APHA Vision-Related Resolutions

American Public Health Association (APHA) has recognized vision care issues by adoptingVision Care Section sponsored resolutions:


1979   Requests the inclusion of vision care in a national health service program.  


1980    Urges the elimination of restrictive Medicare policies pertaining to reimbursement for optometric services.


1981    Recommends that future legislation and regulations concerning health professional education consider the impact of the utilization of all health providers at their highest level of skills with minimum overlap, and that existing policies which prevent persons from selecting non‑physician health providers for covered health services be removed.


1982    Encourages state legislators among others to mandate preschool vision screening with appropriate follow‑up programs and/or vision examinations for all children prior to entry into school.


1982    Recommends multi‑disciplinary efforts to care for the nation's elderly visual needs that would include reimbursement from Medicare for basic services and expand coverage for Medicare and Medicaid to include low vision aids.


1983    Requests state DMVs to give individual functional evaluations of visually handicapped drivers who use telescopic mounted lenses in order to pass state acuity requirement; and suggests special training for these persons.


1983    Calls for health insurance plans to recognize freedom of choice by reimbursing doctors whose patients choose orthoptics treatment rather than surgical treatment for strabismus and/or amblyopia.


1984    Encourages state and local health departments to become actively involved in vision care services for their constituencies.


1984    Recommends that the FTC refrain from actions based on its "flawed" 1983 survey report of cosmetic contact lens fittings; and, that future research methodology incorporate other issues.


1985    Urges interprofessional cooperation for international vision care programs and services.


1989    Calls for further research to develop appropriate and cost effective methods of earlier detection and treatment of vision and hearing problems.


1990    Urges state legislatures to update their optometric practice acts to permit optometrists the use of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.


1991     A resolution introduced by ophthalmology to overturn the 1990 APHA resolution favoring the use of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents by optometrists was unanimously defeated by APHA's Governing Council.


1994     Encourages the Food and Drug Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt standards that provide eye protection from ultraviolet radiation.


1995     Encourages long‑term care facilities to maintain an agreement with an optometrist or ophthalmologist to provide primary vision and eye health services to residents of long‑term care facilities.


1997     Urges health providers to identify and routinely refer patients at high risk for glaucoma to ophthalmologists and optometrists for a dilated eye examination, diagnosis and subsequent management.


1999     Urges optometrists, ophthalmologists, and dentists to develop skills for early diagnosis, intervention, and referral of domestic violence cases.


2000     Urges governors and state legislators to require vision assessments for drivers at risk for vision impairment in states without mandatory vision assessments.


2000     Urges health professionals to promote the need for annual eye, foot and oral exams for all individuals with diabetes and make appropriate, timely referrals to optometrists, ophthalmologists, and dentists.


2001    Encourages a regular comprehensive eye examination  as opposed to screening for pre-school children.


2001    Supports WHO’s VISION 2020: The Right to Sight global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness.


2003     Urges all health care providers to make appropriate and prompt referrals for vision rehabilitation services for people with visual impairments.


2004     Supports coordinated school health programs in every public and private school to conduct needs assessment that identifies undiagnosed health conditions or other unmet health needs that inhibit student academic success. 


2004    Supports resolution, "Increasing Access to Vision Rehabilitation," which "urges third-party payers, insurance companies, managed care organizations, and health plans to include and standardize coverage with adequate reimbursement for vision rehabilitation examinations and prescribed assistive devices."


2006    Supports resolution, “Promoting the Use of Protective Eyewear in Sports,” which advocates that all participants in certain risky sports utilize appropriate protective eyewear. And encourages education, communication and legislation promoting use of sports eye protection.


2007    Urges the inclusion of eyecare professionals in the disaster planning process, development of a manual on eye first aid, and encourages participation in eye injury registries.


2007    Supports resolution “Preventing Vision Loss through Smoking Cessation,” which “urges Surgeon General of the US to add warnings concerning the loss of vision to the packages of tobacco products, educates clinicians on the evidence linking smoking to eye disease, and encourages insurance companies to cover smoking cessation.”


2009    Recommends actions to improve access to vision care in community health centers, including increased resources, eligibility of optometrists for the National Health Services Corps, education regarding cultural competency and collaboration among diverse vision care organizations.


2011     Recognizes the enormous burden that blindness and visual impairment places on individuals, families, and their communities, and affirms the World Health Organization (WHO) global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness by the year 2020, which has demonstrated 10 years of success.


2011     Recommends that federal, state, and local governments ban the importation, interstate transportation, sale, and use of all fireworks except by licensed operators.


2011     Urges to reduce barriers and improve access to children’s vision care services, as well as incorporating results from current, seminal National Institutes of Health children’s vision studies.  This new resolution does not supersede, or call for archival of, former resolutions.


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