ATLANTA—Organized optometry won the latest round in its fight against online refraction when lawmakers in the state of Georgia enacted legislation last week which makes it illegal to issue a contact lens or spectacle prescription without an in-person, comprehensive eye exam conducted by a state-licensed practitioner.

The legislation, Georgia House Bill 775, restricts online vision testing services and could impact other forms of remote or mobile eye testing. Violators who issue prescriptions based solely on objective refractive data would be held accountable.

The bill was supported by the Georgia Optometric Association.

Other states are also enacting new laws aimed at tightening control over remote vision testing. In April, Nebraska passed the “Consumer Protection in Eye Care Act (L.B. 235), which requires kiosks and automated devices to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), comply with HIPAA, have a recognized Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code and display the name and state license number of the provider who reads and interprets the diagnostic data produced by the device.

In related news, VMail recently reported that the American Optometric Association (AOA) filed a formal complaint with the FDA that challenges claims by online vision testing service Opternative about its product's capabilities, and calls for the FDA to pull the vision test from the market until it can be shown to meet what AOA described as “appropriate Federal requirements for medical devices.”