Appointment and Eye Examination FAQs
New patient eye exams, when not covered by insurance, are $195 and include a comprehensive evaluation. Should the doctor discover a need for further evaluation, it will be offered on an optional per-test basis. Once you’ve become an established patient, eye exams (when not covered by insurance) are only $170.
While we occasionally have openings due to a patient rescheduling, our eye doctors’ appointment schedules are generally filled 1 to 3 weeks in advance. If you are in need of a same-day appointment, please contact our receptionist at 301-670-1212 to see if any of our doctors have an open slot available. We can also place your name on our special list of patients to notify in the event that another patient reschedules.
As you might imagine, this can vary widely. Our receptionists are available at 301-670-1212 and are happy to provide you with options to fit your schedule and your specific needs.
We strive to offer convenient appointment times and do so on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Dilation is the act of expanding the pupil (by applying special eye drops) in order to give the doctor a better view. Dilation is something a doctor may choose to do during your exam. There is no charge for this service. Should the doctor determine there is a need to use special equipment to evaluate a dilated eye, there is a separate fee for that examination, which occurs in conjunction with the dilation. In other words, there is no separate fee for dilation, but there may be fees for subsequent testing that occurs while an eye is dilated.
Please note: while we accept most insurance plans, certain doctors participate only in certain plans. If the doctor you choose to see does not participate in your plan, you are welcome to see another doctor or receive care as a self pay patient regardless of your insurance coverage. We encourage you to call our billing manager to learn about other means of financing your eye and vision care or to gain a clearer understanding of what benefits your insurer allows.
What Insurance Can I Use for my Visit?
Many of our patients present to our office with a vision plan to cover their annual eye examination. Often vision plans are “carved out” of your medical insurance. For those of you who may not participate in a vision plan, you may schedule your visit under your medical insurance. What is the difference?
Vision insurance may offer to pay for the majority of the cost of a routine eye exam when blurry vision, eyestrain or headaches may be the problem. A routine eye exam is when your doctor checks your vision, analyzes your eyeglass / contact lens prescription and evaluates your entire eye health. Vision insurance may also cover some of the cost of materials, such as glasses or contact lenses. The frequency of your vision insurance coverage is typically limited to one exam per year.
If during your routine eye examination the doctor has concerns about potential medical conditions now or down the road, he/she may ask you to follow up for a medical office visit, for which you may use your medical insurance. Medical conditions can be anything from dry eyes to sight-threatening eye disease. Medical insurance is used when your doctor needs to perform more testing, special diagnostic procedures, or a follow-up visit to monitor a condition. Medical insurance will be submitted for as many visits and follow-ups as required for medical causes of blurry vision such as dry eyes, cataracts and glaucoma.
Always accepting patients from Vision Service Plan – VSP providers for 30 years.
- Alliance PPO
- CareFirst Blue Cross – Blue Shield
- Federal Blue Cross – Blue Shield Discount Plan
- Optimum Choice
- Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS)
- United Healthcare
- Vision Service Plan (VSP)
Vision benefits reimburse the medical practice for care related to the refractive condition, or vision of the eye. We differentiate vision visits for glasses and contact lenses from “health” visits that involve a medical condition that requires medical treatment. Vision benefits cover vision-related services. In the event your doctor uncovers a health problem at the root of the vision – or other –problem, vision benefits do not cover continuing care.
While we participate with most medical insurances, as you might imagine there are some that simply aren’t the best fit for our patients and/or for our practice.
Many of our patients present to our office with a vision plan to cover their annual eye examination. Often, vision plans are “carved out” of your medical insurance. If you do not participate in a vision plan, you may schedule your visit under your medical insurance. What’s the difference? Vision insurance may offer to pay for the majority of the cost of a routine eye exam when blurry vision, eyestrain or headaches may be the issue. A routine eye exam involves your doctor checking your vision, analyzing your eyeglass / contact lens prescription and evaluating your complete eye health. Vision insurance may also cover some of the cost of materials, such as glasses or contact lenses.
Your vision insurance coverage is typically limited to one exam per year. If, during your routine eye examination, the doctor has present or future concerns about potential medical conditions, he/she may ask you to follow up for a medical office visit, for which you may use your medical insurance. Medical conditions may range in anything from dry eyes to sight-threatening eye disease. Medical insurance is used when your doctor needs to perform more testing, administer special diagnostic procedures, or a follow-up visit to monitor a condition. Medical insurance covers as many visits and follow-ups as required for medical causes of blurry vision such as dry eyes, cataracts and glaucoma.
Always accepting patients from Vision Service Plan – VSP providers for 30 years.
Contact Lens FAQs
Comprehensive eye exams include tests that determine general eye health and refractive status (i.e. eyeglass needs). Contact lenses are medical devices that may have certain health implications if not prescribed correctly. Your Doctor must invest additional time and expertise to determine which contact lenses are in a patient’s best vision and health interest and, as you might imagine, there are additional fees for this service. Note: Sometimes this requires additional follow-up visits as well.
