HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.12 - Prescription Optics and Low-Vision DevicesPrescription Optics Mailed Directly to Veterans

12.16. Prescription Optics Mailed Directly to Veterans

a. An increasing number of veterans provided prescription optics by VA and other Federal agencies do not return to the prescribing facility to receive those eyeglasses for various reasons. Some of these reasons include: increasing age, living alone, lack of readily available transportation, distance from the prescribing facility, and a preference to avoid highly-congested metropolitan areas. As a consequence, without great assistance, many of these veterans may not have the eyeglasses properly fitted and/or adjusted on their face, or may not be informed on the proper use and care of eyeglasses.

b. Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) is responsible for ensuring that all known veterans, or those who have later elected to receive their eyeglasses through the mail and indicated they will not return to the facility for fitting, be given useful information on the eyeglasses and authorization to have adjustment and/or fitting of eyeglasses at VA expense. Veterans need to be encouraged to return to the dispensing facility for adjustment and fitting whenever possible. Whether initial, previous, or on-going users, single copies of Appendix A and Appendix B are to be mailed with the letter of notification that eyeglasses are on order; this letter is mailed at the time the eyeglasses are ordered and is generally received 4 to 5 days before the eyeglasses arrive.

c. At least five pairs of prescription optics per month of patients receiving eyeglasses by mail must be sampled by PSAS or a VA optical laboratory to monitor the quality of fabrication, patient satisfaction, and timeliness of delivery.

d. When veterans eligible and entitled for eyeglasses indicate that they will not return to the facility to pick-up the eyeglasses, their prescription will be flagged to ensure that appropriate information is mailed to them. A letter notifying the veteran of when the eyeglasses may be expected to arrive is to be developed through the prosthetic software at the time the purchasing document to the contractor is being prepared. A copy of Appendix A must be included with every letter. If the prescription includes 'bifocal lens,' a copy of Appendix B must be included with the notification letter. All veterans who are mailed eyeglasses are to be encouraged to have them adjusted and/or fitted..

e. When the adjusting and/or fitting optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist indicates that the eyeglasses are not made within the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z80 standards of manufacturing tolerances, local facility prosthetics activity contacts the eyeglasses fabricator for a remake and notifies the Contracting Officer. When the adjusting and/or fitting optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist indicates that the eyeglasses comply with the written prescription, but that the prescription does not meet the veteran's visual needs, the local prosthetic activity must arrange for another eye examination at the prescribing facility or in the veteran's local area, as appropriate. Annually, a report of the events is to be provided to the Chief of Optometry, Chief of Ophthalmology, or Chief of Eye Clinic.


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