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S.B. 48 Enrolled
AN ACT RELATING TO OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS; IMPOSING DISCLOSURE
REQUIREMENTS ON HEALTH INSURERS WHO OFFER VISION BENEFITS; INCLUDING
OPTOMETRISTS IN THE LIST OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS COVERED BY HEALTH
INSURANCE AND THE GOOD SAMARITAN ACT; PERMITTING A CONTACT LENS
PRESCRIPTION TO BE GIVEN VERBALLY AND SPECIFYING THE COMPONENTS OF
SUCH A PRESCRIPTION; ESTABLISHING A GENERAL EXEMPTION FROM LICENSURE
FOR CONTACT LENS SELLERS AND THE MANNER FOR FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS
BASED ON NOTIFICATION; CLARIFYING THE EXEMPTION FOR PERSONS WHO FIT
CONTACT LENSES; REQUIRING AN OPTOMETRIST TO PROVIDE CONTACT LENS
PRESCRIPTION TO A PATIENT AND A SELLER OF CONTACT LENSES; LIMITING THE
LIABILITY OF AN OPTOMETRIST FOR PROVIDING A PRESCRIPTION TO A PATIENT;
AND MAKING TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.
This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
31A-22-613, as last amended by Chapter 38, Laws of Utah 1996
58-13-2, as last amended by Chapter 288, Laws of Utah 1998
58-13-3, as last amended by Chapter 288, Laws of Utah 1998
58-16a-102, as last amended by Chapter 13, Laws of Utah 1997
58-16a-305, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 13, Laws of Utah 1997
58-16a-306, as enacted by Chapter 13, Laws of Utah 1997
58-16a-501, as enacted by Chapter 13, Laws of Utah 1997
58-16a-502, as enacted by Chapter 13, Laws of Utah 1997
58-16a-503, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 13, Laws of Utah 1997
58-16a-601, as renumbered and amended by Chapter 13, Laws of Utah 1997
58-17a-305, as enacted by Chapter 247, Laws of Utah 1996
58-16a-801, Utah Code Annotated 1953
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
Section 1. Section 31A-22-613 is amended to read:
31A-22-613. Permitted provisions for disability insurance policies.
The following provisions may be contained in a disability insurance policy, but if they are in
that policy, they shall conform to at least the following minimum requirements for the policyholder:
(1) Any provision respecting change of occupation may provide only for a lower maximum
benefit payment and for reduction of loss payments proportionate to the change in appropriate
premium rates, if the change is to a higher rated occupation, and this provision shall provide for
retroactive reduction of premium rates from the date of change of occupation or the last policy
anniversary date, whichever is the more recent, if the change is to a lower rated occupation.
(2) Section 31A-22-405 applies to misstatement of age in disability policies, with the
appropriate modifications of terminology.
(3) Any policy which contains a provision establishing, as an age limit or otherwise, a date
after which the coverage provided by the policy is not effective, and if that date falls within a period
for which a premium is accepted by the insurer or if the insurer accepts a premium after that date, the
coverage provided by the policy continues in force, subject to any right of cancellation, until the end
of the period for which the premium was accepted. This Subsection (3) does not apply if the
acceptance of premium would not have occurred but for a misstatement of age by the insured.
(4) Any provision dealing with preexisting conditions shall be consistent with Subsections
31A-22-605 (9)(a) and 31A-22-609 (2), and any applicable rule adopted by the commissioner.
(5) (a) If an insured is otherwise eligible for maternity benefits, a policy may not contain
language which requires an insured to obtain any additional preauthorization or preapproval for
customary and reasonable maternity care expenses or for the delivery of the child after an initial
preauthorization or preapproval has been obtained from the insurer for prenatal care. A requirement
for notice of admission for delivery is not a requirement for preauthorization or preapproval,
however, the maternity benefit may not be denied or diminished for failure to provide admission
notice. The policy may not require the provision of admission notice by only the insured patient.