Contact lenses come in “contact” with the delicate surface of your eye and, over time, can change the status of the health of your eye. Contact lenses are also considered “Medical Devices” as they are directly placed on your eye; this means an evaluation needs to be done every year even if the prescription does not change. Most health conditions that contact lenses can be responsible for causing don’t result in obvious symptoms like pain or vision change – only your doctor can determine if contact lens wear continues to be safe with your most recent prescription. Most experienced doctors agree that one year is a suitable amount of time between checkups to ensure your eye health, given you are relatively symptom-free.
The main reason is that contact lenses are medical devices that come in contact with the delicate surface of your eye. Consequently, determining your contact lens prescription requires a more comprehensive approach and specialized expertise. Contact lenses require many other numbers that together qualify as a prescription.Contact lenses have information on the refractive status, the curve on the front and back of the lens, the diameter, the thickness, the material and possibly other parameters. Eyeglasses, on the other hand, have information on the refractive status of the eye alone (the “numbers”).
Standard contact lens therapy involves correcting vision for one standard challenge such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Contact lens therapy that requires treating astigmatism, bifocal vision or other special conditions requires deeper knowledge and more time invested on your behalf. This level of therapy is deemed “premium” and, subsequently, results in a different fee level.
OrthoK is a premium therapy much like LASIK or other cosmetic procedures. The treatment with OrthoK takes much more time and expertise than standard contact lens therapy. Additionally, the process involves several visits, exchange of materials and patient education. As a result, your monetary investment is commensurate with the amount of time, expertise and work the doctor puts into the entire process.
Each brand of contact lens has its own related price, but generally our prices are matched to what you might find anywhere. We will even compare prices online for you when upon checkout to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. We also offer value-added services for patients who purchase their year’s supply from our office, such as $75 off of non-prescription sun-wear like Maui Jim, Ray-Ban, Persol and other recommended brands. We also provide services like easy box return and/or exchange, and free trial lenses when you’re running low (for patients who purchase their year’s supply from us).
Not necessarily. In fact, it might cost you more … in ways you never imagined. We keep our retail prices similar to online retailers. When you consider our value-added services designed specifically to WOW you, our prices are a significantly better value than any online retailer can provide.
We offer a patient care package with an annual supply of soft contact lenses which includes:
- FREEreplacements if you rip, tear or even lose a lens.
- FREE follow-up visits related to your contact lenses within 6 months
- FREE SHIPPING to home, office or school
- FREE exchanges if your prescription changes within the year
- MONEY-BACK rebates that apply, we do the legwork for you
- SAVE $50 on your favorite pair of non-prescription sunglasses*
* offer excludes any other sale/promo/insurance or package deals
So while our contact lens prices are similar to – and often less, than – those you found online, you’ll save approximately $10 on shipping, up to $100 with our rebate, earn $50 toward the purchase of non-prescription eyewear, the hard benefits add up!
Eyeglass and Optical FAQs
These expirations are determined by the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and are based on the recommendations of a panel of Doctors who make recommendations on medical device usage. While these are the recommendations of the State, a Doctor can set their own recommendations if they feel it is in the best interest of their patient’s health.
There is a broad range of costs for eyewear depending on the options you choose. The most basic eyewear with a simple frame and lens can be as low as $79, while a top-of-the line designer frame (such as Gucci) with high definition optics can cost several hundred dollars. We offer options for every budget, and some of these options are unavailable elsewhere. We respect your desire to discover your best value, and we invite you to discuss your budget with our opticians. We have years of experience maximizing insurance benefits and medical flexible spending, and will work within your budget. Ask about our second pair discounts as well!
These types of deals can sometimes work favorably for well-reviewed restaurants or interesting new adventures, but when it comes to your personal healthcare…
As you might imagine, if we were an inexperienced eye care provider or had a less-than-stellar reputation, we might require the assistance of 3rd party promotional deals like these. We recommend always checking the online patient reviews (using sites like Google and Yelp) before possibly falling prey to gimmicky offers. More often than not, you’ll quickly discover — based on what other patients are saying about their own experiences — why other merchants sometimes resort to such loss-leading promotions.
Absolutely. After receiving an eye exam you are entitled to your eyeglass prescription for a period of 2 years and we are happy to provide it. We respect your desire to shop and put up no barriers to you receiving your prescription. We do, however, provide some warnings for those shopping around. We regularly find ourselves consulting on poorly made and poorly fitted glasses, as well as poorly recommended lens options that don’t meet the patients specific work needs.
First, as in any market, you can find products and services at a range of prices, and – as you might imagine – you tend to get what you pay for. However, when it comes to precision medical devices like eyeglasses, performance is directly related to three things (1) Optics (2) Measuring and fitting experience of the Optician and (3) Lens choice (i.e. customization for your specific needs). Your glasses will work best if they are made correctly, which requires customization, and being made from materials that don’t impede the transmission of light from the objects you choose to focus upon. Lenses with suitable optics are not the least expensive lenses around, and exceptional opticians can be hard to find. Sometimes there are unexpected costs when purchasing cheap (often inferior) optical products, such as poorly made lenses, poorly fit frames and poor lens choices that don’t necessarily match your specific needs. This can result in your need to return (repeatedly) to the merchant and lead to a great deal of avoidable frustration.
At Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, we sell only lenses with the best optics and frames fit by veteran opticians. We guarantee your glasses will be perfect and, while not the least expensive, we guarantee you will feel you received the best value in terms of products and service.