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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 259-S.F.No. 2627 
                  An act relating to health; requiring optometrists and 
                  ophthalmologists to give patients copies of their 
                  prescriptions for contact lenses; establishing other 
                  requirements for access to and the content of 
                  prescriptions for contact lenses; proposing coding for 
                  new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 145. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  [145.711] [DEFINITIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [APPLICATION.] For purposes of sections 
        145.711 to 145.714, the following definitions apply. 
           Subd. 2.  [DISPENSING.] "Dispensing" means the retail 
        delivery of ophthalmic goods to a patient.  
           Subd. 3.  [FITTING.] "Fitting" means the performance of 
        mechanical procedures and measurements necessary to adapt and 
        fit contact lenses after an eye examination and supervision of 
        the trial wearing of the contact lenses, which may require 
        revisions during the trial period. 
           Subd. 4.  [OPHTHALMIC GOODS.] "Ophthalmic goods" means 
        eyeglasses, one or more eyeglass components for which a 
        prescription is required, or contact lenses. 
           Subd. 5.  [OPHTHALMIC SERVICES.] "Ophthalmic services" 
        means the measuring, fitting, adjusting, fabricating, or 
        prescribing of ophthalmic goods after an eye examination.  
           Subd. 6.  [OPTOMETRIST.] "Optometrist" means an individual 
        licensed to practice optometry under sections 148.52 to 148.62. 
           Subd. 7.  [PATIENT.] "Patient" means a person who has had 
        an eye examination. 
           Subd. 8.  [PRESCRIPTION.] "Prescription" means a written 
        directive from an optometrist or physician for contact lenses 
        that must include the manufacturer's brand name, power, base 
        curve, the name and telephone number of the prescribing 
        optometrist or physician, patient's name, and the expiration 
        date of the prescription.  If applicable, the prescription may 
        also include diameter, axis, add power, cylinder, peripheral 
        curve, optical zone, or center thickness. 
           Subd. 9.  [PHYSICIAN.] "Physician" means an individual 
        licensed to practice medicine under chapter 147. 
           Sec. 2.  [145.712] [REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTACT LENSES 
        PRESCRIPTIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [COPY OF PRESCRIPTION.] An optometrist or 
        physician must provide a patient with a copy of the patient's 
        prescription upon completion of the patient's eye examination 
        and fitting.  An optometrist or physician may refuse to give a 
        patient a copy of the patient's prescription until after the 
        patient has paid for the eye examination and fitting, but only 
        if the optometrist or physician would have required immediate 
        payment from that patient if the examination had revealed that 
        no ophthalmic goods were required. 
           Subd. 2.  [PRESCRIPTION EXPIRATION DATE.] A prescription 
        written by an optometrist or physician must expire two years 
        after it is written, unless a different expiration date is 
        warranted by the patient's ocular health.  If the prescription 
        is valid for less than two years, the optometrist or physician 
        must note the medical reason for the prescription's expiration 
        date in the patient's record and must orally explain to the 
        patient at the time of the eye examination the reason for the 
        prescription's expiration date. 
           Subd. 3.  [PRESCRIPTION VERIFICATION.] An optometrist or 
        physician must promptly respond to any request received from a 
        physician, optometrist, optician, or contact lens retailer to 
        verify a patient's prescription information in order for the 
        person requesting the information to accurately dispense the 
        contact lenses.  Verification must be requested by telephone, 
        fax, or through electronic communications during the 
        prescriber's normal business hours.  Consistently failing to 
        respond to verification requests within a reasonable period of 
        time is grounds for disciplinary action by the respective 
        regulatory board.  
           Subd. 4.  [PROHIBITED CONDUCT.] When filling a contact lens 
        prescription, no optometrist, physician, or contact lens 
        retailer may: 
           (1) substitute or in any way dispense a different contact 
        lens than the contact lens ordered on the prescription; 
           (2) dispense a contact lens for a period of time beyond the 
        written expiration date; or 
           (3) dispense contact lenses that are not based on 
        prescription parameters pursuant to a valid prescription.  
           Subd. 5.  [DISPENSING RECORDS.] A copy of the dispensing 
        records must be kept on file at the dispensing location for a 
        period of no less than two years. 
           Sec. 3.  [145.713] [OPTOMETRIST AND PHYSICIAN PRACTICES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROHIBITED CONDUCT.] No optometrist or 
        physician may: 
           (1) condition the availability of an eye examination or the 
        release of a prescription to a patient on a requirement that the 
        patient agree to purchase ophthalmic goods from the optometrist 
        or physician who performed the eye examination or from another 
        specified optometrist or physician; 
           (2) charge a patient a fee in addition to the optometrist's 
        or physician's examination and fitting fees as a condition of 
        releasing the prescription to the patient.  An optometrist or 
        physician may charge a reasonable additional fee for fitting 
        ophthalmic goods dispensed by another practitioner if that fee 
        is imposed at the time the fitting is performed; or 
           (3) prescribe a manufacturer's brand name contact lens that 
        can only be dispensed through the prescribing physician or 
        optometrist's office. 
           Subd. 2.  [CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR CONTACT LENSES.] If an 
        optometrist or physician determines that a patient's ocular 
        health presents a contraindication for contact lenses, the 
        optometrist or physician must orally inform the patient of the 
        contraindication and must document the contraindication in the 
        patient's records.  An optometrist or physician may exclude 
        categories of contact lenses where clinically indicated. 
           Subd. 3.  [WAIVERS OF LIABILITY PROHIBITED.] No optometrist 
        or physician may place on a patient's prescription, require a 
        patient to sign, or deliver to a patient a form or notice 
        waiving liability or responsibility for the accuracy of the eye 
        examination or the accuracy of the ophthalmic goods and 
        ophthalmic services dispensed by another practitioner.  
        Prohibiting waivers of liability under this subdivision does not 
        impose liability on an optometrist or physician for the 
        ophthalmic goods or ophthalmic services dispensed by another 
        practitioner pursuant to the optometrist's or physician's 
        prescription. 
           Sec. 4.  [145.714] [ENFORCEMENT.] 
           Failure to comply with sections 145.711 to 145.713 shall be 
        grounds for disciplinary action by the board of optometry or the 
        board of medical practice. 
           Presented to the governor March 20, 2002 
           Signed by the governor March 22, 2002, 2:07 p.m.