(b) This Subsection (5) does not prohibit an insurer from:
(i) requiring a referral before maternity care can be obtained;
(ii) specifying a group of providers or a particular location from which an insured is required
to obtain maternity care; or
(iii) limiting reimbursement for maternity expenses and benefits in accordance with the terms
and conditions of the insurance contract so long as such terms do not conflict with Subsection (5)(a).
(6) An insurer may only represent that a policy:
(a) offers a vision benefit if the policy:
(i) charges a premium for the benefit; and
(ii) provides reimbursement for materials or services provided under the policy; and
(b) covers laser vision correction, whether photorefractive keratectomy, laser assisted in-situ
keratomelusis, or related procedure, if the policy:
(i) charges a premium for the benefit; and
(ii) the procedure is at least a partially covered benefit.
Section 2. Section 58-13-2 is amended to read:
58-13-2. Emergency care rendered by licensee.
A person licensed under Title 58, Occupations and Professions, to practice as any of the
following health care professionals, who is under no legal duty to respond, and who in good faith
renders emergency care at the scene of an emergency gratuitously and in good faith, is not liable for
any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by the person in rendering the emergency care:
(1) osteopathic physician;
(2) physician and surgeon;
(4) dentist or dental hygienist;
(5) chiropractic physician;
(6) physician assistant; [
(7) optometrist; or
Section 3. Section 58-13-3 is amended to read:
58-13-3. Qualified immunity -- Health professionals -- Charity care.
(1) (a) The Legislature finds many residents of this state do not receive medical care and
preventive health care because they lack health insurance or because of financial difficulties or cost.
The Legislature also finds that many physicians, charity health care facilities, and other health care
professionals in this state would be willing to volunteer medical and allied services without
compensation if they were not subject to the high exposure of liability connected with providing these
(b) The Legislature therefore declares that its intention in enacting this section is to
encourage the provision of uncompensated volunteer health care in charity care settings in exchange
for a limitation on liability for the health care facilities and health care professionals who provide
those volunteer services.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Health care facility" means any clinic or hospital, church, or organization whose primary
purpose is to sponsor, promote, or organize uncompensated health care services for people unable
to pay for health care services.
(b) "Health care professional" means individuals licensed under Title 58, Occupations and
Professions, as physicians and surgeons, osteopaths, podiatrists, optometrists, chiropractors, dentists,
dental hygienists, registered nurses, certified nurse midwives, and other nurses licensed under Section
(c) "Remuneration or compensation":
(i) (A) means direct or indirect receipt of any payment by the physician and surgeon, health
care facility, other health care professional, or organization, on behalf of the patient, including
payment or reimbursement under medicare or medicaid, or under the state program for the medically
indigent on behalf of the patient; and
(B) compensation, salary, or reimbursement to the health care professional from any source
for the health care professional's services or time in volunteering to provide uncompensated health
(ii) does not mean any grant or donation to the health care facility used to offset direct costs
associated with providing the uncompensated health care such as medical supplies or drugs.
(3) A health care professional who provides health care treatment at a health care facility is
not liable in a medical malpractice action if:
(a) the treatment was within the scope of the health care professional's license under this title;
(b) neither the health care professional nor the health care facility received compensation or
remuneration for the treatment;
(c) the acts or omissions of the health care professional were not grossly negligent or willful
and wanton; and
(d) prior to rendering services, the health care professional disclosed in writing to the patient,
or if a minor, to the patient's parent or legal guardian, that the health care professional is providing
the services without receiving remuneration or compensation and that in exchange for receiving
uncompensated health care, the patient consents to waive any right to sue for professional negligence
except for acts or omissions which are grossly negligent or are willful and wanton.
(4) A health care facility which sponsors, promotes, or organizes the uncompensated care
is not liable in a medical malpractice action for acts and omissions if:
(a) the health care facility meets the requirements in Subsection (3)(b);
(b) the acts and omissions of the health care facility were not grossly negligent or willful and
(c) the health care facility has posted, in a conspicuous place, a notice that in accordance with
this section the health care facility is not liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions except for
those acts or omissions that are grossly negligent or are willful and wanton.
