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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 21, 2014

Title 16: Commercial Practices


PART 456—OPHTHALMIC PRACTICE RULES (EYEGLASS RULE)


Contents
§456.1   Definitions.
§456.2   Separation of examination and dispensing.
§456.3   Federal or State employees.
§456.4   Declaration of Commission Intent.
§456.5   Rules applicable to prescriptions for contact lenses and related issues.

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 57a; 5 U.S.C. 552.

Source: 57 FR 18822, May 1, 1992, unless otherwise noted.

§456.1   Definitions.

(a) A patient is any person who has had an eye examination.

(b) An eye examination is the process of determining the refractive condition of a person's eyes or the presence of any visual anomaly by the use of objective or subjective tests.

(c) Ophthalmic goods are eyeglasses, or any component of eyeglasses, and contact lenses.

(d) Ophthalmic services are the measuring, fitting, and adjusting of ophthalmic goods subsequent to an eye examination.

(e) An ophthalmologist is any Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy who performs eye examinations.

(f) An optometrist is any Doctor of Optometry.

(g) A prescription is the written specifications for lenses for eyeglasses which are derived from an eye examination, including all of the information specified by state law, if any, necessary to obtain lenses for eyeglasses.

§456.2   Separation of examination and dispensing.

It is an unfair act or practice for an ophthalmologist or optometrist to:

(a) Fail to provide to the patient one copy of the patient's prescription immediately after the eye examination is completed. 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;

(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;

(c) Charge the patient any fee in addition to the ophthalmologist'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

(d) 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 ophthalmologist or optometrist for the accuracy of the eye examination or the accuracy of the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another seller.

§456.3   Federal or State employees.

This rule does not apply to ophthalmologists or optometrists employed by any Federal, State or local government entity.

§456.4   Declaration of Commission Intent.

In prohibiting the use of waivers and disclaimers of liability in §456.2(d), it is not the Commission's intent 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.

§456.5   Rules applicable to prescriptions for contact lenses and related issues.

Rules applicable to prescriptions for contact lenses and related issues may be found at 16 CFR part 315 (Contact Lens Rule).

[69 FR 40511, July 2, 2004]



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