Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act

Monopoly of Corporations:

Two most dominant vision plans provide coverage to approximate two-thirds of Americans. Vision plans not regulated like health insurers. Special legal treatment and monopoly in the market leads plans insert themselves into doctor-patient decision making. Such monopoly of vision plans mistraet patients and lead to higher overall costs. Monoply and the actions of these companies is a direct threat to the doctor-patient relationship. Current situation has increased vision care costs. This monoply is being driven by vertically integrated corporations who provide for vision insurance, eyeglass frames and lenses, and laboratory services. It should be counter by ensuring that the system remains open for patients and doctors to have their choices in care and in the medical devices (glasses and contact lenses) that they require and that doctors are able to find out best possible resources for their patients at the best cost and convenience.

Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act:

In 43 states similar laws already exists, to counter monoply business practices, and the DOC Access Act will apply these laws to federally regulated dental and vision plans. DOC Access Act aims to counter malpraxis by vision plans and safeguard the interests of patients and doctors, to remain at the center of important health care decision making. It further provides protection such that vision plans no longer insert themselves into doctor-patient decision making.

H.R. 3461 was reintroduced May 21 in the U.S. House and and S.1793 on May 24 in the U.S. Senate by concerned senators.

The bill, supported by American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Dental Association (ADA), aimed to counter abusive practices in the federally regulated vision and dental coverage markets by preventing:

1. Limits on a doctor's choice of lab.

2. Mandates on noncovered services and materials.

Vision plans have handcuffed doctors and patients with their malpraxis of maintaining high costs and limiting access to the care. The DOC Access Act rectify these atrocious actions and place patients and their doctors in control of health care decision making.


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