It has come to the attention of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Optometry that some practitioners have considered signing, or have in fact signed, examination records of another optometrist in their practice (as if they themselves had performed the examination)
. The Board has further been informed that often, when this happens, an insurer is billed for the examination even if the optometrist who performed the examination is not a provider under that insurer. The Board recently was asked whether an optometrist may sign the examination records of another optometrist.
- The Board wishes to remind all licensed optometrists that all patient records, and any associated billing, should clearly identify the person who actually performed the examination wherever such identity is required. Misrepresenting who actually performed the examination is prohibited. Indeed, to bill an insurer, by portraying an examination as having been performed by someone else, is likely fraudulent and, may constitute grounds for discipline under 246 CMR 3.16(c) and 16(n). A licensed optometrist who knowingly allows another optometrist to misrepresent who performed optometry services may also be subject to disciplinary action by the Board.
- Board regulation 246 CMR 3.14 provides that "an Optometrist shall be responsible for all Optometry services provided to persons being served by him or her, or by any of his or her agents or employees." The Board recognizes that a credentialed Optometrist can serve in a supervisory role to another O.D. or Optometry student, and can also use an Optometric technician to gather data to be used by the Optometrist to complete an examination. In this instance the supervising Optometrist would need to be present in the offices during any of these encounters.