At our office, we’ve noticed that we answer some version of the following questions quite frequently. Dr. Denton herself sat down to write some responses to the most common questions we get to help clear up any confusion. We hope these responses help eliminate some of the common confusions that exist in eye care. However, if you have follow-up questions to these answers please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. We’re here to help you!
Q: Are you accepting new patients?
Q: Can I make an appointment online?
A: Of course! We’re accepting new patients and always welcome back our established patients. You can make an appointment here online anytime or by phone, email, or text message during our normal business hours! We look forward to seeing you!
Q: Where are you located?
A: We are located at 205 E. Council Street, Suite B, Salisbury, North Carolina 28144. This is at the corner of Council and Depot streets in downtown Salisbury.
Q: What are your hours?
Q: Can I get my PD?
A: PD stands for pupillary distance and is just one of many measurements an Optician considers when making your glasses. The pupillary distance is not a required part of any glasses prescription in North Carolina but is instead the responsibility of the person making the glasses (i.e. the Optician, Optometrist, or Ophthalmologist). Often, requests for pupillary distance are made with the intention of purchasing glasses online. When you decide to make glasses online, you are effectively acting as your optician and are thus responsible for these measurements. Unfortunately, due to the frequency with which online glasses do not meet prescription or safety requirements, we do not encourage this practice. You can see our office policy on PD measurements here, including the online glasses package we offer, should you decide to purchase online. You can read North Carolina’s prescription law here.
Q: Can I get my prescription?
A: Of course! We upload your complete eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions along with your exam record to your patient portal on the day of your exam. We can also provide a paper or emailed copy. Email, text, or call us if you need help getting your Rx.
Q: Do I need an appointment to pick out glasses?
A: Nope, you can come in anytime! However, if you want to ensure that an optician will be available to work with you, we can schedule appointments to pick out glasses. That way we can avoid our busiest times so that you receive prompt service and our undivided attention.
Q: Why do I have to pay for another contact lens fit if I like the ones from last year and just want more of those exact ones?
A: During a contact lens evaluation, your doctor will evaluate your prescription, eye health, and fit to ensure that the lenses you are wearing are indeed the healthiest and clearest for your eyes. Many contact-lens related findings during an exam can be potentially harmful to your eyes and occur without symptoms. When we evaluate your eyes for contact lenses, Dr. Denton is looking out for current and future problems that may occur with your contacts. Ultimately, we want your eyes to stay healthy and for you to see clearly your entire life, and this extra attention and care is necessary since you’re wearing a medical device on those eyes of yours every day!
Q: What insurances do you take?
A: We accept medical insurances and vision discount plans. See a list of plans we accept here.
Q: Why do you need my medical insurance?
A: Like any doctor, we bill medical insurance for medical (in our case, eye) problems. Routine vision plans are meant to be used for routine health exams only. We collect both cards when you become our patient so that if you have a medical condition, we already have that information. This makes your life easier if you end up having a medical eye condition or you need our assistance with an eye emergency at a later date. In addition, some medical plans and vision plans are linked, and we must have your medical insurance information in order to find your vision plan information.
Dr. Denton is insistent upon clear communication regarding copays, fees, and plans. If you have questions about which plan is being billed and why, please do not hesitate to ask. You will receive an itemized receipt when you check out that will also clarify which plan was billed.
Q: What’s my co-pay? Oh, I’m not sure who my vision plan is through. Can you look it up?
A:Vision plans can be super confusing, even to us and we deal with them every day! Often, medical insurances offer a vision plan component that is outsourced to a different company. We often must do some digging to find out who your plan is through. We always need to know the primary account holder for the plan, THEIR date of birth and last 4 of THEIR social, as well as your information. This is just how many plans structure their eligibility lookup systems. Calling with AS MUCH information as possible helps us greatly, as we often become detectives searching for your vision plan information!
Q: What does Medicare cover?
A: Here is a list of things Medicare does NOT cover: refraction (this is where the doctor figures out your glasses prescription), screening tests (unless the doctor orders a medical version due to a medical diagnosis), contacts lens fits, glasses, and contacts.
Q: Why do I have to pay for the refraction with Medicare?
A: Medicare has determined that it is the patient’s responsibility to pay for the refraction. Unfortunately, that is Medicare’s determination and our office is just following their guidelines.
Q: Does Medicare cover my glasses?
A: No, they do not. Medicare will contribute to a pair of glasses ONCE in your life, and that is immediately following cataract surgery. However, we are not “durable medical equipment” providers so we do not provide this service. After your cataract surgery, if you want to participate in this part of your benefit plan, we have a local partnership with a location that provides these covered after-cataract Medicare glasses.
Q: Does Medicaid cover adult exams?
A: Medicaid has always covered medical eye exams but NEW in 2019 they are covering routine adult eye exams as well. They also pay for glasses. (Limitations apply)
Q: Does Medicaid pay for contacts?
A: No. There is no contact lens evaluation benefit OR any materials benefit. If you would like to wear contact lenses and have Medicaid, your contact lens fit and the contacts themselves will be completely out of pocket.
There are some exceptions for medically necessary contact lenses, but these are the exception.
Q: Can I upgrade my Medicaid glasses to have that anti-glare the doctor talked about?
A: No, Medicaid in North Carolina does not allow does not allow for upgrades. We offer glasses options in our optical that include anti-glare and are warrantied. Our optical staff would be more than happy to talk to you about those options!
Q: I paid in full when I was there, so why do I have a bill?
A: There are a couple of reasons why this may have happened.
