Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 5.4. Prescription Lenses [2540 - 2545]
  ( Chapter 5.4 added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 2073. )

2540.
  

No person other than a physician and surgeon or optometrist may measure the powers or range of human vision or determine the accommodative and refractive status of the human eye or the scope of its functions in general or prescribe ophthalmic devices.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 148, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007.)

2541.
  

A prescription ophthalmic device includes each of the following:

(a) Any spectacle or contact lens ordered by a physician and surgeon or optometrist, that alters or changes the visual powers of the human eye.

(b) Any contact lens described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (n) of Section 520 of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. Sec. 360j and following).

(c) Any plano contact lens that is marketed or offered for sale in this state. “Plano contact lens” means a zero-power or noncorrective contact lens intended to change the appearance of the normal eye in a decorative fashion.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 148, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2007.)

2541.1.
  

(a) A spectacle lens prescription shall include all of the following:

(1) The dioptric power of the lens. When the prescription needed by the patient has not changed since the previous examination, the prescriber may write on the prescription form “copy lenses currently worn” instead.

(2) The expiration date of the prescription.

(3) The date of the issuance of the prescription.

(4) The name, address, telephone number, prescriber’s license number, and signature of the prescribing optometrist or physician and surgeon.

(5) The name of the person to whom the prescription is issued.

(b) The expiration date of a spectacle lens prescription shall not be less than two to four years from the date of issuance unless the patient’s history or current circumstances establish a reasonable probability of changes in the patient’s vision of sufficient magnitude to necessitate reexamination earlier than two years, or presence or probability of visual abnormalities related to ocular or systemic disease indicates, the need for reexamination of the patient earlier than two years. In no circumstances shall the expiration date be shorter than the period of time recommended by the prescriber for reexamination of the patient. Establishing an expiration date that is not consistent with this section shall be regarded as unprofessional conduct by the board that issued the prescriber’s certificate to practice.

(c) The prescriber of a spectacle lens shall orally inform the patient of the expiration date of a spectacle lens prescription at the time the prescription is issued. The expiration date of a prescription may be extended by the prescriber and transmitted by telephone, electronic mail, or any other means of communication. An oral prescription for a spectacle lens shall be reduced to writing and a copy of that writing shall be sent to the prescriber prior to the delivery of the lenses to the person to whom the prescription is issued.

(d) A prescriber of a spectacle lens shall abide by the rules pertaining to spectacle lens prescriptions and eye examinations adopted by the Federal Trade Commission found in Part 456 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(e) An expired prescription may be filled if all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The patient’s spectacles are lost, broken, or damaged to a degree that renders them unusable.

(2) Upon dispensing a prescription pursuant to this subdivision, the person dispensing shall recommend that the patient return to the optometrist or physician and surgeon who issued the prescription for an eye examination and provide the prescriber with a written notification of the prescription that was filled.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 8, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)

2541.2.
  

(a) (1) The expiration date of a contact lens prescription shall not be less than one to two years from the date of issuance, unless the patient’s history or current circumstances establish a reasonable probability of changes in the patient’s vision of sufficient magnitude to necessitate reexamination earlier than one year, or the presence or probability of visual abnormalities related to ocular or systemic disease indicate the need for reexamination of the patient earlier than one year. If the expiration date of a prescription is less than one year, the health-related reasons for the limitation shall be documented in the patient’s medical record. In no circumstances shall the prescription expiration date be less than the period of time recommended by the prescriber for reexamination of the patient.

(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, the date of issuance is the date the patient receives a copy of the prescription.

(3) Establishing an expiration date that is not consistent with this section shall be regarded as unprofessional conduct by the board that issued the prescriber’s license to practice.

(b) Upon completion of the eye examination or, if applicable, the contact lens fitting process for a patient as described in subdivision (f), a prescriber or a registered dispensing optician shall provide the patient with a copy of the patient’s contact lens prescription signed by the prescriber, unless the prescription meets the standards set forth in subdivision (c).

(c) A prescriber shall retain professional discretion regarding the release of the contact lens prescription for patients who wear the following types of contact lenses:

(1) Rigid gas permeables.

(2) Bitoric gas permeables.

(3) Bifocal gas permeables.

(4) Keratoconus lenses.

(5) Custom designed lenses that are manufactured for an individual patient and are not mass produced.

