Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law House Bill 191, the Consumer Protection in Eye Care Act.
“We are very pleased that Gov. Bevin and the Legislature took quick action to protect Kentucky consumers so they benefit from these safeguards no matter how they choose to obtain their glasses and contacts,” said Dr. Randy Steele, president of the Kentucky Optometric Association and an optometrist in Georgetown, Ky.
House Bill 191, which passed both the House and Senate with widespread, bipartisan support, allows consumers to use advancements in eye care technology, while also establishing safety standards to protect consumer health. The law also protects current and future opportunities to utilize telehealth. Doctors of optometry and ophthalmologists supported the legislation in its final version.
“The goal was to create reasonable consumer protection standards for Kentucky families while allowing for the continued use and growth of telehealth,” said Dr. Ben Gaddie, an optometrist in Louisville and legislative liaison for the Kentucky Optometric Association. “The bill signed into law today by the Governor accomplishes those important goals.”
House Bill 191 allows the technology in Kentucky but also establishes safeguards for its appropriate use. Some of these safeguards include a minimum age of 18 to use the technology, a prior in-person eye examination within the previous 24 months, the same standard of care is applied as when conducted in an in-person visit, and the technology cannot be utilized for an initial contact lens prescription.
House Bill 191, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gooch, overwhelmingly passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 90-7. It was amended in the Senate, where it passed unanimously with a 36-0 vote.