(5) Immunity from liability under this section does not extend to the use of general anesthesia
or care that requires an overnight stay in a general acute or specialty hospital licensed under Title 26,
Chapter 21, Health Care Facility Licensing and Inspection Act.
Section 4. Section 58-16a-102 is amended to read:
In addition to the definitions in Section 58-1-102 , as used in this chapter:
(1) "Board" means the Optometrist Licensing Board created in Section 58-16a-201 .
(2) "Contact lens" means any lens that:
(a) has a spherical, cylindrical, or prismatic power or curvature;
(b) is made pursuant to a current prescription; and
(c) is intended to be worn on the surface of the eye.
(3) (a) "Contact lens prescription" means a written or verbal order for contact lenses that
(iii) for a written order, the signature of the prescribing optometrist or physician; and
(iv) for a verbal order, a record maintained by the recipient of:
(A) the name of the prescribing optometrist or physician; and
(B) the date when the prescription was issued or ordered.
(b) A prescription may include:
(i) a limit on the quantity of lenses that may be ordered under the prescription if:
(A) the prescription is for more than one contact per eye; or
(B) required for medical reasons documented in the patient's files; and
(ii) the expiration date of the prescription, which may not be less than one year from the
commencement date, unless documented medical reasons require continuous monitoring, nor more
than two years.
(c) A prescription shall be valid for two years if the prescription does not include an
(4) "Contact lens prescription verification" means a written request from a person who sells
contact lenses that:
(a) is sent to the prescribing optometrist or physician; and
(b) seeks the confirmation of the accuracy of a patient's prescription.
orbit, including the conjunctiva, lids, lashes, and lacrimal system.
(a) the using of a keratometer to measure the human eye;
(b) utilizing refractive data provided by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist; and
(c) trial fitting of contact lenses, which includes a period of time for evaluation for fit and
performance, to determine a tentative contact lens prescription for a patient if the patient:
(i) has not worn contact lenses before; or
(ii) has changed to a different type or base curve.
by means of laser or ionizing radiation.
(a) has a spherical, cylindrical, or prismatic power;
(b) is made pursuant to an unexpired prescription; and
(c) is intended to be used in eyeglasses or spectacles.
(a) working under the direct and immediate supervision of a licensed optometrist; and
(b) engaged in specific tasks assigned by the licensed optometrist in accordance with the
standards and ethics of the profession.
the following practices:
(a) examination of the human eye and its adnexa to detect and diagnose defects or abnormal
(b) determination or modification of the accommodative or refractive state of the human eye
or its range or power of vision by administration and prescription of pharmaceutical agents or the use
of diagnostic instruments;
(c) prescription, ordering, administration, or adaptation of ophthalmic lenses, contact lenses,
ophthalmic devices, pharmaceutical agents, laboratory tests, or ocular exercises to diagnose and treat
diseases, defects, or other abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa; [
(d) display of any advertisement, circular, sign, or device offering to:
(i) examine the eyes;
(ii) fit glasses or contact lenses; or
(iii) adjust frames; [
(e) removal of a foreign body from the eye or its adnexa, that is not deeper than the anterior
(f) consultation regarding the eye and its adnexa with other appropriate health care providers,
including referral to other appropriate health care providers; and
(g) a person, not licensed as an optometrist, directing a licensee under this chapter to
withhold or alter the eye care services the licensee has ordered.
of drugs that has the property of assisting in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or mitigation of
abnormal conditions or symptoms of the eye and its adnexa.
(a) not more than two years prior to presentation of the prescription for an ophthalmic lens
(b) in accordance with Subsection (3) for a contact lens.
Section 5. Section 58-16a-305 is amended to read:
58-16a-305. License -- Exemptions.
