The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revised its Contact Lens Rule adding additional requirements that will affect New York Opticians who fit contact lenses. Although not wholly responsible for a contact lens prescription, the FTC considers Opticians to be “prescribers” if state law allows them to fit contact lenses.

The Commission says the Final Rule, which comes on the heels of four years of comment and discussion, is designed to “facilitate shopping for contact lenses” by requiring prescribers to automatically give patients a copy of their prescription. The Final Rule also requires that prescribers maintain documentation confirming that patients received their prescriptions.

After a contact lens fitting, Opticians will have to confirm in one of four ways that patients have received their prescriptions:

  1. Ask the patient to acknowledge receipt by signing a separate confirmation statement
  2. Ask the patient to sign a prescriber-retained copy of the prescription that has a statement confirming the patient has received it
  3. Ask the patient to sign a prescriber-retained copy of the sales receipt for the examination that has a statement confirming the patient received the prescription, or
  4. With the patient’s permission, give the patient a digital copy of the prescription, and keep a record that it was sent, received, or made accessible, downloadable, and printable.

Opticians must keep the record of consent when providing a paper copy of the prescription.

The Commission also updated its definition of “provide the patient a copy” to include a digital copy of the prescription. However, it requires Opticians to obtain consent to the specific form of electronic delivery to be used.

Opticians also must:

  • Keep a record of the patient’s consent for three years.
  • Provide an extra copy of the prescription within 40 business hours when patients, or their designated agents, request an extra copy.

Look for more information from NYSSO on how to apply this to your office.

For more about this new rule, visit:

A new membership option from the New York State Society of Opticians offers companies enhanced opportunities to connect with New York's largest organization of opticians. Specifically created for companies supplying optical products, such as lenses,  frames, and contact lenses, as well as instruments, equipment, and other supplies used in opticianry, this new membership option allows vendors  to take education to the next level by providing opportunities for product-specific webinars and in-person courses. It also provides vendors with access to targeted focus groups, optimized vendor landing pages on the NYSSO website, and product showcases through NYSSO's newsletter and email lists. To learn more about this exciting new opportunity click here or call NYSSO at 518-694-458.

When it goes into effect on October 16, 2020, a revision of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Contact Lens Rule will require opticians who fit contact lenses to provide patients with their prescriptions. To help members comply, NYSSO has created two forms that members can download and use to provide the prescription and document a patient's receipt of it.

The forms are available in Microsoft Word and are free for members to edit and brand with their own business information.

Download the Contact Lens Prescription Release Form

Download the Patient Prescription Receipt Acknowledgement Form

More About The Rule

The FTC says the Final Rule is designed to “facilitate shopping for contact lenses” by requiring prescribers to automatically give patients a copy of their prescription. The Final Rule also requires that prescribers maintain documentation confirming that patients received their prescriptions.

After a contact lens fitting, Opticians will have to confirm in one of four ways that patients have received their prescriptions:

  1. Ask the patient to acknowledge receipt by signing a separate confirmation statement
  2. Ask the patient to sign a prescriber-retained copy of the prescription that has a statement confirming the patient has received it
  3. Ask the patient to sign a prescriber-retained copy of the sales receipt for the examination that has a statement confirming the patient received the prescription, or
  4. With the patient’s permission, give the patient a digital copy of the prescription, and keep a record that it was sent, received, or made accessible, downloadable, and printable.

Opticians must keep the record of consent when providing a paper copy of the prescription.

The Commission also updated its definition of “provide the patient a copy” to include a digital copy of the prescription. However, it requires Opticians to obtain consent to the specific form of electronic delivery to be used.

Opticians also must:

  • Keep a record of the patient’s consent for three years.
  • Provide an extra copy of the prescription within 40 business hours when patients, or their designated agents, request an extra copy.

For more about this revised rule, visit:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/06/ftc-updates-contact-lens-rule-what-it-means-prescribers

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2020/06/ftc-announces-final-amendments-agencys-contact-lens-rule

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/faqs-complying-contact-lens-rule