Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for considering Eye Clinic of Wisconsin for your vision care. We look forward to working with you and are grateful for your trust. Please find answers to common questions about our Clinic, Cataract, ecLASIK, and Hearing Services below.
ABOUT OUR CLINIC
How long does my eye exam take?
A typical eye exam take 1-1.5 hours because we do a comprehensive, dilated eye exam. This includes: dilation, tonometry (a measurement of eye pressure), visual field test (a measurement of peripheral vision) and visual acuity test (a measurement of distance vision).
What is dilation?
Drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. Once the drops are given, it can take up to 20 minutes for your eyes to fully dilate. Once your pupils are dilated, our physicians use a special magnifying lens to examine your retina to look for signs of damage and other eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration. A dilated eye exam also allows your physician to check for damage to the optic nerve that occurs when a person has glaucoma. After the examination, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.
How affordable are your services?
At the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin, we believe that the finest eye care in the region should be within reach for everyone. We offer flexible financing options to help make vision correction affordable for all. (More information found under “Financing”.)
The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin offers comprehensive cataract care for all interested patients. In addition, we offer shared care with your Optometrist for post-operative visits to ensure your vision is cared for in the best possible way.
Who is at risk?
Older people are generally more at risk of developing cataracts than younger people. Approximately 60% of people ages 60 and older have their vision significantly affected by cataract formation. For people over age 55, cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss.
Diabetes, heredity, eye trauma and certain medications can accelerate cataract development, and there is some evidence that smoking can also accelerate cataract development.
How is a cataract diagnosed?
Cataracts are usually detected during an examination by a qualified ophthalmologist or optometrist. The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin has many ophthalmologists and optometrists qualified to diagnose cataracts. Regular appointments are important for early detection of cataracts. Some of the standard eye tests that may be used to diagnose cataracts include:
Visual acuity test – A chart is used to evaluate how well the patient sees at multiple distances
Pupil dilation – Eye drops widen the pupil so that the lens and retina can be better examined
How effective is cataract surgery?
According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 98% of cataract surgeries are considered successful. Risk is even lower in patients who undergo the advanced procedures available from the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin. Most patients report improved vision and few complications.
For more information on astigmatism-correction and cataract surgery, click here.
What happens after surgery?
The day after surgery the patient is examined by a doctor. Several eye drops will be used for up to 4 weeks to help ensure that the eye recovers completely after surgery. Recovery time after cataract surgery is usually about 3-4 weeks, but most patients report improved vision within the first several days after surgery. Discomfort is minimal and many patients can return to normal activities within the first two weeks of surgery. Once the eye has fully recovered from surgery a change in the eyeglasses will be necessary for most patients.
For more information on our financing options, visit our Affordability section.
What is LASIK?
During LASIK, a femtosecond laser is used to create a thin flap of tissue across the outer layer of the cornea which the surgeon then gently lifts and folds back. An excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. This laser is extremely accurate and can remove a quarter of a micron of tissue at a time. (A human hair is approximately 50 microns thick). After the laser is used, the flap is folded back into position and reseals entirely on its own. The procedure itself takes about 20 minutes.
How is ecLASIK different from standard LASIK?
There are several important differences between ecLASIK and standard LASIK. First, ecLASIK procedures are only performed by the most experienced refractive surgeons in the region. The experience of ecLASIK surgeons may improve your surgery in rare or complex surgical situations. Second, the price of your ecLASIK procedure is all-inclusive; your surgeon will use the best available technology to care for your vision, and any follow-up enhancements are covered for one year. Finally, your ecLASIK procedure also ensures your vision is being cared for by the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin, the region’s most comprehensive multi-specialty vision care team.
Is ecLASIK vision correction covered by my insurance?
Most insurance companies consider laser vision correction elective in nature and do not cover the procedure, but we recommend you check with your individual insurance company. In comparison, consider the repeated costs of purchasing new eyeglass frames and lenses and disposable contacts year after year! Eye Clinic of Wisconsin accepts cash, MasterCard, Visa and has attractive financing plans available (click here to learn more about our payment options).
Am I eligible for ecLASIK vision correction?
This depends on your age, your prescription and the general health of your eyes. Your prescription must have been stable for the past 12 months and you must be 18 years of age or older.
Do I need an examination first?
Prior to treatment, you will have a laser vision consultation and a thorough eye exam. A detailed computer image is taken of your eye that will map the curvature, shape, overall smoothness and regularity of the cornea.
What are the side effects?
As with any treatment or surgery there are risks, even though they are rare. Pain is uncommon. You may experience halos, glare, light sensitivity, blurred vision, double vision, difficulty with night vision and/or a foreign body sensation. Rare risks include infection, overcorrection, undercorrection, irregular astigmatism, epithelial ingrowth, corneal abrasion, reduction of best corrected vision, dry eyes or induced astigmatism.
