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What Happens in an Exam?

2There are two parts to an exam. The "vision" part is where Dr. Atkins determines if you need glasses. This is the part that corrects your vision with corrective eyewear, if needed (glasses or contact lenses). Most people think this is all that Dr. Atkins does during your exam. However, he does far more than that!

Did you know that most of your exam is "medical"?

Because Dr. Atkins is a doctor, he also performs a "medical" exam where he checks the physical health of your eye. This has nothing to do with correcting your vision. Dr. Atkins looks into your eyes to see if there are any problems. Most eye problems can only be detected during this part of the exam. You may not even experience pain or a change in vision and that is why this part of the exam is so important.

Photo of eye showing extreme bleeding

Dr. Atkins checks to see if the blood vessels are healthy, if the retina and macula are healthy. He checks to see if cataracts are forming and he checks for glaucoma. If you have had cataract surgery, he even checks the placement of your implants. There are many, many other eye conditions that he diagnoses and treats. Dr. Atkins can prescribe medications and can monitor any changes. These are the same things that an ophthalmologist looks for in an exam. In fact, the only difference between a specialist (ophthalmologist) and Dr. Atkins is that an ophthalmologist performs surgery.

This is just part of the standard vision exam. However, if you have special medical considerations, or are over 65 years old, then our exam prices change to reflect the additional services and we bill your medical insurance. Special medical conditions can affect your eyes; therefore, even more attention is given to the eye. Of course our body is continually aging. However, at about the point of 65 year of age, special attention is given to cataracts and glaucoma (among other things). This part of the exam is billed out to Medicare, or your Medicare equivalent.

In the November 15, 2010 issue of Review of Optometry, in an article entitled "Eye to Eye with Dr. Oliver Sacks," Dr. Sacks states in his book "what is damnable is that my 'annual' eye exam was somehow missed two years in succession, so I went thirty-two months without an eye exam. This delay could perhaps cost me my vision, even my life.from "The Mind's Eye." (Dr. Sacks is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center and best selling author of many neurological case histories . . . ." quoted from "Eye to Eye with Dr. Oliver Sacks." Dr. Sacks developed an ocular tumor (a tumor in the eye) that could have been found earlier if he had had yearly exams. It is obvious that Dr. Sacks was not aware that there was a tumor developing. This is a prime example of why yearly exams are so important, even if you think everything is fine.

Dr. Atkins also treats eye infections and inflammations. He removes foreign bodies (metal pieces, etc.) that you may get in your eye. All of these medical conditions are billed to your medical insurance, just as a specialist would bill your insurance. Dr. Atkins has the special equipment needed for these conditions wherein your family doctor does not.

Billing your insurance for medical procedures

Medical plans are constantly changing. As as April 2018, we are able to accept most medical plans, with the exception of Priority Health HMO.  Additionally if you carry Blue Care Network HMO, we will have to get an authorization from your primary care physician. 

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