10 Sep FTC Publishes Final 2020 Contact Lens Rule for Eye Care Providers
On June 23, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the final rule amending the Contact Lens Rule. Let’s review how eye care providers must comply with the FTC Contact Lens Rule and how you can implement workflow options using your eye care EHR and practice management software.
How Do Eye Care Providers Comply with the Contact Lens Rule?
The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 was signed into law at the end of December 2020, which directed the FTC to cease enforcement of the Contact Lens Rule amendment (initially scheduled for October 16, 2020) until after March 31, 2021 (see page 65 of the appropriations bill) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the FTC has not updated the effective date for the Contact Lens Rule on its FTC Federal Register.
Beginning April 1, 2021, prescribers (eye care providers) must do the following after a contact lens (CL) prescription fitting to comply with the Contact Lens Rule amendment to allow patients to comparison shop for contact lenses.
- Automatically provide a copy of a patient’s CL prescription to the patient and provide the patient with an additional copy of their CL prescription on request within 40 business hours.
- Confirm that the patient received the CL prescription by doing ONE of the following: 1) Request that the patient signs a confirmation statement, a copy of the CL prescription with a confirmation statement, or a sales receipt for the CL exam with a confirmation statement. 2) Provide a digital copy of the CL prescription (such as via a HIPAA-compliant patient portal) and retain evidence that it was sent, received, or that the patient could access, download, and print it.
- Important: Before providing the patient their CL prescription electronically, you must specifically request, receive, and document the patient’s consent in the patient’s medical record—including their signature—to receive their prescription electronically.
- If the patient refuses to sign a confirmation statement or other receipt, the prescriber must note this in the patient’s medical record.
- Keep a record of the CL prescription confirmation in the patient’s medical record file for at least three years.
Pro Tip: The AOA has created a Contact Lens Rule Compliance Toolkit, which includes CL lens prescription confirmation statement templates doctors can use to obtain patient signatures, as well as frequently asked questions, retailer requirements, and reporting inappropriate contact lens sales.
How Will MaximEyes Help Eye Care Providers Comply with the Contact Lens Rule?
MaximEyes supports several optometry and ophthalmology EHR and practice management workflow options to help you comply digitally or via printed and scanned signatures. Listed below are a few options to consider.
Provide a digital copy of the CL prescription. The simplest method to comply with the Contact Lens Rule update is to provide the patient with their CL prescription electronically via a patient portal. A patient portal tracks when the patient receives the message.
Provide a physical copy of the prescription. If the patient prefers to receive a physical copy of the CL prescription, you can request the patient to sign a confirmation statement, a copy of their prescription, or print out the exam itself with a prescription receipt.
Print two copies of the CL prescription or confirmation statement, have the patient physically sign both copies (provide one copy to the patient), retain and scan the other signed copy, then import the scanned copy into the patient’s EHR encounter for that prescription.
Let us help you get the most out of your eye care EHR and practice management system investment. Schedule a demo of MaximEyes to maximize your practice potential.
Current MaximEyes Customers: Want to add the EyeClinic.net Patient Portal to your current MaximEyes EHR system? Need more information about other Contact Lens Rule workflow options within MaximEyes? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog was updated on March 12, 2021.