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Can I have a copy of my glasses prescription? —Weekly Glance

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is proposing changes to its Ophthalmic Practice Rules, otherwise known as the Eyeglass Rule.

What is the Eyeglass Rule?

The Eyeglass Rule requires that optometrists and ophthalmologists provide patients a copy of their prescription after the completion of an eye examination without extra cost. In addition, the Rule prohibits optometrists and ophthalmologists from conditioning the availability of an examination on a requirement that patients agree to purchase any ophthalmic goods.

What are the proposed changes to the rule?

• Require prescribers to request that each patient sign an acknowledgement confirming they have received their eyeglass prescription, and to retain such confirmation for 3 years.

• Allow prescribers, with a patient’s verifiable affirmative consent, to provide the patient with a digital copy of a prescription in lieu of a paper copy.

• Clarify that a patient’s proof of insurance coverage will be deemed to be a payment for the purpose of determining when a prescription must be provided.

• Change the term “eye examination” to “refractive eye examination” throughout the rule.

The FTC plans to publish the notice of its proposed changes in the Federal Register in January. The public then will have 60 days to offer comments for FTC consideration. (via)