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RULE §140.285Professional and Ethical Standards

(a) The purpose of this section is to establish the professional and ethical standards to be followed by a registered spectacle dispensing optician or a registered contact lens dispenser.

(b) A registrant shall not misrepresent any professional qualifications or credentials.

(c) A registrant shall not provide any information that is false, deceptive, or misleading to the Department of State Health Services (department).

(d) A registrant shall cooperate with the department by furnishing required documents or information and by responding to a request for information.

(e) A registrant shall not consume alcohol or take controlled substances not prescribed by a licensed physician during the hours the registrant is available to dispense spectacles or contact lenses.

(f) A registrant shall not use advertising that is false, misleading, or deceptive or that is not readily subject to verification.

  (1) False, misleading, or deceptive advertising or advertising that is not readily subject to verification includes advertising that:

    (A) makes a material misrepresentation of fact or omits a fact necessary to make the statement as a whole not materially misleading;

    (B) makes a representation likely to create an unjustified expectation about the results of a health care service or procedure;

    (C) compares a health care professional's service with another health care professional's service unless the comparison can be factually substantiated;

    (D) contains a testimonial;

    (E) causes confusion or misunderstanding as to the credentials, education, or registration of a health care professional;

    (F) advertises or represents that health care insurance deductibles or copayments may be waived or are not applicable to health care services to be provided if the deductible or copayments are required;

    (G) advertises or represents that the benefits of a health benefit plan will be accepted as full payment when deductibles or copayments are required;

    (H) makes a representation that is designed to take advantage of the fears or emotions of a particularly susceptible type of patient; or

    (I) advertises or represents in the use of professional name, a title or professional identification that is expressly or commonly reserved to or used by another profession or professional.

  (2) A "health care professional" includes a dispensing optician or any other person licensed, certified, or registered by the state in a health-related profession.

(g) On the written request of a client, a client's guardian, or a client's parent if the client is a minor, a registrant shall provide, in plain language, a written explanation of the dispensing services previously made on a bill or statement for the client. This requirement applies even if the charges are to be paid by a third party.

(h) A registrant may not persistently or flagrantly overcharge or overtreat a client.

(i) A registrant shall make a reasonable attempt to notify each client of the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the department for the purpose of directing complaints to the department by providing notification:

  (1) on each written contract for services of a registrant;

  (2) on a sign prominently displayed in the primary place of business of each registrant; or

  (3) in a bill for services provided by a registrant to a client or third party.

(j) A registrant shall be subject to disciplinary action by the department if under the Crime Victims Compensation Act, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 8309-1, the registrant is issued a public letter of reprimand, is assessed a civil penalty by a court, or has an administrative penalty imposed by the attorney general's office.

(k) Unless exempt, a registrant shall comply with the Texas Contact Lens Prescription Act, Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 353.

(l) A registrant may not sell, deliver, or dispense contact lenses to a patient or other consumer in this state unless the registrant receives or verifies a prescription that conforms to the requirements of the Texas Contact Lens Prescription Act, Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 353. The registrant must fill the prescription accurately without modification.

(m) Spectacles may be dispensed only in accordance with a spectacle prescription from a licensed physician or optometrist. This subsection does not prohibit a registrant from duplicating lenses.

Source Note: The provisions of this §140.285 adopted to be effective August 14, 2008, 33 TexReg 6394

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