Frequently Asked Questions: Wal-Mart Vision Centers
Q. Are you employed by Wal-Mart?
A. No. I am an independent doctor of optometry who chose to locate both my practices inside Wal-Mart. I practice here to allow my patients easier, more convenient access to eye care. I make no income from selling glasses or contacts, only from providing comprehensive exams and treating ocular disease.
Q. How can your fees be lower than other eye doctors? Will I receive a quality exam?
A. I can offer lower fees to DuBois and St Marys patients. Because we are inside Wal-Mart, our overhead is lower. 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.
Q. How much does an eye exam cost?
A. A routine eye health and vision exam in our DuBois Vision Center is $65. A Medical Eye Exam for new patients is $140 and for previous patients $115. A contact lens exam is $100.
Q. What is a medical eye exam and why are there different prices?
A. A medical eye exam is billed to major medical insurance (Blue Cross, UPMC, medicare, etc). It requires a medical diagnosis (dry eyes, eye infections, diabetes, etc) and sometimes additional testing is done during the exam. A routine exam is when someone just wants their vision checked for glasses and/or contacts. The price for the medical exam is based on what he major medical companies charge for an exam.
Q. Will I receive a written prescription after the exam? Will the prescription be accepted anywhere?
A. We supply a written prescription to all our patients. You can use this at any optical in the U.S. The contact lens prescription is good for one year and the glasses prescription for two years according to PA state laws.
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.
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 inform our staff about your insurance so that we can confirm your coverage.
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.
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 and do not have a replacement, come into the office right away and we will provide, at no charge, a lens that you can wear until your new supply arrives.