Letter to the Michigan Senate Regarding Ocular Telehealth
June 24, 2021
President Pro Tempore Nesbitt
Senate Majority Leader Shirkey
Senate Minority Leader Ananich
Members of the Michigan Senate
Binsfeld Office Building
201 Townsend Street
Lansing, MI 48933
Dear Sens. Nesbitt, Shirkey, Ananich and members of the Michigan Senate,
My name is Courtney Joslin and I am a resident fellow at the R Street Institute. R Street is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization whose mission is to engage in policy research that supports free markets and limited, effective government. My research focus is on health care disintermediation and scope of practice reform. Today, I am writing in support of House Bill 4356, which would allow Michiganders to take advantage of online contact lens prescription renewals.
The rise of telehealth platforms and services has increased access to health care for millions across the country. The benefits of telehealth include enhanced convenience and affordability, and contact lens prescription renewals are no exception. With this form of telehealth, consumers are able to renew their usual contact lens prescription without leaving home and with the ability to compare prices, two things that were virtually impossible before telehealth. These benefits, particularly when they do not come at the cost of quality in eye care, are crucial.
Quality does not suffer when states allow for online contact lens prescription renewals, and the majority of them already do allow this. With House Bill 4356, the initial contact lens prescription is still required to occur in-person in a medical office, meaning that patients still receive proper fitting before using an online platform to renew a prescription for the properly fitting lenses.
Allowing online contact lens prescription renewals will bring Michigan up to speed on the enhanced convenience and affordability that ocular telehealth fosters, and further Michiganders’ ability to receive quality eye care in their preferred way. We recommend passage of House Bill 4356.
Thank you for your time,
R Street Institute