(d) If a patient places an order with a contact lens seller other than a physician and surgeon, an optometrist, or a registered dispensing optician, the prescriber or his or her authorized agent shall, upon request of the contact lens seller and in the absence of the actual prescription, attempt to promptly confirm the information contained in the prescription through direct communication with the contact lens seller.

(e) The contact lens prescription shall include sufficient information for the complete and accurate filling of a prescription, including, but not limited to, the power, the material or manufacturer or both, the base curve or appropriate designation, the diameter when appropriate, and an appropriate expiration date. When a provider prescribes a private label contact lens for a patient, the prescription shall include the name of the manufacturer, the trade name of the private label brand, and, if applicable, the trade name of the equivalent national brand.

(f) The contact lens fitting process begins after the initial comprehensive eye examination, and includes an examination to determine the lens specifications, an initial evaluation of the fit of the lens on the patient’s eye, except in the case of a renewal prescription of an established patient, and followup examinations that are medically necessary, and ends when the prescriber or registered dispensing optician determines that an appropriate fit has been achieved, or in the case of a prescription renewal for an established patient, the prescriber determines that there is no change in the prescription.

(g) The payment of professional fees for the eye exam, fitting, and evaluation may be required prior to the release of the prescription, but only if the prescriber would have required immediate payment from the patient had the examination revealed that no ophthalmic goods were required. A prescriber or registered dispensing optician shall not charge the patient any fee as a condition to releasing the prescription to the patient. A prescriber may charge an additional fee for verifying ophthalmic goods dispensed by another seller if the additional fee is imposed at the time the verification is performed.

(h) A prescriber shall not condition the availability of an eye examination, a contact lens fitting, or the release of a contact lens prescription on a requirement that the patient agree to purchase contact lenses from that prescriber. A registered dispensing optician shall not condition the availability of a contact lens fitting on a requirement that the patient agrees to purchase contact lenses from that registered dispensing optician.

(i) A prescriber or a registered dispensing optician shall not place on the contact lens prescription, deliver to the patient, or require a patient to sign a form or notice waiving or disclaiming the liability or responsibility of the prescriber or registered dispensing optician for the accuracy of the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another seller. This prohibition against waivers and disclaimers shall not impose liability on a prescriber or registered dispensing optician for the ophthalmic goods and services dispensed by another seller pursuant to the prescriber’s prescription.

(j) The willful failure or refusal of a prescriber to comply with the provisions of this section shall constitute grounds for professional discipline, including, but not limited to, the imposition of a fine or the suspension or revocation of the prescriber’s license. The Medical Board of California and the State Board of Optometry shall adopt regulations, to implement this subdivision, including, but not limited to, standards for processing complaints each receives regarding this subdivision.

(k) For the purposes of this section, “prescriber” means a physician and surgeon or an optometrist.

(l) Nothing in this section shall be construed to expand the scope of practice of a registered dispensing optician as defined in Sections 2542, 2543, and Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 2550).

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 814, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

2541.3.
  

(a) The State Department of Public Health, the State Board of Optometry, and the Medical Board of California shall prepare and adopt quality standards and adopt regulations relating to prescription ophthalmic devices, including, but not limited to, lenses, frames, and contact lenses. In promulgating these rules and regulations, the department and the boards shall adopt the current standards of the American National Standards Institute regarding ophthalmic materials. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the department and the boards from jointly adopting subsequent standards that are equivalent or more stringent than the current standards of the American National Standards Institute regarding ophthalmic materials.

(b) No individual or group that deals with prescription ophthalmic devices, including, but not limited to, distributors, dispensers, manufacturers, laboratories, optometrists, or ophthalmologists shall sell, dispense, or furnish any prescription ophthalmic device that does not meet the minimum standards set by the State Department of Public Health, the State Board of Optometry, or the Medical Board of California.

(c) Any violation of the regulations adopted by the State Department of Public Health, the State Board of Optometry, or the Medical Board of California pursuant to this section shall be a misdemeanor.

(d) Any optometrist, ophthalmologist, or dispensing optician who violates the regulations adopted by the State Department of Public Health, the State Board of Optometry, or the Medical Board of California pursuant to this section shall be subject to disciplinary action by his or her licensing board.

(e) The State Board of Optometry or the Medical Board of California may send any prescription ophthalmic device to the State Department of Public Health for testing as to whether or not the device meets established standards adopted pursuant to this section, which testing shall take precedence over any other prescription ophthalmic device testing being conducted by the department. The department may conduct the testing in its own facilities or may contract with any other facility to conduct the testing.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2017.)

