A new federal bill seeks to “put patients and doctors in control of important health care decisions,” according to the American Optometric Association. The AOA is backing the measure, which was introduced March 17 in the House.
The bill would prohibit federally regulated health, vision, and dental plans
It’s called the Dental and Optometric Care Access Act or DOC Access Act, and has been designated as H.R. 1606.
Among other protections, the bill would prohibit federally regulated health, vision, and dental plans from restrictions on medical plan participation, limits on a doctor’s choice of lab, and non-covered services and materials mandates.
“Millions of Americans rely on local doctors of optometry for their comprehensive eye and vision health care needs,” said AOA President Dr. Andrea P. Thau. “It is time to put a stop to the barriers vision plans place on the doctor-patient relationship and access to quality care.”
According to AOA: “While 40 states have enacted legislation addressing these exploitations for plans regulated at the state level, a federal effort is now needed to address plans which have been sidestepping these state laws.”