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18.195.020  <<  18.195.030 >>   18.195.040

RCW 18.195.030

Prohibited practices — Separation of examination and dispensing — Notice — Duplication of lenses.

(1) No prescriber shall:

     (a) Fail to provide to the patient one copy of the patient's prescription at the completion 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, but only if that prescriber would have required immediate payment from that patient had the examination revealed that no ophthalmic goods were required;

     (b) Condition the availability of an eye examination or prescription, or both, to a patient on a requirement that the patient agree to purchase ophthalmic goods from the prescriber or a dispenser approved by the prescriber;

     (c) Fail to include a notation of "OK for contacts" or similar language on the prescription if the prescriber would have fitted the patient himself or herself, provided there are no contraindications for contacts, and if the patient has requested contact lenses. Such a notation will indicate to the practitioner fitting the contact lenses that the initial fitting and follow-up must be completed within six months of the date of the eye examination. The prescriber will inform the patient that failure to complete the initial fitting and obtain the follow-up evaluation by a prescriber within the six-month time frame will void the "OK for contacts" portion of the prescription. The prescriber who performs the follow-up will place on the prescription "follow-up completed," or similar language, and include his or her name and the date of the follow-up. Patients who comply with both the initial fitting and follow-up requirements will then be able to obtain replacement contact lenses until the expiration date listed on the prescription. If the prescriber concludes the ocular health of the eye presents a contraindication for contact lenses, a verbal explanation of that contraindication must be given to the patient by the prescriber at the time of the eye examination and documentation maintained in the patient's records. However, a prescriber may exclude categories of contact lenses where clinically indicated;

     (d) Include a prescription expiration date of less than two years, unless 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;

     (e) Charge the patient a fee in addition to the prescriber's examination fee as a condition to releasing the prescription to the patient. However, a prescriber may charge a reasonable, additional fee for verifying ophthalmic goods dispensed by another practitioner if that fee is imposed at the time the verification is performed; or

     (f) Place on the prescription, or require the patient to sign, or deliver to the patient a form or notice waiving or disclaiming the liability or responsibility of the prescriber for the accuracy of the eye examination or the accuracy of the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another practitioner. In prohibiting the use of waivers and disclaimers of liability under this subsection, it is not the intent of the legislature to impose liability on an ophthalmologist or optometrist for the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another seller pursuant to the ophthalmologist's or optometrist's prescription.

     (2) Nothing contained in this title shall prevent a prescriber or optician from measuring the refractive power of eyeglass lenses and duplicating the eyeglass lenses upon the request of a patient.

[1994 c 106 § 3.]