What is the FTC eyeglass rule?

However, as any American who has purchased glasses knows, prices are anything but reasonable. Specifically, today’s rules should take advantage of the innovations in e-commerce to facilitate comparison shopping and competition. I urge the Commission to take into account, among other changes, requiring optometrists to provide complete prescription information to consumers also to verify prescription information to third party dispensers. The omission of the elements in current rules limits consumer choice and leads to higher prices. Furthermore, the Commission should consider whether short-term prescriptions , work or fair for consumers given that vision does not necessarily change more rapidly. Commission staff is completing review of the 831 comments received from consumers, eye care professionals, industry members, trade associations, and consumer advocates and is formulating next steps.

The Code of Federal Regulations is the official legal print publication containing the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the government. The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations is a continuously updated online version of the CFR. The letters warn the prescribers that violations of the Rule may result in legal action, including civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation. Combined with the letters, staff also provided prescribers with copies of the Rule and its business guidance piece, Complying with the Eyeglass Rule.

Vital Vision Care Rules

Additionally, hawaii Department of Public Health, Board of Optometry, and Medical Board shall prepare and adopt those quality standards and adopt regulations relating to prescription ophthalmic devices, lenses, etc. An ophthalmologist is any Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy who performs eye examinations. An eye examination is the procedure for determining the refractive condition of a person’s eyes or the presence of any visual anomaly by the use of objective or subjective tests. You need to see an optometrist regularly even if you don’t experience any problems with your eyes. You cannot see an ophthalmologist without a specific eye problem. Primary vision care is normally offered by an optometrist who’s specifically trained to monitor general health of the eyes.

  • The fitting process may include an examination to determine lens specifications, an initial evaluation of the fit of the lens on the attention
  • Each document posted on the webpage includes a connect to the corresponding official PDF file on govinfo.gov.
  • As we get older, it becomes more difficult for our eyes to focus on things that are close up.
  • Provide a vision prescriptionat the conclusion of an exam without charging yet another fee or requiring patients to get goods.

Updating the Eyeglass Rule would standardize practices in the united states and ensure that all consumers, no matter where they received their prescriptions, are able to comparison shop online. Provide a vision prescriptionat the conclusion of an exam without charging an additional fee or requiring patients to get goods. When purchasing was primarily conducted in-store or with the help of opticians or salespeople, the Eyeglass Rule successfully gave consumers the freedom to explore their options and purchase the glasses that best fit their needs. The Commission periodically reviews most of its rules and guides. These reviews shop around about the costs and benefits of the agency’s rules and guides, and their regulatory and economic impact. The info obtained assists the Commission in identifying those rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. Therefore, the Commission solicits comments on, among other things, the economic impact and benefits of the Rule; possible conflict between the Rule and State, local, or other Federal laws or regulations; and the result on the Rule of any technological, economic, or other industry changes.
This repetition of headings to create internal navigation links has no substantive legal effect. Document page views are updated periodically during the day and are cumulative counts because of this document. Counts are at the mercy of sampling, reprocessing and revision throughout the day. This site displays a prototype of a “Web 2.0” version of the daily Federal Register. It is not the official legal edition of the Federal Register, and does not replace the official print version or the state electronic version on GPO’s govinfo.gov. To file a complaint online, click “Report Now” and choose “Health” in the list of complaint topics.
The Eyeglass Rule requires prescribers to provide patients with a copy of their eyeglass prescription soon after an eye exam which includes a refraction, even though the patient will not request it. Prescribers further cannot refuse to perform a watch exam unless the individual buys eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other ophthalmic goods from them. Moreover, current regulations do not require eye doctors to supply complete prescription information to consumers or to verify prescription information to third party dispensers. The FTC is currently requesting public touch upon its “Eyeglass Rule” and is soliciting comments concerning the efficiency, costs, benefits, and regulatory impact of the rule. Schumer said that, within this review, the FTC should make changes to the rule to ensure individuals are given enough choice with regards to purchasing eyewear. Schumer said that consumers should have the opportunity to look around at stores and online to get the best deal and one way to help ensure that would be for the FTC to require that eye care providers give complete prescription information to consumers.


– whether they require it or not. The Eyeglass Rule requires that optometrists and ophthalmologists provide patients a copy of these prescription after the completion of an eye examination without extra cost. Furthermore, the Rule prohibits optometrists and ophthalmologists from conditioning the option of an examination on a requirement that patients agree to purchase any ophthalmic goods. Schumer is urging the FTC to make certain that the ‘Eyeglass Rule’ continues to protect patient safety and ensure quality eye care, while considering adding three specific requirements. First, Schumer said the FTC should require complete prescription information for consumers, including the pupillary distance measurement. Second, Schumer said the FTC should require that optometrists require prescription information for third parties in an acceptable amount of time.
Some prescribers have said medical Insurance Portability and Accountability Act prevents them from releasing the prescription. That’s incorrect; HIPAA doesn’t stop a prescriber from giving a prescription for glasses or contact lenses to a patient or even to a seller authorized by the individual to receive it. Consumers can use their prescriptions to get eyeglasses wherever they’re sold—from another prescriber, a store or online.

  • People with astigmatism may see halos around street lights or lighted safety signs should they drive at night without corrective lenses.
  • Furthermore, mobile usage of electronic health records lab testing orders, and formularies is critical during this ongoing global pandemic.
  • violate federal law.

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Veterans Educational Benefits

The Commission is requesting public comment on its Trade Regulation Rule entitled “Ophthalmic Practice Rules ,” which requires eye care practitioners release a eyeglass prescriptions with their patients (“Eyeglass Rule”). The Commission is soliciting comments about the efficiency, costs, benefits, and regulatory impact of the Rule within its systematic overview of all current Commission regulations and guides. All interested persons are hereby given notice of the chance to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the Rule. WASHINGTON D.C.—Federal Trade Commission staff have sent 28 letters to eyeglass prescribers, warning them of potential violations of the agency’s Ophthalmic Practice Rules, known as the Eyeglass Rule, which ensures consumers the proper to comparison shop for prescription eyeglasses. The agency’s Dec. 8 announcement emphasized, “Eyeglass prescribers must provide patients with prescriptions by the end of an exam; cannot charge a fee or require eyeglass purchase for prescription release.” The Prescription Release Rule, originally promulgated in June 1978, requires an ophthalmologist or optometrist to give a copy of the patient’s eyeglass prescription to the individual immediately after the eye exam is completed. To fully protect consumers, the Rule requires that eyeglass prescriptions be automatically released rather than given out only after a request from the individual.
The FTC says you might find a better deal, wider selection, or more convenience at another prescriber’s office, a retail or warehouse store, or online. Having a copy of your prescription can make it simpler to shop where and the way you choose. That extra number is called your Pupillary Distance, or PD, and it’s a way of measuring exactly how far apart your eyes are, down to the half-millimeter. Many offices prefer never to hand out the PD, or charge a charge for it.

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