Children's Vision Massachusetts is a coalition representing optometry, ophthalmology, nursing, pediatrics, public health and families. Its mission is to create a systematic approach to children's vision care to assure that all children develop and retain their best possible vision.
Eyeglasses for Children Added to 2017 MA Essential Health Benefit Benchmark Plan
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently posted a list of the 2017 Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plans for each state to the CCIIO website https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Data-Resources/ehb.html which reports that eyeglasses for children will be included as a MA EHB Benchmark Plan benefit beginning 2017.
Children's Vision Massachusetts members submitted 30 letters of written testimony and six advocates attended the May hearing at the Division of Insurance to speak in favor of the amendment. Thank you to the individuals who advocated for children's vision health through your letters and oral testimony and thank you to Community Catalyst and other organizations who worked with the coalition in support of an improved benefit for children in Massachusetts.
H1886 and H429
Both coalition supported bills have advanced out of Committee, Public Health and Education respectively. H1886 an Act Requiring the Department of Public Health to issue a report on vision screening for children and H429an Act relative to ensuring the well-being of all children in the Commonwealth, are now awaiting a Joint Committee for Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities hearing date.
Vision Screening: A Fact Sheet for Early Care and Education Programs
The Head Start National Center on Health recently completed a fact sheet to help Head Start and Early Head Start programs engage families as full partners in their child's vision health and provide current information about science-informed recommendations regarding vision screening for children ages birth to five. The document provides an overview of common vision problems, suggestions for family engagement, a review of evidence-based screening tools, and guidance for follow-up to eye care for referred children. The National Center on Health worked in partnership with Prevent Blindness' National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH) to develop the guidance document based on the NCCVEH's National Expert Panel recommendations, and it was reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics- Section on Pediatric Ophthalmology. A copy of the children's vision fact sheet can be accessed on the Office of Head Start's Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
News and Noteworthy
Prevent Blindness Announces Laura Bush as Person of Vision
Prevent Blindness announced former First Lady Laura Bush as the recipient of the 2015 Prevent Blindness Person of Vision Award. The award will be presented at the Person of Vision Dinner on November 5th at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Please follow link for more information.
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