Frequently Asked Patient Questions
Q. Are you employed by Wal-Mart?
A. No. I am an independent Doctor of Optometry who chose to locate my practice at Wal-Mart, which is my landlord. I make no income from selling glasses or contacts, only from providing comprehensive exams and treating ocular disease.
Q. How can your fees be so much lower than other eye doctors? Will I receive a quality exam?
A. We provide a thorough exam with the most advanced diagnostic instruments to evaluate your vision needs and uncover any other ocular conditions that may go undetected, if not regularly monitored. I received my doctor’s degree after the same four years of training that all optometrists receive and was licensed to practice by the state after extensive testing. We can offer lower fees because our overhead is lower operating here, and we are able to keep busy seeing patients all day because of our convenient location.
Q. How much does an eye exam cost?
A. Routine eye exams are $60. Contact lens fittings (depending on the modality) are an additional $45 to $65. Medical eye exams (for diabetes, emergency visits etc.) start at $80.
Q. Will I receive a written prescription after the exam? Will the prescription be accepted anywhere?
A. We will supply a written prescription at the conclusion of your eye exam. The prescription is valid anywhere in the U.S.
Q. I had an eye exam a little over a year ago, and my vision seems fine. Why do I need another exam?
A. We think it is important that all of our patients receive an annual eye exam. Your vision can change over a 12-month period. A regular check-up enables us to uncover any sight-threatening ocular conditions that can develop, unnoticed by you. In Pennsylvania, a contact lens Rx is valid for only 12 months.
Q. Will you accept my insurance plan?
A. For the convenience of our patients, we accept most vision plans for whatever portion of the examination cost the plan covers. Please tell us your insurance company so that we can confirm your coverage. If you would like us to bill your insurance on your behalf, you MUST present your insurance card at EACH visit.
Q. Why does it cost more for a contact lens exam?
A. We do additional testing with contact lens patients to measure the curvature of the eye to ensure that we prescribe the lens that optimizes fit and comfort. We also do an evaluation after you have worn the lenses for a given period to make sure there are no complications. It is important to have a yearly corneal evaluation if you wear contact lenses.
Q. Aren’t all contact lenses the same? Shouldn’t I just buy the cheapest ones?
A. They are not all the same. The contact lens companies spend millions of dollars every year to improve their lenses and regularly introduce new and better technology. You wouldn’t want to buy a five-year-old computer. For the same reason, it’s best to keep current and wear the latest and best lenses. Right now the companies are introducing new lens materials that allow much more oxygen to pass through, making them healthier to wear and enabling people to wear them in comfort for 14 hours or more per day. We recommend these new materials to most patients, even though they cost a little more, because we think they are better for their eyes in the long run.
Q. Will my contact lens prescription allow me to buy any brand of lens I want?
A. Your prescription is for a specific brand of contact lens that my examination and experience tell me is best for your vision and ocular health.
Q. Is it safe to wear a contact lens with a small tear in it?
A. A torn lens can damage the delicate outer tissue of your eye and lead to serious infection. If you tear a lens, discard it and replace it with another lens.
Q. Does Wal-Mart make high quality glasses? Because they cost less, will they last as long and let me see well?
A. Wal-Mart will custom-make your glasses in one of its six ultra-modern optical labs, using top quality lens and frame materials, which the company constantly seeks to upgrade. Because of Wal-Mart’s buying power and operating efficiency, you receive top-quality glasses at an everyday low price.
Q. Do I need to make an appointment or can I just walk-in and see the doctor?
A. Our doctors prefer that you make an appointment so that they can set aside time devoted only to you. If there is time available in their schedule when you walk-in, they will gladly see you but patients with appointments will always be a priority. We cannot guarantee that you will be seen that day without an appointment. Of course, any ocular emergency will be accommodated on the same day.
Q. I am a diabetic and my doctor wants me to get a dilated eye exam. Can I come to Scott Family Eye Care for this?
A. YES! Our doctors can do your diabetic dilated fundus exams. We coordinate with your endocrinologist and Primary Care Providers to exchange information needed for your medical records. Expect to be blurry for 4-6 hours after being dilated. Your MEDICAL insurance will be billed for this visit since it is NOT a routine eye exam. Unfortunately, you cannot do a diabetic eye exam and a contact lens evaluation on the same day. Please be sure to bring your MAJOR MEDICAL insurance card with you on the day of your diabetic eye exam and inform the receptionist that you are a diabetic when you call to schedule your appointment.
