The Board receives complaints that merit no disciplinary action by the Board, but are still cause for concern. Complaints often relate to fee disputes or contact lens prescription releases. Reviewing the following list could reduce the risk of a complaint being filed against you.
- Maintain standard, legible, written notes on all patients.
- Practice infection control at all times.
- Know and abide by the West Virginia Optometric Law and Legislative Rules.
- Know your limitations, and practice within the area of your professional competence.
- Assign to technicians and assistants only those functions permitted by the law and legislative rules.
- Make sure your advertising and promotional materials are in compliance with the law and legislative rules.
- Discuss and provide patients with a written statement of office procedures including fees, payment expectations, insurance filing, management of pediatric patients, cancellations, and patient responsibilities.
- Be specific with patients regarding the procedures you will be following and the meaning of the various terms used in optometric practice.
- Train office personnel regarding information they are or are not authorized to discuss with the patient.
- Make available to patients copies of their records. (Note: Do not release original records – only copies) Charges should not exceed 75¢ per page and search fees should not exceed $10.00 per West Virginia Code §16-29-1 and 2.
The WVBO Complaint Committee acknowledges that the majority of complaints are related to sales and purchases and are referred to the Consumer Products Division of the Attorney General’s Office.
A few complaints are violations of Chapter 30, Article 8, Optometry, of the Code of WV, involving advertising of free eye exams, failure to disclose the nature of doctorate-level degree, and advertising by means of knowingly false or deceptive statements.