- We messed up and left off a copay or test or some other line item. If this happens (and it does, sometimes) we will call you as soon as we catch the mistake so you are not caught off guard with a bill you don’t expect.
- Your medical insurance/vision plan reviewed your claim and adjusted the amount you owe. This can be because you haven’t yet met your deductible, or something is unexpectedly denied.
We are continually adjusting our procedures and systems to better estimate patient responsibility when you are in the office.
Q: Why is it so much more expensive here? Walmart never cost this much in the past.
A: In terms of the exam, we are very intentional about following your insurance co-pays to a T. We never know what you may have been charged in the past but we follow co-pays and allowances exactly. We are not allowed to charge different rates for our cash paying versus insurance patients, so our examination and contact lens fees are set with that in mind and compared locally and nationally to other offices who offer exams like ours.
When it comes to materials, we do things a lot differently here and we’re very proud of that. For instance, we do not offer the cheapest type of lens material, because it is not shatter resistant and often does not fit in frames well. Our base lens is most other office’s upgrade. Secondly, we strongly believe that everyone deserves anti-glare. Again, this is offered as an “upgrade” in many other places. Dr. D’s lenses in her exam room are treated with anti-glare, and she believes that in today’s world of staring at computer and phone screens, anti-glare is a must. When it comes to progressives, we are intentional about only carrying the designs that give the very best vision, not the “cheapest.” For frames, we have made a conscious decision to stock frames that are not a brand name. Brand name frames often sacrifice quality for the ability to be branded with a “designer” label. Our independent brands are hand made with the highest quality materials and therefore can be “re-lensed” over and over. We’re not trying to sell you a cheap pair that falls apart after a year.
When it comes to glasses, they are NOT all created equally. Ask Dr. D about this anytime, it’s a passion of hers to carry only the highest quality eyewear!
Q: Do I need this extra testing?
A: We offer some extra testing at our office, including a photo of the back of your eye (retina), an ultrasound image of the back of the eye (OCT), and visual field evaluation. They are not covered by insurances typically when done for a screening purpose, but we offer them to you because they give Dr. Denton more information and a better record of your eye health over time. Without these tests, your examination is still very thorough and complete, but with the testing we can watch for subtle changes over time, possibly catching potentially blinding eye conditions before they do damage.
With this testing, Dr. Denton has caught undiagnosed hypertension, undiagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed autoimmune conditions, sickle cell retinopathy, carotid artery stenosis, brain tumors, strokes, macular degeneration, diabetes, benign as well as malignant lesions in the eye and much more!
If Dr. Denton sees a medical condition in your eyes, she will order the more intensive medical version of these tests, so you don’t have to worry that by opting out she won’t get the information she needs.
Q: Can you do that picture thing that replaces dilation?
A: Some offices offer a wide-angle digital retinal photo as a replacement for dilation. Call us old fashioned or blame it on Dr. Denton’s Ocular Disease residency where she saw all manner of eye disease, but we believe in seeing all of our patients dilated every single year. So no, unfortunately, we don’t offer that test at this time.
Q: Can I drive while dilated?
A: The answer to this is *almost* always “yes.” Dilation will make you light-sensitive and makes your vision blurry at near. This resolves in 4-6 hours. For a small number of patients, the light sensitivity makes them feel uncomfortable driving. For another small subset, the dilation does affect distance vision. If you have any concerns about driving while dilated, we encourage you to bring a driver or reschedule a dilation-only appointment for a time when you have a driver or can wait-it-out in our beautiful downtown until you feel safe driving again.
Q: I can’t be dilated today. Can I come back?
A: Yes! Your complete eye exam includes dilation, and we can have you back for that test if it better suits your schedule to do so. The follow-up dilation only appointment is relatively quick, we put the dilating drops in immediately when you arrive, wait 10-15 minutes for them to work and Dr. D looks at the back of your eyes. Anticipate 20-30 minutes for this exam.
Q: Does my child need to be dilated? But they don't like eye drops!
A: Yes, they do! Not only do we want to give them the same thorough evaluation of eye health that we give our adults, but many children’s focusing systems are also so strong that it can be difficult to determine their prescription exactly. Dilation helps relax kids’ focusing systems, ensuring we can detect the full prescription that is present.
Q: Why is my vision weird/blurry/distorted? (immediately after putting on brand new glasses for the very first time)
A: It takes your brain (anyone’s brain!) a little time to adjust to a new prescription. This is especially true if there has been a change, if it is your first-time wearing glasses, or if you’re putting on new progressives for the first time. It often takes up to 2 weeks for patients to fully adjust to their new prescription! Don’t worry, and give it time. HOWEVER, if you’re still having trouble after a couple of weeks with adjusting, we ABSOLUTELY want to know about it!
Q: Can I add anti-glare, blue light protection, or transitions to my current glasses? Why not?”
A: If you got them from us within the last 90 days and have had a change of heart (“oops, I think I want Transitions!”) then YES, we can remake the lenses with the treatments you desire.
If you have older glasses that you’d like upgraded, it is just not possible. Treatments are applied at the lab prior to cutting the lenses to your frame. Blue light and Photochromic capability of lenses are “baked in” or inherent within the material. There’s just no way to add it onto an existing lens.
Q: I lost my glasses. Can I do that warranty thing?
A: Our warranty does not cover loss or stolen glasses, unfortunately. But as long as you can bring us even a small piece of your sad mangled frame, we can replace it according to our warranty.
Q: I got my glasses 2 years ago. Can I do that warranty thing?
A: Our office warranty is for one year from the date of dispense. However, your glasses may have manufacturers coverage depending on what is going on with them. Give us a call if you’re in this situation!
Monday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Monday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM