Sending Office: Honorable Bobby L. Rush
Cosponsors (16): Blunt Rochester,
Cole, Craig, Crawford, Gianforte, Harder, Kinzinger, Kuster, Barbara Lee,
Mooney, Peterson, Posey, Quigley, Reschenthaler, Van Drew
In 2003, Congress passed the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act (FCLCA), which put in place protections for a patient’s right to shop around for the best contact lens price. The 2004 Contact Lens Rule implementing the law required
seller verification of a prescription, or automatic verification should a prescriber not respond within eight business hours. Some online contact lens sellers use dangerous loopholes — including the use of robocalls — to bypass the verification process.
An accurate and clear prescription verification process is essential to ensure patients are not given wrong, unprescribed lenses that can result in permanent vision loss.
H.R. 3975, the Contact Lens Prescription Verification Modernization Act updates the law governing contact lens sales to ensure patients
have a way to upload a copy of their prescription to the online retailer’s website and to eliminate the use of robocalls during the prescription verification process. Under the original FCLCA, retailers are NOT required to have a copy of the contact lens
prescription to fill the order. If retailers do not have a copy of the prescription, they can verify the patient’s prescription through direct communication with the patient’s doctor. While the FCLCA clearly defined direct communication as telephone, fax,
or e-mail, the FTC’s interpretation also allows the use of robocalls. Yet, the use of robocalls to confirm the accuracy of a prescription (which includes specific numbers for strength, base curve and quantity) is far too complicated for an automated phone
It is time for online sellers to move into the 21st Century and use digital methods for contact lens verification. To achieve that goal, our bill:
- Requires online contact lens retailers to establish a secure, HIPAA-compliant, portal for patients to upload their prescriptions;
- Requires that any email containing health information is encrypted and meets HIPAA standards; and
- Prohibits the use of robocalls to verify patient prescriptions.
Therefore, we urge you to join us in cosponsoring this simple legislation that increases patient safety and modernizes the contact lens prescription verification process. To learn more or to cosponsor, please contact Nishith Pandya
in Rep. Rush’s office at Nishith.Pandya@mail.house.gov or Rachel Huggins in Rep. Burgess’ office at
Bobby L. Rush Michael C. Burgess, M.D.
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0