Welcome to Raleigh Ophthalmology. We are honored that you have chosen us as your Eye Care Provider. Our goal is to provide the highest quality care for all our patients in a timely and respectful manner. We have prepared answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions by our patients about eye care services.
Q: How long should I plan to be at Raleigh Ophthalmology for my appointment?
A: Plan on spending 1-1.5 hours at our facility if you are having a routine eye exam. Many exams require dilation and may extend your visit at our office. Sub-specialty exams (Retina, Cataract/Cornea, Oculoplastic, and Glaucoma) require extensive examinations and often require additional testing, in addition to potential surgical scheduling therefore, please allow 2-3 hours for these exams.
Q: Will I be dilated? Will I need to bring a driver?
A: Whether you will be dilated for an exam depends on which type of exam is scheduled. Comprehensive or annual exams are always dilated, as are most initial consult exams which evaluate your complete eye health. Additionally, some testing requires you to be dilated to be performed effectively. If dilation for an exam is required by your provider, please note that your near vision will be blurry for approximately 4-6 hours afterward, therefore, you may want to plan to bring a driver. For in-office eye procedures performed during a visit, please plan to bring a driver for additional safety precautions.
Q: Which insurances do you accept?
A: Our office participates in most insurance plans. Please check your carrier for the specifics of your plan. We do NOT participate with any vision insurance carriers.
Q: What is refraction? Do I need glasses or a contact lens exam?
A: “Refraction” is the process of determining your eyeglass prescription. Medicare and most insurance companies do not cover this service. Upon check-in, please let us know if you want a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Depending on your coverage, you may be required to pay the fees at check-in.
Contact lenses require an additional amount of time depending on the complexity of the lens or fitting. Fees for this service are referred to as “Contact Lens Fitting Fees”. The fee includes determining the best type of lens for your eyes, training you how to insert, remove, handle and care for the lenses. Very often additional visits are required in the fitting process especially for new wearers. These additional visits are covered by the total fitting fee. The fitting fee does not cover the actual lenses.
PLEASE NOTE: Glasses and contact lens prescriptions must be filled within 60-days of the exam to ensure the accuracy of the prescription and are valid for one calendar year.
Q: What is the difference between a Vision exam and a Medical eye exam?
A: A routine vision exam is defined by insurance companies as a visit to determine if vision can be improved with glasses or contact lenses and screens for eye diseases. A “routine” eye exam checks for but finds no medical problems. Some insurance companies allow for an annual eye exam. We will submit a claim to your insurance company. If you do not have routine vision coverage or have a separate vision plan (i.e., Superior, VSP, Davis), you will be responsible for the visit fees plus the refraction fee of $50.00. By law, Medicare does not pay for routine vision exams. Medicare beneficiaries may choose to have an “annual exam,” but they are responsible for payment.
A: A medical eye exam is typically covered by medical insurance and includes the diagnosis and treatment of eye-related medical diseases and disorders, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, corneal disease, eye infections, dry eye, etc. If there is a medical diagnosis, we are required to submit the examination to the medical, not vision, insurance. Believe it or not, a comprehensive examination that is medical in nature does not include the refraction. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and the need for reading glasses are not considered a medical diagnosis. Medical insurance plans will deny this portion of the examination. If separate refraction is done during your eye exam, you will be responsible for the Specialist copay and an additional refraction fee of $50.00.
Q: Do I need to bring my previous medical records with me?
A: Please request your referring Eye Care provider fax or send medical records to our office before your appointment date. If we are unable to obtain copies from your previous provider, you will be asked to sign a medical records release for Raleigh Ophthalmology to request them for you.
Q: How do I access my records through the Patient Portal?
A: We will be transitioning to a new patient portal in June 2019 and anticipate significantly improved functionality and navigation. We will update instructions to access the new portal at this time, so please stay tuned for this exciting upgrade!
Q: How do I request prescription refills?
A: Please be sure to ask for prescription refills during your office visit with us, do not wait until your medication runs out. The quickest way to request refills is to have your pharmacy submit a “Refill Request” form via fax to our office at 919-782-1680. We will notify your pharmacy once the prescription is approved. Please allow up to 2 business days to process refill requests. The pharmacy will call you once your prescription has been filled. Some medications require prior authorization. Depending on your insurance this process may involve several steps and additional time to process. We are familiar with this process and will handle the prior authorization as quickly as possible. Neither the pharmacy nor the physician can guarantee that your insurance company will approve the medication. Please check with your pharmacy or your insurance company for updates.
Q: How long will it take to complete DMV and Disability forms?
A: Completion of forms requires administrative time to gather data, physician time to review, and time to complete the form. Paperwork processed by our office will take 5 business days (from date received) to complete and mail. Paperwork cannot be processed unless you have completed all portions of the document that are the responsibility of the patient. We ask that patients schedule exams specifically for completion of DMV forms, as far in advance as possible to the due date. We may need to perform additional testing during this visit.
Patients are expected to provide the necessary forms to be completed and it is the patient’s responsibility to submit the paperwork to the Department of Transportation. Disability forms will be completed based on clinical findings however, the ultimate decision for disability is determined by the disability agency, not the physician.
Q: What should I do if I need to cancel an appointment?
A: If you need to cancel an existing appointment, please do so at least 24 hours before the appointment date. Failure to give a 24-hour notice for a cancelation will incur a $25 fee.