Senator Somers Applauds Governor’s Signing of Consumer Protection Eye Care Bill

July 6, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. Today Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee, State Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton) released the following statement regarding the signing and Governor Malloy’s approval of House Bill 6012, An Act Concerning Consumer Protection in Eye Care.

“I am thrilled to report that the governor has signed this important piece of legislation into law,” said Sen. Somers. “While it is often challenging to balance technology with medical safety, I think this legislation does that. The bottom line is that new technology should meet the safety standards of face-to-face service. 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 medical problems in the process.”

A priority for the Public Health Committee, this legislation, Public Act 17-115, 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 law 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 law and the protections it provides Connecticut residents, and I am pleased that the governor has taken action and signed this bill into law.”