artiSUN

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Hi, I just had a question for those in optometry school and probably learning about current optometry legislature. We have a new doctor who graduated from SCCO about a year ago. She writes prescriptions for every patient regardless of whether they request it or not. I'd say about 1 out of every 10 patients actually take it, the rest just leave it with the dispensers, not really wanting to take it. We've asked if she'd simply ask each patient if they'd like their written prescription after the exam before writing it. This way we save on all the wasted prescription slips, but she mentioned that she had to do it because of some new law requiring this. I tried doing a search on this but couldn't find anything so I figured I'd ask if you guys have heard about this or are told to do this?
 

Ben Chudner

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Hi, I just had a question for those in optometry school and probably learning about current optometry legislature. We have a new doctor who graduated from SCCO about a year ago. She writes prescriptions for every patient regardless of whether they request it or not. I'd say about 1 out of every 10 patients actually take it, the rest just leave it with the dispensers, not really wanting to take it. We've asked if she'd simply ask each patient if they'd like their written prescription after the exam before writing it. This way we save on all the wasted prescription slips, but she mentioned that she had to do it because of some new law requiring this. I tried doing a search on this but couldn't find anything so I figured I'd ask if you guys have heard about this or are told to do this?
There is federal legislation (not new anymore) that requires the release of the spectacle Rx. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but basically a spectacle Rx must be released regardless if the patient asks for it. There is also legislation regarding contact lens Rx's.
 

artiSUN

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ah good to know. thanks for the response. I just know a number of older practitioners that still release on request and apparently weren't aware of the federal legislation. I assume it's aimed at the practices that don't freely give out prescriptions (or charge for copies of them) for fear of losing their customers. Still, it seems inefficient and wasteful for the practices that have never had any qualms about releasing prescriptions (like they're supposed to) any time the patients wanted them for record keeping or filling it elsewhere. I'm curious what the general consensus among current optometrists are. Yes it's only a tiny piece of paper but I just find it funny that 80-90% of our patients just throw the prescription away or leave it with the dispenser... is this rarely the case at other offices?
 
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artiSUN

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Sep 2, 2007
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There is federal legislation (not new anymore) that requires the release of the spectacle Rx. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but basically a spectacle Rx must be released regardless if the patient asks for it. There is also legislation regarding contact lens Rx's.
Oh, I wasn't wondering about the case where we release the prescription "regardless if the patient asks for it" but more the case where the doctor asks the patient whether they would like a copy of their prescription, before actually writing it out for them. They are always free to request a copy of it at any other time. Or am I reading your response a little too literally and you actually meant that the prescription needs to be released regardless of most situations whether the patient wants it or not?
 

Ben Chudner

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Oh, I wasn't wondering about the case where we release the prescription "regardless if the patient asks for it" but more the case where the doctor asks the patient whether they would like a copy of their prescription, before actually writing it out for them. They are always free to request a copy of it at any other time. Or am I reading your response a little too literally and you actually meant that the prescription needs to be released regardless of most situations whether the patient wants it or not?
The prescription needs to be released regardless of whether or not the patient requests it. You can withhold an Rx if a patient owes money, or in the case of contact lenses, if the fit is not yet finalized. I believe the legislation is called Eyeglasses 2. The penalty is $10,000. Here is rule:

[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular]The Prescription Release Rule mandates the release of the prescription to the patient and prohibits disclaimers or extra fees for the prescription. It is an unfair act or practice for an ophthalmologist or optometrist to: .
  • [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular]A. .[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular]Fail to provide to the patient one copy of the patient's prescription immediately after the eye examination is completed..[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular] Provided: An ophthalmologist or optometrist may refuse to give the patient a copy of the patient's prescription until the patient has paid for the eye examination, but only if that ophthalmologist or optometrist would have required immediate payment from that patient had the examination revealed that no ophthalmic goods were required;.
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular]B. Condition the availability of an eye examination to any person on a requirement that the patient agree to purchase any ophthalmic goods from the ophthalmologist or optometrist;.
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular]C. Charge the patient any fee in addition to the ophthalmologists's or optometrist's examination fee as a condition to releasing the prescription to the patient. Provided: An ophthalmologist or optometrist may charge an additional fee for verifying ophthalmic goods dispensed by another seller when the additional fee is imposed at the time the verification is performed, or.
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular]D..[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular].[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular][SIZE=-1]Place on the prescription, or require the patient to sign, or deliver to the patient, a form or notice waiving or disclalming the liability or responsibility of the ophthalmologist or optometrist for the accuracy of the eye examination or the accuracy of the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another seller.[/SIZE].
 

artiSUN

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Thanks for the reply and the very detailed information, Ben :) btw, would you happen to know of any good website I can visit to review all (or most) optometry related legislation?
 

Ben Chudner

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Thanks for the reply and the very detailed information, Ben :) btw, would you happen to know of any good website I can visit to review all (or most) optometry related legislation?
Each state will have it's own site. For Washington, you can look up RCW's (Revised Code of Washington) and find all the legislation related to optometry. I don't know where you would look for federal legislation, but I am sure you could find something on Google.
 

cpw

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It is the patient's Rx to do with as they wish. She is right to give it out to everyone.
 
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