OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6012 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING CONSUMER PROTECTION IN EYE CARE.

SUMMARY

This bill prohibits optometrists and opthlamologists (providers) from:

1. using information obtained from a test using a “remote refractive device” (such as a smartphone app) as the sole basis for issuing an initial or renewal prescription for contact lenses and

2. issuing an initial or renewal prescription for contact lenses without having performed an in-person evaluation and eye examination of the patient.

The bill applies to prescriptions for any contact lenses, whether used for corrective, therapeutic, or cosmetic purposes.

*House Amendment “A” removes provisions from the underlying bill (File 492) that would specify expiration dates for contact lens prescriptions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

DEFINITIONS

Among other definitions, the bill defines a “remote refractive device” as automated equipment or an application designed for use on a telephone, computer, or Internet-based device that can be used in person or remotely to test the refractive status of the eyes.

An “eye examination” is a physical assessment of a patient's ocular health and visual status that may include, but may not consist solely of, objective refractive data generated by an automated testing device, including a remote refractive device, to establish a medical diagnosis or for correcting vision disorders.

An “initial prescription” is a provider's handwritten or electronic contact lens prescription, as defined in federal law (15 U.S.C. 7610), that the provider issues the first time he or she fits a patient with a contact lens. Federal law specifies the information that must be included in the prescription.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

23

Nay

3

(03/27/2017)