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PDFWAC 246-852-010

Duties of practitioners.

(1) Prescribers, including ophthalmologists and optometrists, under chapters 18.53, 18.57, or 18.71 RCW:
(a) When performing an eye examination including the determination of the refractive condition of the eye, shall provide the patient a copy of the initial prescription at the conclusion of the eye examination. A prescriber may refuse to give the patient a copy of the patient's prescription until the patient has paid for the eye examination or fitting and follow-up evaluation, but only if that prescriber would have required immediate payment from that patient had the examination revealed that no ophthalmic goods were required. Verification of insurance coverage for a service shall be deemed a payment.
(b) Shall, if requested by the patient, at the time of the eye examination, also determine the appropriateness of contact lenses wear and include a notation of "OK for Contacts" or similar language on the prescription if the prescriber would have fitted the patient him or herself, if the patient has no contraindications for contact lenses.
(c) Shall inform the patient that failure to complete the initial fitting and obtain a follow-up evaluation by a prescriber within six months of the initial exam will void the "OK for Contacts" portion of the prescription.
(d) Shall provide a verbal explanation to the patient if the prescriber determines the ocular health of the eye presents a contraindication for contact lenses. Documentation of contraindication will also be maintained in the patient's record.
(e) May exclude categories of contact lenses where clinically indicated.
(f) Shall not expire prescriptions in less than two years, unless a shorter time period is warranted by the ocular health of the eye. If a prescription is to expire in less than two years, an explanatory notation must be made by the prescriber in the patient's record and a verbal explanation given to the patient at the time of the eye examination.
(g) Shall comply with WAC 246-852-020.
(2) When conducting a follow-up evaluation for contact lenses fitted and dispensed by another practitioner, the prescriber:
(a) Shall indicate on the written prescription, "follow-up completed" or similar language, and include his or her name and date of the follow-up;
(b) May charge a reasonable fee at the time the follow-up evaluation is performed;
(c) Shall provide the patient a copy of the finalized contact lens prescription, whether or not the patient requested it.
(d) When directed by any person designated to act on behalf of the patient, the prescriber shall provide or verify the contact lens prescription by electronic or other means.
(3) Opticians under chapter 18.34 RCW:
(a) May perform mechanical procedures and measurements necessary to adapt and fit contact lenses from a written prescription consisting of the refractive powers and a notation of "OK for Contacts" or similar language within six months of the initial eye examination date.
(b) Shall notify patients in writing that a prescriber is to evaluate the initial set of contact lenses on the eye within six months of the eye examination or the "OK for Contacts" portion of the prescription is void and replacement contact lenses will not be dispensed. The patient shall be requested to sign the written notification. The signed or unsigned notification will then be dated and placed in the patient's records.
(4) If the patient is fitted by a practitioner other than the initial prescriber, the contact lens specifications shall be provided to the patient and to a prescriber performing the follow-up evaluation.
(5) When the follow-up evaluation is completed by a prescriber, the approved contact lens specifications shall become a valid contact lens prescription. The patient shall be provided a copy of the finalized contact lens prescription as specified in subsection (2)(c) of this section, whether or not the patient requested it. The patient shall be able to obtain replacement contact lenses, from this finalized prescription, for the remainder of the prescription period.
(6) All fitters and dispensers shall distribute safety pamphlets to all contact lens patients designed to inform the patient of consumer and health-related decisions.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.195.050. WSR 07-20-041, § 246-852-010, filed 9/25/07, effective 10/26/07. Statutory Authority: 1994 c 106 § 6. WSR 94-17-101, § 246-852-010, filed 8/17/94, effective 9/17/94.]
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