Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety Supports Newly Introduced Contact Lens Safety Legislation, the Contact Lens Prescription Modernization Act
Reps. Michael Burgess and Lisa Blunt Rochester introduced new legislation to prohibit any seller of prescription contact lenses from using robocalls to verify a consumer's prescription.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (HCAPS) commends Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) for the introduction of the Contact Lens Prescription Modernization Act. If passed, this legislation will modernize the contact lens prescription verification process and make it safer for millions of contact lens wearers by prohibiting telephone calls with an artificial or prerecorded voice, also known as robocalls, from being used as a method for verifying patients’ prescriptions.Read more
Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety Announces New Executive Director, Federal Advocacy Expert Ralph Kohl
WASHINGTON, D.C.— (December 14, 2022) – The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (HCAPS) today
announces Ralph Kohl as the new Executive Director. Kohl, a seasoned and recognized health care association expert, will serve as the coalition’s leader and will work closely with HCAPS partners to set a strategic plan for the future.
HCAPS was founded in 2018 by the American Optometric Association to advocate for patient safety and
to protect the doctor-patient relationship, the essential foundation of personalized health care decision-making.
“Mr. Kohl brings a strong mix of in-depth patient health care advocacy and years of federal and
regulatory experience to HCAPS,” said David Cockrell, O.D., HCAPS Chairman. “With the power of diverse health care, association and patient safety-minded partners, the coalition has made great strides in driving policies that prioritize the health and safety of patients in the U.S. We know that Mr. Kohl’s acumen and passion will drive the future growth and impact of the organization.”
With nearly 20 years of health care advocacy and lobbying experience in Washington, D.C., Kohl has worked with leading health professional organizations to advance legislation and policies that help improve patient care in the U.S. Previously, Kohl worked for the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) and led AANA’s federal legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts. Additionally, Kohl has worked in senior roles with health care professional associations at the federal and state levels as well as a staff member for the New York State Legislature in Albany, New York.
“I’m thrilled to continue the important work to protect and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship through HCAPS,” said Ralph Kohl, executive director of HCAPS. “This coalition has the tremendous opportunity to elevate health care. I look forward to working with our partners to facilitate collaboration and champion policies that push patient care and vision protection forward.”
In the coming year, the HCAPS partners and leadership team will be working hand-in-hand to evolve and
advance the organization’s key principles, including:
- Support and advocate for the center of every health care decision: the doctor-patient
relationship and ensure the delivery of quality care and healthy outcomes.
- Support and advocate for the safest, healthiest and most effective use of medical devices while
promoting the advancements in technology to create better patient health outcomes.
- Support and advocate for the inviolability of a patient's prescription, determined through
consultation between a patient and his or her doctor.
- Support and advocate for needed enforcement and/or needed strengthening of patient health
and safety laws and regulations.
- Educate and inform policymakers, the media and the public about the importance of doctor-patient decision-making and respond to dangerous, abusive or harmful medical device marketing practices that undermine quality care or place patients at increased risk for harm.
To become a local advocate or to get involved in protecting patient safety,
About The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (HCAPS), founded in 2018, advocates for eye health and safety and elevates the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of personal health care decision-making. Members of the Alliance for Patient Safety work together to raise awareness and protect public health. Advancing policy and collaboration between leading eye health advocates, vision innovators and trusted voices is essential to elevate patient care.
The Alliance is made up of patient safety advocates, eye doctors, and contact lens manufacturers. Current partners include the American Optometric Association, Johnson & Johnson Vision, EssilorLuxottica, Alcon and CooperVision.
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(WASHINGTON) – Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance for Patient Safety) today released the following statement following the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) workshop entitled, “The Contact Lens Rule and the Evolving Contact Lens Marketplace.”
“Doctors, contact lens manufacturers and eye care professionals from across the country today sent a clear message to the FTC: It’s time to follow the lead of other government agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, to carefully consider patient safety and the integrity of the patient’s prescription when contemplating new government regulations,” said Deanna Alexander, O.D., Chair of the Alliance for Patient Safety. “As it currently stands, the FTC’s proposed rule will only increase burdens on small businesses and doctors, which will ultimately strain patient access, and allow for undermining the integrity of the prescription. Simply put, it’s a solution in search of a problem.”Read more
(ALEXANDRIA, VA) – Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (Alliance for Patient Safety) supporters from across all 50 U.S. states are preparing to descend on Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop titled, “The Contact Lens Rule and the Evolving Contact Lens Marketplace.”
