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Charging for contact lens handling tuition

U2.7.9 Charging for contact lens handling tuition (2011)

The rules and regulations that control what we do and how we do it state that teaching patients how to handle their lenses is an integral part of the fitting procedure and cannot be separated or omitted. Handling includes insertion, removal and re-centering together with hygiene and solution usage.

In this situation, if a young man decides not to pay you for the lessons but to get his mate to show him, and you therefore fail to give him adequate instruction, you could be breaking the rules and subject to the full force of the General Optical Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee. If you charge for the fitting, which is not unreasonable, this would include handling (however long that takes). A ‘free trial’ fitting – a sort of loss leader – must still include handling tuition, which cannot be charged for individually no matter how difficult and time consuming the tuition may be. It may, of course, be delegated to a properly trained and supervised assistant.

Specifications for contact lenses should not be issued until you are satisfied with the fitting and the patient’s ocular response. A small initial supply of lenses would be necessary to establish this, say 30 pairs of daily disposable or a month’s supply. After you are satisfied that the patient is both competent in the care of their lenses and that their eyes are not compromised by wearing them, specifications must be issued and the patient can choose where their lenses can be purchased.

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