Q. My 16 year old has his driver’s license. Can he bring himself to his eye appointment?
A. All minors (under the age of 18 years old) MUST be accompanied by an adult while in our doctor’s office.
Q. What should I do if I am running late for my appointment or find that I cannot make it in for my scheduled exam?
A. We schedule appointments every 20 minutes in our office. If you are more than 10 minutes late for your exam, we will ask you to reschedule out of courtesy for our other patients. If you cannot make it in for your appointment, please call our office ASAP to cancel or reschedule.
Q. I can’t find my insurance card but I know my ID numbers. Can I still use my insurance for the exam?
A. No. We will gladly bill your insurance for your exam, but you MUST present your card at each visit. You can call your carrier and they will send you a replacement card OR you can visit your insurance plan’s patient portal and print a copy of your card to bring in.
Q. I have a large family and would like to bring all of my children in at one time for eye exams. Can you accommodate us?
A. Possibly! If you are new to our office, we only schedule TWO family members per day. Once you have been an established patient with no history of no-show visits, we will gladly schedule your whole family on one day.
Q. My glasses are broke and I just ripped my last contact lens…Can I get a trial pair of lenses to hold me until I can order my supply?
A. No. Once our doctors have finalized your contact lens prescription and have given you a copy of your Rx, it now becomes YOUR responsibility to keep yourself supplied with contacts. We urge every contact lens patient to also have a good pair of backup spectacles in case of an emergency. Our trial supply is limited and our doctors will only give out trials to patients who are actively being fit in lenses and whose prescriptions are not finalized. Please note: Wal-Mart opticians are NOT licensed to give out contact lens trials.
Q. How long do I have to fill my glasses prescription?
A. By federal law, your eyeglass Rx is good for 2 years. You can fill it as many times as you want to during that time period. However, this does NOT guarantee that your prescription hasn’t changed. Most doctors will do a spectacle re-check at no charge within 60 days of prescribing your Rx. Most opticians/optical dispensers will re-make your glasses at no charge within 60 days as well if there has been a change. If you experience problems seeing with your new glasses that have been filled using an older Rx, you will have to be re-examined and most likely charged.
Q. What is the difference between my deductible, co-insurance and co-pay amounts? Does your office collect these fees?
A. Your deductible is the amount of money you pay for health care services BEFORE your insurance begins to pay. In our office, we attempt to contact your insurance company prior to your exam to determine if your deductible has been met. If it has not been met, you will be responsible for that amount on the day of your exam. Your co-insurance is the amount of YOUR share of every claim after your deductible has been met. This is usually a percentage of the exam fee. For example, if the fee for your medical office visit is $70 and you have a 20% co-insurance policy, you would be responsible for $14. Your co-pay is how much you pay at your doctor’s visit EVERY TIME you see the doctor. This amount applies to the original exam and any subsequent follow-ups (if needed.) None of the above fees can be waived by our doctors or staff.
Most of these fees only apply to medical eye exams, not routine vision exams. Some vision care plans DO have co-pays involved and we will inform you of that amount prior to your exam. Some plans DO NOT have a contact lens evaluation allowance–This means that if you want a contact lens prescription, you will be responsible for the contact lens fitting fee on the day of your exam.
Q. I want to buy my glasses online. Will the doctor give me my PD measurement?
A. Yes! Your PD (pupillary distance) is a measurement used by opticians to make your eyeglass lenses. It is the distance between the center of your right pupil and the center of your left pupil (in millimeters). This critical measurement is usually taken electronically by the opticians at Walmart when you purchase your spectacles in our Vision Center. Your PD measurement is NOT a part of your eye exam but it may be generated by our autorefractor and printed on your prescription. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of any generated measurements. It’s best to have an optician measure you properly before ordering glasses.
Q. I lost my prescription. Can I get another copy?
A. Yes! As long as you have an active Rx on file, you may obtain additional copies. The doctor will hand you a copy of your prescription of your finalized Rx at the conclusion of the exam. PLEASE NOTE: The doctor must sign all printed prescriptions. If the doctor is not in the office on the day of your request, you will be unable to get your copy until the next business day. Walmart associates CANNOT access the doctor’s records to print copies. Due to HIPAA restrictions, we cannot email your Rx.
Q. I totally forgot about my scheduled appointment. Is there a no-show fee?
A. At this time, NO. You are designated as a “no-show” in our computer if you fail to cancel an appointment and do not show at the scheduled time. After TWO no-shows, you will not be allowed to schedule with our doctors. You may only attempt to walk-in for an appointment. Any family who no-shows will no longer be allowed to schedule a family appointment (3 or more members.)