Release of Spectacle Prescription
By federal regulation (see section on Federal Trade Commission), a copy of the patient’s spectacle prescription is given to the patient at completion of their examination. If the prescription is lost prior to expiration, a copy may be given or sent to the patient. If urgent, any Clinical Faculty member may authorize a prescription release to another doctor or dispenser, by telephone.
Release must be noted in patient’s chart:
- Who requested prescription?
- Who was it given/sent to?
- Who authorized release?
- Which prescription was released (in the event of multiple prescriptions).
If the prescription has expired, a new examination should be recommended. If the patient or a 3rd party provider insists on a copy, please provide it, but write “expired” across the face of it.
If the prescription has been released by telephone, a written copy of the prescription is sent or faxed to the patient to help eliminate any miscommunications.
Release of Contact Lens Prescription
- A patient’s valid contact lens prescription shall be released to them after the contact lens fitting process has been successfully completed. The fitting process includes the initial exam, an exam to determine the lens specifications, an initial evaluation of the fit of the lens on the patient’s eye, and follow-up exams as medically necessary. The fitting process ends when the optometrist determines that a successful fit has been achieved.
- The optometrist is not required to release a contact lens prescription until the fitting process has been completed to their satisfaction. Patients that demand a copy before the completion of the fitting will not have a valid prescription. If a doctor receives a prescription confirmation request for a patient that has not completed the fitting process, the prescription should be denied and appropriate documentation made in the patient file.
- Established contact lens patients that have been determined to have no change in the existing prescription must be given a copy of their prescription at the end of their eye examination.
- The contact lens expiration date for patients with normal health circumstances shall be from one to two years from the date of issuance. Patients with health-related issues can be given a contact lens prescription with an expiration date of less than a year, but those reasons must be documented in the patient’s medical record. The expiration date of a contact lens prescription is established from the date of issuance, the day the doctor releases the prescription to the patient, not the date that the patient was initially examined. For new patients, the expiration date will be set after the fitting process has been successfully completed. For established contact lens patients, the expiration date will be upon completion of the exam when it has been determined that no change has taken place.
- If the prescription has expired, a new examination should be recommended. If the patient or 3rd party provider insists on a copy, please provide it, but write “expired” across the face of it.
- Patient Services staff taking a request from a patient will deliver the chart to Contact Lens Clinic to obtain prescription. Only a Clinical Faculty member can sign to release contact lens information.