In addition to the exemptions from licensure in Section 58-1-307 , the following persons may
engage in acts included in the definition of the practice of optometry subject to the stated
circumstances and limitations without being licensed under this chapter:
(1) a person who sells [
authorized under state law to practice either optometry or medicine and surgery if the person
complies with Section 58-16a-801 ;
(2) a person who sells eyeglasses or spectacles as articles of merchandise or who fabricates
them from a prescription if the person:
place of business;
adapting lenses according to the test;
actually sold; and
13-26-2 ; and
(3) a person who [
(a) he has a current certification from both the American Board of Opticianry and the
National Contact Lens Examiners;
(b) he does not give or offer contact lenses as premiums;
(c) he does not perform a refraction, over-refraction, or attempt to traffic upon assumed skill
in testing the eye;
(d) he operates in the ordinary course of trade from a permanently located and established
place of business;
(e) he performs the work involved in fitting contact lenses himself and does not delegate the
contact lens fitting to any other individual who is not qualified under this Subsection (3);
(f) he does not use in the testing of the eye any lenses or instruments other than the lenses
he actually will sell;
(i) presents an unexpired contact lens prescription; or
(ii) has had an eye examination within the prior six months by an optometrist or
ophthalmologist meeting the requirements under Section 58-16a-306 ; [
(i) he enters into a written agreement with an optometrist or an ophthalmologist before July
1, 2000, to fit contact lenses prescribed by that optometrist or ophthalmologist;
(j) he fits contact lenses for at least two years under the direct supervision of the optometrist
or ophthalmologist identified in Subsection (3)(i) before July 1, 2000, as documented in the written
(k) the optometrist or ophthalmologist described in Subsection (3)(i):
(i) ensures that the final contact lens is accurate;
(ii) presents a written copy of the prescription to the person fitting the contact lens; and
(iii) ensures that a copy of the prescription is provided to the patient, except as provided in
Section 58-16a-306 .
Section 6. Section 58-16a-306 is amended to read:
58-16a-306. Contact lens prescription -- Qualifications.
(1) An optometrist or ophthalmologist issuing a contact lens prescription [
(c) present a written copy of the prescription to the [
(i) there are unpaid fees associated with the examination or treatment; or
(ii) providing a copy is not in the best medical interests of the patient in the professional
judgement of the prescribing optometrist or physician; and
(d) provide a copy of the patient's contact lens prescription to a person who sells contact
lenses upon the request of the patient or the person selling the contact lenses.
(2) An optometrist or physician may not be held liable as a result of providing a prescription
to a patient as required by Subsection (1).
Section 7. Section 58-16a-501 is amended to read:
58-16a-501. Unlawful conduct.
"Unlawful conduct" includes, in addition to the definition in Section 58-1-501 :
(1) buying, selling, or fraudulently obtaining, any optometry diploma, license, certificate, or
(2) aiding or abetting the buying, selling, or fraudulently obtaining, of any optometry diploma,
license, certificate, or registration;
(3) selling contact lenses [
manner inconsistent with Section 58-16a-801 or intentionally altering a prescription unless the person
selling the lenses is a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist[
(4) representing oneself as or using the title of "optometrist," "optometric physician," "doctor
of optometry," or "O.D.," unless currently licensed [
Section 8. Section 58-16a-502 is amended to read:
58-16a-502. Unprofessional conduct.
