2002 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Chaney
AN ACT RELATING TO THE RIGHTS OF CONSUMERS TO PROCURE REPLACEMENT CONTACT LENSES FROM PERSONS OR COMPANIES OF THEIR CHOICE ENTITLED THE "FAIR TRADE PRACTICE ACT FOR PROCUREMENT OF REPLACEMENT CONTACT LENS"; AUTHORIZING PRESCRIPTIONS TO BE TRANSFERRED OR VERIFIED BY ANY ELECTRONIC MEANS, REQUIRING THE RELEASE OF CONTACT LENS PRESCRIPTIONS, REQUIRING EYE CARE PROFESSIONALS TO VERIFY OR CONFIRM PRESCRIPTION INFORMATION TO REPLACEMENT CONTACT LENS PROVIDERS OR OTHER EYE CARE PROFESSIONALS, PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Fair Trade Practice Act for Procurement of Replacement Contact Lens."
(2) As used in this act:
(a) "Contact Lens" means a medical device placed on the eye.
(b) "Contact Lens prescription" means a written or verbal communication issued by an eye care professional, authorized to issue prescriptions, setting forth all of the necessary information to dispense or prepare contact lenses for the consumer.
(3) (a) A prescription is required before contacts may be dispensed to any individual.
(b) A contact lens prescription may not contain an expiration date shorter than two (2) years from the date of issue unless, in the medical judgment of the eye care professional, there is a medical reason for a shorter period of time. In the event a prescription is issued for a period of less than two (2) years the medical reason must be explained to the patient in writing and a signed copy of such explanation shall be preserved in the patient's medical record.
(4) (a) Eye care professionals authorized to issue contact lens prescriptions shall, upon determining the parameters of the lens, provide the patient with a contact lens prescription containing all of the necessary information for any eye care professional or contact lens replacement provider to dispense lenses to the customer. In the event an expiration date is not included on the prescription, the prescription shall expire on the second anniversary of the date of issue.
(b) When requested by another eye care professional or replacement contact lens provider to confirm prescription information for a specified individual, the eye care professional shall confirm all necessary information to enable the person requesting verification to accurately dispense the contact lenses. Confirmation may be requested and responded to in any written form specifically, including, but not limited to, facsimile or e-mail transmission. In the event confirmation is not made within one (1) hour following the request all information contained in the request, including the fact that the prescription has not expired, shall be presumed as accurate and the eye care professional or replacement contact lens provider shall be authorized to dispense lenses pursuant thereto.
(c) In the event contact lenses are dispensed at a time when the eye care professional's office is closed and the eye care professional determines there is a problem with the prescription, the eye care professional shall notify the dispenser in writing of the problem. Upon receipt of such notification, the dispenser shall notify the customer in writing and provide a copy of the eye care professional's notification and advise the consumer to return to their eye care professional for follow up care. The eye care professional who informs the dispenser of the problem is relieved of all liability as a result of the dispenser's reliance on the presumed confirmation.
(5) All eye care professionals, who dispense contact lenses, shall post a notice no smaller than one-half (1/2) inch type in the location where payment for services is made informing patients as follows: "Following the final fitting of your contact lenses you have a right to receive a copy of your contact lens prescription."
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.