Appendix J: Vision Services

Revision 19-1, Effective March 1, 2019

Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses

Required Qualifications

An ophthalmologist must be licensed by the Texas Medical Board.

An optometrist must be licensed by the Texas Optometry Board.

Purchasing Procedures

Once a recommendation and a prescription from a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist has been received, purchase lenses and frames according to the following procedures:

  • Single vision, bifocal, and trifocal glasses or contact lenses may be purchased using available funds.
  • Lenses may have tint and/or be impact-resistant, if prescribed.
  • Frames must be the least expensive serviceable type available. The consumer may supplement the additional cost for frames, if the cost of the consumer’s choice exceeds the minimum cost for a functional frame.
  • Compare the cost of contact lenses with the cost of glasses before purchasing contact lenses, to determine the most economical way to meet the required need for the consumer.

Low Vision Services

Low vision services may be provided to eligible individuals whose visual acuity cannot be improved by conventional prescription eyeglasses. Low vision evaluations should be provided by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist who has received specialized low vision training.

Optical Low Vision Devices

Optical low vision devices are complex optical aids designed by a specialist for a specific consumer, based on the consumer’s functional vision and optical prescription.

Examples of optical low vision devices include highly sophisticated bioptic, telemicroscopic, and reversed telescopic optical systems, as well as other single or compound optic systems.

Non-Optical Low Vision Devices

Individuals with low vision may benefit from low-tech adaptations, such as modifications in lighting or the use of contrasting colors (such as using a place mat that contrasts in color with the plate) as well as non-optical low vision devices.

Non-optical low vision devices include the following:

  • Readily available independent living aids such as 20/20 pens and bold line paper
  • Video magnification devices, including closed circuit television (CCTV)
  • Non-prescription optical devices, such as hand-held magnifiers and telescopes

A technology evaluation or a low vision specialist recommendation is required for technology purchases of $2,500 or more (for example, some video magnification systems (CCTV) and stand-alone scanners).

To purchase a non-optical low vision device:

  1. obtain the price for each item; and
  2. consider the needs for accessibility, training, and installation;
  3. document the specific information about the item, such as the:
  • manufacturer;
  • model number or version; and
  • monitor size; and
  1. purchase as needed.