Release of Spectacle Prescriptions
Approved:  April 15, 2004

The State Medical Board of Ohio is charged with the enforcement of Section 4731.44(B) of the Ohio Revised Code, which requires:

An individual authorized under this chapter to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery, on completion of a vision examination and diagnosis, shall give each patient for whom the individual prescribes any vision correcting item, device, or procedure, one copy of the prescription, without additional charge to the patient. 

This section of law is in addition to the requirements as set forth under the Federal Trade Commissionís Ophthalmic Practice Rules (Eyeglass Rule).  The Commission completed its regulatory review in February 2004 and has determined to retain the Practice Rules in their current form.  There are penalties provided under both the state and federal systems for those professionals who do not comply with the requirements.

A prescription for spectacles shall be written at the completion of the examination and given to the patient.  This prescription will contain sufficient information so that the patient may take it to a supplier of their choice in order to have the spectacles fabricated.  A spectacle prescription may include a reasonable expiration date, normally not less than two years from the date of the examination unless the patient records indicate specific need for a shorter time period.

The Ohio Revised Code does not currently address an expiration date for any vision correcting item, device or procedure.  In the interest of protecting the vision and health of Ohio citizens, the State Medical Board will NOT require an ophthalmologist to author a spectacle prescription if the examination and diagnosis was completed more than three years ago.