2541.6.
  

No prescription ophthalmic device that does not meet the standards adopted by the State Department of Public Health, the State Board of Optometry, or the Medical Board of California under Section 2541.3 shall be purchased with state funds.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2017.)

2542.
  

A registered dispensing optician shall fit, adjust, or dispense contact lenses, including plano contact lenses, only on the valid prescription of a physician and surgeon or optometrist, and acting on the advice, direction, and responsibility of the physician and surgeon or optometrist. The optician shall also comply with the requirements of Section 2560. A registered dispensing optician shall not fit a contact lens or lenses, or a plano contact lens or lenses, unless the prescription specifically refers to and authorizes contact lenses. A registered dispensing optician shall not fit a generic type of contact lens or mode of wear for a contact lens contrary to the type or mode, if any, referred to in the prescription.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1139, Sec. 3.)

2543.
  

(a) Except as provided in the Nonresident Contact Lens Seller Registration Act (Chapter 5.45 (commencing with Section 2546), the right to dispense, sell or furnish prescription ophthalmic devices at retail or to the person named in a prescription is limited exclusively to licensed physicians and surgeons, licensed optometrists, and registered dispensing opticians as provided in this division. This section shall not be construed to affect licensing requirements pursuant to Section 111615 of the Health and Safety Code.

(b) It shall be considered a deceptive marketing practice for:

(1) Any licensed physician and surgeon, licensed optometrist, or registered dispensing optician to publish or cause to be published any advertisement or sales presentation relating to contact lenses that represents that contact lenses may be obtained without confirmation of a valid prescription.

(2) Any individual or entity who offers for sale plano contact lenses, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 2541, to represent by any means that those lenses may be lawfully obtained without an eye examination or confirmation of a valid prescription, or may be dispensed or furnished to a purchaser without complying with the requirements of Section 2562, except as provided in Chapter 5.45 (commencing with Section 2546).

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 148, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2007.)

2544.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an assistant in any setting where optometry or ophthalmology is practiced who is acting under the direct responsibility and supervision of a physician and surgeon or optometrist may fit prescription lenses. Under the direct responsibility and supervision of an ophthalmologist or optometrist, an assistant in any setting where optometry or ophthalmology is practiced may also do the following:

(1) Prepare patients for examination.

(2) Collect preliminary patient data, including taking a patient history.

(3) Perform simple noninvasive testing of visual acuity, pupils, and ocular motility.

(4) Perform automated visual field testing.

(5) Perform ophthalmic photography and digital imaging.

(6) Perform tonometry.

(7) Perform lensometry.

(8) Perform nonsubjective auto refraction in connection with subjective refraction procedures performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

(9) Administer cycloplegiacs, mydriatics, and topical anesthetics that are not controlled substances, for ophthalmic purposes.

(10) Perform pachymetry, keratometry, A scans, B scans, and electrodiagnostic testing.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “setting” includes, but is not limited to, any facility licensed by the State Department of Public Health or the State Department of Social Services.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize activities that corporations and other artificial legal entities are prohibited from conducting by Section 2400.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 604, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2011.)

2545.
  

(a) Whenever any person has engaged, or is about to engage, in any acts or practices which constitute, or will constitute, an offense against this chapter, the superior court in and for the county wherein the acts or practices take place, or are about to take place, may issue an injunction, or other appropriate order, restraining the conduct on application of the State Board of Optometry, the Medical Board of California, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, the Attorney General, or the district attorney of the county.

The proceedings under this section shall be governed by Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 525) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(b) (1) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation. The fines collected pursuant to this section from licensed physicians and surgeons shall be available upon appropriation to the Medical Board of California for the purposes of administration and enforcement. The fines collected pursuant to this section from licensed optometrists and registered dispensing opticians shall be deposited into the Optometry Fund and the Dispensing Opticians Fund, respectively, and shall be available upon appropriation to the State Board of Optometry for the purposes of administration and enforcement.

(2) The Medical Board of California and the State Board of Optometry shall adopt regulations implementing this section and shall consider the following factors, including, but not limited to, applicable enforcement penalties, prior conduct, gravity of the offense, and the manner in which complaints will be processed.

(3) The proceedings under this section shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 489, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2017.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC