Senator Somers Stands in Support of Consumer Protection Eye Care Bill

June 9, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. – State Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton) today released the following statement regarding the final passage of House Bill 6012, An Act Concerning Consumer Protection in Eye Care.

I am thrilled to report that the Senate has passed legislation that aims to protect consumers, specifically in regards to eye care,” said Sen. Somers. “While it is challenging to balance technology with medical safety, I think this bill does that. The bottom line is that new technology should meet the safety standards of face-to-face service. Throughout the committee process we heard from many physicians, optometrists and ophthalmologists who urged us to take action to address patient safety, not only in regards to eye safety, but for the overall health of patients – full eye exams are so important because they often pick up other diseases in the process.”

A priority for the Public Health Committee, the bill prohibits 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 or renewing an initial prescription for contact lenses and
  2. Issuing or renewing an initial prescription for contact lenses without having performed an in-person evaluation and eye examination of the patient

The legislation will not limit individuals from purchasing contact lenses or glasses online after an initial examination is performed – up until renewal of the prescription is necessary.

“This bill sufficiently balances the importance of emerging technology with the complexity that comes along with good patient care and proper consumer protections provisions,” said Sen. Somers. “I am proud to stand in support of this bill and the protections it provides our Connecticut residents.”