Medicare’s latest proposed rule builds on efforts to rein back Medicare Advantage plans with the AOA contributing comments that reiterate the need to eliminate plans’ barriers to care and promote transparency.
Ensuring our nation’s veterans have access to the full range of eye care they need, when and where they need it, has long been a mission for optometry’s advocates. Now, a pair of Veterans Health Administration directives affecting optometry could have far-reaching consequences beyond the nation’s largest integrated health care network.
In a recent one-on-one conversation with Federal Trade Commission staff, the AOA again urges the agency to reconsider a proposal requiring patients to sign forms attesting that they have received copies of their eyeglass prescriptions. For small-business optometric practices, the requirement would be burdensome from a paperwork perspective and unnecessary given that consumers are more empowered than ever, the AOA says—again.
AOA and AFOS: ‘Cut through the noise’ and empower licensed doctors of optometry to provide greater access to care to veterans
Eye care is the third-most requested health service by veterans at the VA—and doctors of optometry provide the majority of that care. Yet, as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) considers new national standards of practice for more than 50 health professions at its facilities, optometrists are making a winning case for expanding their role at an understaffed VA and are galvanizing against baseless attacks from organized medicine, ophthalmology and a few unbending legislators.
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Amid the AOA’s push for the bipartisan Dental and Optometric Care Access Act, a congressional panel authorized to investigate “any matter at any time” goes public with vision plan concerns and demands for oversight of industry consolidation and vertical integration.
The “National Association of Optometrists and Opticians” moniker has been dropped and replaced with NAROC, the National Association of Retail Optical Companies.
The recent workshop heard testimony from various stakeholders on the potential impact that proposed changes to the Eyeglass Rule might have on consumer choice and the burden on the practices of doctors of optometry and ophthalmology, which are already understaffed and saddled with other federal regulation. The Federal Trade Commission will use the feedback to determine whether to go forward with its recommendations.
The Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act curbs anti-patient, anti-doctor mandates by vision plans and affirms the doctor-patient relationship.
Backed by the AOA and Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety, the legislation would prohibit sellers’ manipulation of the current contact lens prescription verification system and restore doctors’ oversight.