Concerned for patients' health and safety, the AOA and state associations are actively combating misleading claims made by so-called "online eye exams" on multiple fronts.
This message is being reinforced at every level by educating the public, news media, health providers and government officials, including state legislators and attorneys general, members of Congress, and medical device regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"The AOA continually monitors and advocates for the public in many areas," says AOA Immediate Past-President David A. Cockrell, O.D. "We are concerned where violations of Federal or state law might exist. The AOA and our state associations will be monitoring and pressing for enforcement of all regulations and statutes. If state or federal laws need to be clarified or more specific to better protect the public, we will advocate in every arena for passage."
Reaching out to ophthalmology
With patient health and safety at stake as never before, and some "online eye exams" relying on a network of affiliated ophthalmologists as prescribers, Dr. Loomis sent a letter to the president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) to also make a stand.
Dr. Loomis called on the AAO to rebuke the dangerously misleading product claims made by "online eye exams" and work alongside the AOA to safeguard public health and healthy vision.
"Given the insidious nature of this threat to public health and the central role of ophthalmologists in the health care claims connected to it, I ask you to join me in educating your member ophthalmologists and the public about these substandard models of care," Dr. Loomis' letter states (login required).
The MSO is preparing a letter to the Massachusetts State Board of Optometry on this issue. We'll keep membership informed of any progress as we continue to advocate for patient safety.