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    Real-life office policies for ODs


    3. Please review your insurance coverage prior to arriving at the office. There is a difference between medical office visits and vision office visits. We realize this is confusing, but office visits are dictated by your insurance company, not our office. Vision insurance covers the eye exam required to determine your spectacle or contact lens prescription. Medical visits include those where you present our staff with a problem unrelated to your spectacle or contact lens vision. Glaucoma, infections, eye pain, eye turns, lazy eye, eye lid problems, and injuries will be billed to your medical insurance.

    • Your vision care plan cannot be billed for repeated visits when you sleep in your contact lenses—no matter how you argue that it should.

    • Although it makes sense to you and us, your headaches will not get your eye exam reimbursed by your medical insurance. Medical insurance companies do not think that headaches warrant a comprehensive eye exam. We agree with you that this is preposterous.

    • In most cases, an eye turn (strabismus) and/or lazy eye (amblyopia) will be medical diagnoses.

    Related: Practicing cultural sensitivity in the office

    4. Your copay will be collected upon checking in for your appointment. You do not go to the grocery store with no money, so please do not come to our office without a method of payment.

    5. We apologize for our office paperwork. Current meaningful use guidelines require this information. This information includes:

    • Weight

    • Height

    • Smoking history

    • Sexual history

    • Medications

    • Allergies

    • Birth order

    We do not know why, either.

    6. When in doubt, put your face in the machine. Do not blink, squint, or cough. Stare at the light until we instruct you to relax (which is code for taking your face out of the machine).

    7. When measuring your child for glasses, we can tell if he/she is lying. We have the power.

    Related: 5 ways to fire a patient

    8. If your child breaks the equipment or covers our lenses with fingerprints, you will be billed three times the amount of replacement or repair. This is done to cover our costs and ensure you never, ever return.

    9. We will ask you to compare two views of the eye chart. Please do not read every letter on the eye chart every time we ask you to read the letters. Note: We went to school for four years to come up with the perfect way to ask you, “Which do you prefer, one (click) or two (click)” and will repeat each comparison only twice. Refraction time is limited to five minutes. For each minute over five minutes of refraction, you will be assessed a fee of $10 per minute. This fee is not covered by your principal vision insurance.

    10. We do not use the air puff test. We promise.

    Tracy Schroeder Swartz, OD, MS, FAAO
    Tracy Schroeder Swartz currently practices at Madison Eye Care Center in Madison, Alabama. She serves as Education Chair for the ...


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