New York State Law

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by yOyOYoo, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. yOyOYoo

    yOyOYoo Member
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    Do optometrists in the state of New York have to release a contact lens prescription to a patient after proper exam and fitting? Or can they withhold the prescription at their own discretion?

    I know in California the contact lens prescription must be released.

    I'm referring to a basic spherical soft contact lens.

    I couldn't find any information here: http://www.op.nysed.gov/article143.htm

    I ask because a friend of mine in New York said that her optometrist will not give her the contact lens prescription, and is basically forcing her to buy contact lenses from him.

    thanks!
     
  2. yOyOYoo

    yOyOYoo Member
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    nevermind, I found the answer to my own question:
    http://www.op.nysed.gov/optompracticeguide.htm#pre

    "Other than contact lens prescriptions, optometrists are required to provide a patient with a copy of his or her prescription, upon request."

    Guess my friend has to buy her contact lenses from her OD!
     
  3. yOyOYoo

    yOyOYoo Member
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    oops, if you keep reading the law, it says:

    "The Federal "Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act" requires prescribers of contact lenses to provide the patient with a copy of their contact lens prescription upon the completion of the contact lens fitting, whether or not it is requested by the patient. The prescriber may not require that the patient sign a waiver or release before verifying or releasing prescriptions. For other requirements relating to contact lens prescriptions, visit the Federal Trade Commission's Web site at www.ftc.gov."

    So what gives? Is Federal law to be followed or NY State Law???

    i'm really hoping a New York OD can chime in for me, thanks.
     
  4. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    I have a New York license and a copy of the prescription is required to be released upon completion of the fitting. Depending on the type of lens the person is wearing, there is some grey area as to what constitutes a fitting and different practitioners have slightly different standards but for a basic spherical soft lens fitting, there is no reason why this doctor should not have released the Rx. You can not be forced to buy from the doctor. If your collegue wishes, they can report, or threaten to report the doctor to the state board and that usually gets results.

    Let us know what happens.
     
  5. I know pt's cannot be forced to buy from the doctor they got their Rx from but I think a lot of pt's get confused as to WHEN they will recieve their perscription. The OD's I worked for often (not always/depends on circumstances) require a "contact lens re-check" for first time wearers/patients and especialy for toric or lens type changes. Previousl CL wearers sometimes get "disgruntled" thinking our office is not giving them their Rx when all they need to do is come back in and SIT IN THE CHAIR FOR ~5 MINUTES so the doc can make sure they properly fit. THEN they will get their Rx.

    Do you think this is where there is confusion? Isn't it this way in every state? Where/Which state are you NOT required to give a patient a CL Rx?
     
  6. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    Every state requires you to release the Rx at the end of the fitting.

    With respect to your employers, I do not know what their policy is. For patients new to contact lenses, or who are switching to a new brand, I see them after 1-2 weeks and after they have had the lenses on for a couple of hours. If the lens fits well and there is no sign of corneal problems, I release the Rx.

    If a patient is new to my office and has their exact CL parameters and I only change the power, I do not see patients back.

    Normally, if the reasons for the recheck are explained, 99.99% of the patients are very comfortable and more than happy to comply.
     
  7. eyepoker

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    What about the pts that wear hard CLs? can they get Rx release and make purchase on their own? or would it be easier for the office to order them?
     
  8. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    Although technically it would be true that you would have to release a hard CL rx as well, I have actually never had this happen. Every RGP patient I have ever had has gotten the lenses from us because once the fitting is done, and they're wearing the contacts, no one wants to give them back so that they go home, order them online from one of the few online outlets that do this and then wait for the lens to be produced.
     

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