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Alaska Blind Child Discovery

A cooperative, charitable research project to vision screen every preschool Alaskan

HR 507

Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007
ABCD History
Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)
HR 507 IH
1st Session
H. R. 507
To establish a grant program to provide vision care to children, and for other purposes.
January 17, 2007
Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas (for himself, Mr. FOSSELLA, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. SULLIVAN, Mr. PASCRELL, and Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce
To establish a grant program to provide vision care to children, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the `Vision Care for Kids Act of 2007'.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Millions of children in the United States suffer from vision problems, many of which go undetected. Because children with vision problems can struggle developmentally, resulting in physical, emotional, and social consequences, good vision is essential for proper physical development and educational progress.
(2) Vision problems in children range from common conditions such as refractive errors, amblyopia, strabismus, ocular trauma, and infections, to rare but potentially life- or sight-threatening problems such as retinoblastoma, infantile cataracts, congenital glaucoma, and genetic or metabolic diseases of the eye.
(3) Since many serious ocular conditions are treatable if identified in the preschool and early school-aged years, early detection provides the best opportunity for effective treatment and can have far-reaching implications for vision.
(4) Various identification methods, including vision screening and comprehensive eye examinations required by State laws, can be helpful in identifying children needing services. A child identified as needing services through vision screening should receive a comprehensive eye examination followed by subsequent treatment as needed. Any child identified as needing services should have access to subsequent treatment as needed.
(5) There is a need to increase public awareness about the prevalence and devastating consequences of vision disorders in children and to educate the public and health care providers about the warning signs and symptoms of ocular and vision disorders and the benefits of early detection, evaluation, and treatment.
(a) In General- The Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the `Secretary'), acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, may award grants to States on the basis of an established review process for the purpose of complementing existing State efforts for--
(1) providing comprehensive eye examinations by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist for children who have been previously identified through a vision screening or eye examination by a licensed health care provider or vision screener as needing such services, with priority given to children who are under the age of 9 years;
(2) providing treatment or services, subsequent to the examinations described in paragraph (1), necessary to correct vision problems; and
(3) developing and disseminating, to parents, teachers, and health care practitioners, educational materials on recognizing signs of visual impairment in children.
(b) Criteria and Coordination-
(1) CRITERIA- The Secretary, in consultation with appropriate professional and consumer organizations including individuals with knowledge of age appropriate vision services, shall develop criteria--
(A) governing the operation of the grant program under subsection (a); and
(B) for the collection of data related to vision assessment and the utilization of follow up services.
(2) COORDINATION- The Secretary shall, as appropriate, coordinate the program under subsection (a) with the program under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (relating to health centers) (42 U.S.C. 254b), the program under title XIX of the Social Security Act (relating to the Medicaid program) (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), the program under title XXI of such Act (relating to the State children's health insurance program) (42 U.S.C. 1397aa et seq.), and with other Federal or State programs that provide services to children.
(c) Application- To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), a State shall submit to the Secretary an application in such form, made in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including--
(1) information on existing Federal, Federal-State, or State-funded children's vision programs;
(2) a plan for the use of grant funds, including how funds will be used to complement existing State efforts (including possible partnerships with non-profit entities);
(3) a plan to determine if a grant eligible child has been identified as provided for in subsection (a); and
(4) a description of how funds will be used to provide items or services, only as a secondary payer--
(A) for an eligible child, to the extent that the child is not covered for the items or services under any State compensation program, under an insurance policy, or under any Federal or State health benefits program; or
(B) for an eligible child, to the extent that the child receives the items or services from an entity that provides health services on a prepaid basis.
(d) Evaluations- To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), a State shall agree that, not later than 1 year after the date on which amounts under the grant are first received by the State, and annually thereafter while receiving amounts under the grant, the State will submit to the Secretary an evaluation of the operations and activities carried out under the grant, including--
(1) an assessment of the utilization of vision services and the status of children receiving these services as a result of the activities carried out under the grant;
(2) the collection, analysis, and reporting of children's vision data according to guidelines prescribed by the Secretary; and
(3) such other information as the Secretary may require.
(e) Limitations in Expenditure of Grant- A grant may be made under subsection (a) only if the State involved agrees that the State will not expend more than 20 percent of the amount received under the grant to carry out the purpose described in paragraph (3) of such subsection.
(f) Definition- For purposes of this section, the term `comprehensive eye examination' includes an assessment of a patient's history, general medical observation, external and ophthalmoscopic examination, visual acuity, ocular alignment and motility, refraction, and as appropriate, binocular vision or gross visual fields, performed by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.
(g) Authorization of Appropriations- For the purpose of carrying out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
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