Legislation calling for state regulation of online eye exams using a cell phone app has emerged from the House Health and Family Services Committee.
The measure calls for, among other things, simultaneous interaction with a doctor and in-person exams every two years. Dr. Ben Gaddie is an optometrist in Louisville. “Blinding eye diseases have no symptoms. In fact, about 85 percent of all blinding eye diseases have no symptoms until it’s too late,” said Gaddie.
Testifying Thursday against the bill was Peter Horkan with Opternative, an ocular tele-health company. “What this bill does is effectively put so much red tape on the tele-health platform that it will shut down all of the companies that participate in Kentucky,” noted Horkan.
Horkan says the online service is used primarily to re-order contact lens or glasses. He says the online option became available in Kentucky about two years ago. Several committee members yesterday urged discussion among the interested parties to try to work out concerns before the bill hits the House floor.