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Federal Advocacy

Optometry is a legislated profession. The decisions made by state and federal lawmakers and agency officials have a direct, and often long-lasting, impact on doctors of optometry and patients.

U.S. Capitol Building

No Surprises Act: Good Faith Estimates

The AOA is pressing the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to immediately fix its misguided approach to the implementation of key portions of legislation to outlaw surprise billing by health care facilities enacted by Congress with bi-partisan support in 2021.  The AOA is already leading a direct dialog with agency officials to insist on immediate changes to eliminate unnecessary new regulatory burdens on small practices detailed in late and confusing directives issued by HHS on Dec. 21, 2021, detailing broadly applied “Good Faith Estimate” requirements. To amplify its advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., AOA leaders are coordinating with other physician groups whose members have also being mistakenly targeted, including the ADA, the APsychA and the AMA, as well as a coalition of like-minded patient access organizations.

As the AOA fights for regulatory fairness at the federal level, it is also advising doctors of immediate steps they can take to help persuade HHS to rethink its approach while also ensuring that their practices are prepared for any action the agency will take.  Concerned doctors can submit letters to HHS Secretary Becerra outlining your view of the new regulations and email them to the AOA President at President@aoa.org. You may use the customizable template.  Dr Layman will ensure these concerns are heard at HHS.

Additional resources

Customizable GFE Template
Good Faith Estimate FAQs
#AskAOA GFE Webinar Recording

The rules set forth in federal and state laws and regulations have a significant impact on how doctors of optometry can practice and provide care for patients.

Lawmakers and agency officials play a key role in determining what care is within optometry’s scope of practice, how patients are able to access needed eye and vision care, and how doctors are reimbursed.

Defending the rights of doctors of optometry to practice full-scope optometry is one of the most important roles of the American Optometric Association. The volunteers and staff of the AOA Advocacy Group are dedicated to fighting and winning in Washington, D.C. and state capital across the country on behalf of doctors of optometry and patients.

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