the Rule in a COVID package or other legislation likely to become law soon
September 17, 2020: The Contact Lens Rule Modernization Act is introduced to modernize the contact lens prescription verification process and eliminate the burdensome signed acknowledgement form requirement.
November 10, 2020: The Senate Committee on Appropriations Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) funding bill includes report language urging the FTC to delay the effective date of final amendments to the Contact Lens Rule.Read more
December 1, 2020
American Optometric Association - Despite a challenging year amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) served as an advocacy force in contact lens and patient safety debates, en route to gaining new support from a global eye care leader.
December 2, 2020
Vision Monday - The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) announced Alcon, a global leader in eyecare, as its newest member. “APS partners and patient safety advocates are excited to have Alcon join our effort to advance patient safety and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, which is the foundation of personalized health care,” said Deanna Alexander, OD, chairwoman of APS. “As a leader in eyecare, Alcon’s voice will be instrumental in our effort to advance policies that surround patient safety.”
The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) today announced Alcon, a global leader in eye care, as its newest member. Alcon offers a broad range of eye care products and devices, from a complete line of contact lenses, lens care and ocular health products to intraocular lenses, ophthalmic surgical equipment and related products.Read more