You Ask — We Answer
Have a particular question you want to ask? At Exchange Place Eye Associates LLC, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. There’s no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to your health. Check out the answers to some our patients’ frequently asked questions below. If there’s something on your mind that isn’t mentioned here, please get in touch for more information.
Why are all patients asked to fill out online forms before their visit?
Ever waited beyond 30 minutes in a doctor’s office? Our average wait time is under 3 to 5 minutes. No more printing out forms to fill at home. You can send your forms directly to our HIPAA compliant secured server, which is streamlined into your electronic record. Please fill out office forms prior to your visit HERE!
At Exchange Place Eye Associates, we specialize in prompt and thorough eye-care. With the exception of urgent eye emergencies, we never overbook!
In a rush and need an abbreviated visit? No problem! Please let us know when you check-in. Likewise, should your case be unique and you may need more attention, please communicate this with us when you’re making the appointment. We custom tailor management and treatment based on each patient’s individual needs.
Why is insurance eligibility and verification necessary for appointment confirmation?
Unless it’s your birthday, you probably don’t like surprises! We do our best to verify and check eligibility prior to your visit, including copays, co-insurances, and/or deductibles (if applicable) especially for appointment scheduled during our peak appointment slots on Saturday, holidays, and late evenings. We find that a number of our patients appreciate the extra effort, which reduces surprise bills and frustration at our office.
If we were unable to verify your insurance eligibility during weekends or peak hours, we will hold our usual and customary fee(s) as a deposit until your insurance reimburses us for the rendered service(s).
NOTE: Please be aware that we will not back-date insurance claims if you did not supply us pertinent vision plan and/or medical insurance information at the time of service.
What is the difference between a vision plan and a medical insurance?
This is a very common question especially during open enrollment.
Strictly speaking, vision plans are not real "insurance." Rather they are similar to "prepaid" plans where they are primarily funded through regular payroll deductions. Your vision plan often covers routine exams, contact lens evaluation, and some eyewear or contact lens materials (subject to additional copays and out of pocket expenses). Vision plans often function as the "middle man" that assume little financial risk, if any, but helps connect patients with eye doctors.
Medical insurance provides substantial services and assumes risk in the event of an accident, injury, or illness. As it pertains to eye care, they cover management of medical eye conditions and at times even cover "routine" eye examinations (subject to copays, deductibles, and coinsurances). Though exceptions do exist, most medical insurances do not cover for contact lens evaluation nor eyewear/ contact lens materials due to their cosmetic nature.
Why is there a $25 rescheduling fee?
To meet the growing demand of the community, the policy is meant to free up appointment slots for those that really need our care. Since we don't have a policy of overbooking, it’s even more crucial that each slot is reserved for patients who can commit to their confirmed time slot.
The policy only applies to cancellations within 24 hours of confirmed appointments.
Will my pupils be dilated?
An important part of a routine eye exam is the dilated retinal evaluation. This involves putting eye drops in the eye to evaluate the health of the back of the eye, which may result in temporary heightened sensitivity to light especially when outdoors, along with blurred vision more so at near than in the distance. The effects while varying among individuals last anywhere from 3-6 hours. It’s not recommended you drive or operate heavy machinery, and please exercise caution if or when vision is affected.
Should you consent to be dilated, please bring a pair of sunglasses especially on a sunny day. If you cannot be dilated due to pregnancy or breastfeeding status, and/or the need to immediately return back to work, please discuss this with the doctor during the evaluation.
"I'm fine with my contacts" - do I need another evaluation?
Yes. Contact lenses in the United States are regulated by the FDA because they are medical devices that come into direct contact with living tissue (your cornea). As such, they need to be re-evaluated prior to a release of a contact lens prescription.
Asymptomatic conditions including but not limited to corneal neovascularization, corneal hypoxia, or corneal infiltrates can develop over time from ill-fitted contact lenses and problems can be spotted early on prior to any corneal damage or vision loss. Lenses that have worked well in prior years/decades may not necessarily be suitable in current and future years.
Contact lens prescriptions are more than just numbers. For example, the base curve (BC) and the fit of the lens matters. The relationship of the contact lens with the cornea can change over time. Should the lens be too tightly fitting, poor tear exchange occurs and can make the eye more prone to disease. Should the lens have excessive movement, it may compromise vision or worse, induce irritation and the formation of giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC).
The type of lens material, diameter of the lens, and the ocular surface such as dry eye and ocular allergies all can further complicate successful contact lens wear, and warrants further discussion.
For reference and according to the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs:
"Federal regulations stipulate a contact lens prescription is valid for one year. Once the optometrist has arrived at your final contact lens prescription, your optometrist can indicate an expiration date based upon your eye health status on the written prescription. That expiration date may be less than one year."