"Unprofessional conduct" includes, in addition to the definition in Section 58-1-501 :
(1) using or employing the services of an optometric assistant to assist a licensee in any
manner not in accordance with:
(a) the generally recognized practices and standards of ethics of the profession; or
(b) applicable state law or division rule;
(2) failure to refer a patient to an appropriate licensed practitioner when:
(a) the patient's condition does not respond to treatment; or
(b) the treatment is not within the scope of competence or licensure of the licensee;
(3) providing confidential information regarding a patient to any third party who does not
have a legal and professional ground for obtaining the information;
(4) knowingly prescribing, selling, giving away, or administering any prescription drug except
for a legitimate medical purpose and upon a proper diagnosis indicating the use of the drug in the
amount prescribed or provided;
(5) giving or receiving directly or indirectly any fee, commission, rebate, or other
compensation for professional services not actually and personally rendered, except as part of a legal
relationship within a lawful professional partnership, corporation, or association; [
(6) failure to transfer pertinent and necessary information from a patient's medical records
to another optometrist or physician when so requested by the patient or his representative, as
designated in writing[
(7) failure to provide a contact lens prescription to a person who sells contact lenses in
accordance with Section 58-16a-306 .
Section 9. Section 58-16a-503 is amended to read:
58-16a-503. Penalty for unlawful conduct.
conduct provision defined in Section 58-16a-501 or Subsection 58-1-501 (1)(a) or (1)(c) is guilty of
a third degree felony.
(2) A person who violates Subsection 58-16a-501 (3) is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
Section 10. Section 58-16a-601 is amended to read:
58-16a-601. Scope of practice.
(1) An optometrist may:
(a) provide any optometric services not specifically prohibited under this chapter or division
rules and that are within the optometrist's training, skills, and scope of competence; and
(b) prescribe or administer any pharmaceutical agent for the eye and its adnexa, including all
oral pharmaceutical agents, except that:
(i) the oral antibiotics may only be prescribed for:
(ii) Schedule III controlled substances may only be prescribed or administered to be taken
orally or topically for pain of the eye or adnexa in a quantity not to exceed 72 hours in duration and
which may not be refilled.
(2) An optometrist may not:
(a) perform surgery, including laser surgery; or
(b) prescribe or administer any Schedule II [
in Title 58, Chapter 37, Controlled Substances.
(3) An optometrist is a health care provider for purposes of Sections 31A-22-617 and
Section 11. Section 58-16a-801 is enacted to read:
58-16a-801. Contact lens seller.
(1) A person may sell contact lenses if the person:
(a) does so in the ordinary course of trade from a permanently located and established place
(b) does not perform refractions, over-refractions, or attempts to traffic upon assumed skill
in testing the eye;
(c) does not offer or give contact lenses as premiums, as defined in Section 13-26-2 ;
(d) does not fit contact lenses;
(e) provides a contact lens to a patient after:
(i) receiving an unexpired verbal or written prescription; or
(ii) sending a contact lens prescription verification to the prescribing optometrist or physician,
regardless of whether the prescribing optometrist or physician responds to or confirms the
verification, provided that:
(A) the person has all of the information necessary to fill the prescription;
(B) the prescribing optometrist or physician has not informed the person that the prescription
has expired or is otherwise inaccurate prior to the person shipping or hand-delivering the contact lens
to the patient;
(C) the person confirms a valid, unexpired contact lens prescription for the patient if the
person is aware that the patient provided inaccurate prescription information in his last order; and
(D) the person informs the patient that the prescription has expired or that there is a medical
problem associated with the prescription if the information is communicated by the prescribing
optometrist or physician to the person within 72 hours of the contact lens prescription verification
being sent; and
(f) maintains patient information, including the method and date of any prescription
verification, for no less than seven years.
(2) Nothing in this section may be construed as requiring a person to be licensed or certified
in any way under this or any another chapter of this title to sell contact lenses in accordance with
Section 12. Section 58-17a-305 is amended to read:
58-17a-305. Exemptions from licensure.
In addition to the exemptions from licensure in Section 58-1-307 [
(1) an individual who has completed all qualifications for licensure as a pharmacy technician,
except an experience requirement which may be established by rule under Subsection 58-17a-302 (4),
may practice under the direct personal supervision of a pharmacist while completing that requirement
for a period not to exceed six consecutive months without being licensed under this chapter[
(2) a person may sell contact lenses in accordance with Section 58-16a-801 without being
licensed under this chapter.
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