Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Optometry bill delivered to the governor after Senate changes

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

A bill to regulate online eye exams has been delivered to Gov. Matt Bevin after getting final passage from the state House.

On an 88-0 vote, the House agreed with the changes the Senate made to House Bill 191 to remove the original bill's requirement for "simultaneous" consultation between online, Kentucky-licensed eye-care providers and their patients, which critics said would have limited access to eye care and tele-health technologies going forward.

The Senate passed the bill 36-0 March 14 with an amendment that changed the word "simultaneous" to either "synchronous or asynchronous." The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Gooch, R-Providence, said the change represented a compromise between all sides of the issue.

The bill requires that a person to be 18 to use the online services, that a medical history be obtained, that the person must have had an in-person eye exam withing two years of the online exam, and that a patient is not allowed to get contacts for the first time during an online exam.

This is the first time regulations have been placed on the online eye-care industry in Kentucky. It was supported by optometrists, who have a strong lobbying and campaign-finance presence in the legislature, and opposed by ophthalmologists, who do not.

No comments:

Post a Comment