Eye diseases, vision loss, and eye disorders create an estimated $139 billion economic burden in the U.S.¹ and millions of Americans suffer from untreated or undiagnosed vision impairments.² Members of the Alliance for Patient Safety are increasingly concerned that eye health and vision care are not priorities in the national health care discussion.
“The current verification of contact lens prescriptions includes issues like robocalls, excessive-quantity sales and lens substitutions, which create a system that treats the purchase of contact lenses as a mere economic transaction, without sufficient regard for patient safety,” said Deanna Alexander, O.D., Chair of the Alliance for Patient Safety. “The Alliance for Patient Safety believes the FTC should recognize the need for a contact lens verification process that is dedicated to protecting the well-being of patients and
ensure that contact lenses are used safely and appropriately.”
The following Alliance for Patient Safety members and advocates will speak on panels at the FTC’s workshop:
- Dr. Carol Lakkis, BScOptom, Ph.D. – Participant on Panel II: Contact Lens Health and Safety Issues. Dr. Lakkis is Clinical Research Fellow and Head of Applied Clinical Science for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
- Dr. David A. Cockrell, O.D. – Participant on Panel IV: Examining the Verification Process and Panel V: Prescription Release and Consumer Choice. Dr. Cockrell is Diplomate American Board of Optometry, Past President, American Optometric Association (AOA).
- Mr. Shaun Schooley – Participant on Panel IV: Examining the Verification Process. Mr. Schooley is the Vice President of Global Marketing Technology, CooperVision.
- Dr. Zachary McCarty, O.D. – Participant on Panel V: Prescription Release and Consumer Choice. Dr. McCarty is the Chair of the Quality Improvement and Registry Committee for the AOA.
- Mr. Peter A. Menziuso – Participant on Panel VI: Looking Ahead: Potential Market Disruptions and Their Impact on Competition, Consumer Protection, and the Contact Lens Rule. Mr. Menziuso is President, North America, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
In addition to panelists, doctors of optometry from across all 50 states will attend the workshop and submit formal comments advocating for policy that increases patient safety and ensures access to highquality vision health care.
Members of the press interested in learning more about the Alliance for Patient Safety or talking with Alliance advocates or panelists can visit www.patientsafetytoday.com.
(ALEXANDRIA, VA) – Eye diseases, vision loss, and eye disorders create an estimated $139 billion economic burden in the U.S.1 and millions of Americans suffer from untreated or undiagnosed vision impairments.2 Yet eye health and vision care are not priorities in the national health agenda. The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, launched today, will work to fill the gap, advocating for solutions to advance patient eye health, vision care, and safety and to elevate the doctor-patient relationship – the essential foundation of health care decision making.
Advancing policy and collaboration between leading health care advocates, innovators, and treatment specialists is essential to push patient eye health care and vision protection forward. The Alliance for Patient Safety will build on important eye health and technological advancements, and work with patients, policy makers, and regulators to deliver transparent and factual information regarding eye health products, procedures, technology, and safety.
“The Alliance for Patient Safety exists to advance patient eye health and provide patients with the latest credible information to improve and safeguard eye health,” said Deanna Alexander, O.D., Chair of the Alliance for Patient Safety. “We will set out to ensure patient eye health and safety are at the center of the nation’s health care agenda and to advance patient health through education, empowerment, and the preservation of the doctor-patient relationship as the absolute foundation of sound health care decision making.”
The Alliance for Patient Safety is a policy advancement and information collaboration between leading eye health advocates, innovators, and trusted voices from the eye health community, all united by a commitment to ensuring quality care and improved patient outcomes. Through advocacy and education initiatives, the Alliance for Patient Safety:
- Supports laws, regulations, increased enforcement, and other public policy solutions designed to safeguard public health
- Heightens awareness to patients, legislators, and regulators of the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and existing and potential threats to patients’ eye health and safety
The American Optometric Association (AOA) and Johnson & Johnson Vision joined the Alliance as Leadership and Charter members with CooperVision, Inc. joining as an Associate and Charter member.
To become a local advocate or to get involved in protecting patient safety, visit www.patientsafetytoday.com.