What are the risks of LASIK?
Most patients are very pleased with the results of their surgery. However, like any other medical procedure, there are risks involved. That’s why it is important for you to understand the limitations and possible complications of refractive surgery.
Before undergoing a refractive procedure, you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits based on your own personal value system, and try to avoid being influenced by friends that have had the procedure or doctors encouraging you to do so.
For a full list of risk factors related to refractive surgery provided by the FDA, please follow this link.
What is an enhancement?
An enhancement is a repeat of the surgical procedure, which is occasionally done when the eye has been undercorrected. The necessity for an enhancement procedure is determined when the patient’s post-operative vision has stabilized. The length of time necessary for vision to stabilize depends upon the procedure and the patient’s individual healing time.
Does ecLASIK vision correction really work?
Yes. Laser vision correction is performed all around the world. Over 90% of people who have had one of these procedures obtain normal vision, and many others are happy to lessen their dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
Are there any restrictions after the procedure?
For the first four hours after surgery we encourage you to sleep as much as possible.
Swimming, hot tubs, saunas and Jacuzzis are prohibited for two weeks. Do not wear facial makeup for 48 hours and do not wear eye makeup for 1 week. When your vision clears, you may drive and you may return to work in one or two days.
Will ecLASIK vision correction prohibit me from having future eye surgery?
Refractive surgery will not interfere with any future eye surgery you may need, such as cataract or glaucoma surgery.
Does the surgery hurt?
No. The actual procedure does not hurt. Anesthetic drops are administered before the surgery begins. Some patients may experience discomfort during the first 12 to 36 hours after the procedure. Some patients describe the feeling as a lash in the eye or something under a contact lens. Medications are available if you are concerned about this possibility. An oral sedative is given 30 minutes prior to the procedure to help you relax.
What are the ecLASIK Standard and Lifetime Enhancement Policies?
The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin refractive surgeons use the most advanced technology and the most refined procedures to help our patients obtain the best possible results. Every patient that selects ECW for their LASIK is covered under the Standard Enhancement Policy. Any enhancement treatment that is necessary within 12 months of the initial procedure will be provided at no additional cost. We are so confident that whether you have Custom or Traditional LASIK, ecLASIK or PRK, we offer an optional Lifetime Enhancement Policy to help you maintain the best possible vision throughout your life. If you ever require vision enhancement, ECW will provide surgical treatment at no additional cost.
Who is eligible for the ecLASIK Enhancement Policies?
In order to qualify and remain eligible for participation under ECW’s Enhancement Policies, patients must:
Have the initial and any subsequent laser procedures performed by an ECW physician at an ECW facility.
Complete all post-operative visits/treatments prescribed by the ECW surgeon and/or ECW affiliate doctor during the first twelve months after the initial and any subsequent procedure. Complete regular yearly eye exams with an ECW or ECW affiliate doctor every 12 months. A record of satisfactory completion of such exams will be maintained by the ECW or ECW affiliate doctor.
Because the ocular health of our patients is our primary concern, patients must meet several criteria to qualify and remain eligible for coverage under ECWs™ enhancement policies. An ECW surgeon will make the final determination as to whether enhancement is appropriate for each patient. Please contact our Refractive Coordinators at 715.261.8553 for complete details and to answer any questions you may have regarding our Lifetime or Standard Enhancement Policies.
What do I do next?
Your next step is to learn about your laser vision correction needs. Call 800.472.0033 today to schedule your free ecLASIK consultation. We are committed to helping you make an informed decision.
I’d like to talk to someone about advertising, sponsorship or a media request.
You will need to speak to Melanie Ruby from our Marketing Department. She can be reached at 715.261.8530.
I’d like to use one of your logos. How do I get a copy?
You will need to fill out a logo usage request form and return it to our Marketing Department. The Style Manual and form can be found here.
How do I access the Patient Portal?
You can click the above icon that says “Access Medical Records” or click here.
My password isn’t working. What’s wrong?
If it has been over 30 days since you received your password, it has expired for your safety and you will need to get a new one. Please call us at 800.472.0033 to reset it.
I don’t have a password.
You should have received the password with a paper explaining the portal and a brochure when checking out. If we missed giving you one, you should have received those items in the mail a couple days later. If it has been over a week since your appointment and you still have not received the aforementioned information pieces, please call us 800.472.0033 to request them.
What can I do in the Patient Portal?
See a summary of your care, including: demographics, vital signs, care team, care plan, problems, medications, allergies, procedures, lab results, and patient education materials
Take the following actions: See and send messages, request an appointment, change records, view online activity, and see the documentation of your care and send it to other doctors.
What does the messaging function do?
The secure messaging function allows you to communicate with our doctors and staff while securely exchanging information regarding your care with our office (similar to a phone call). Our goal is to respond to you within two business days regarding questions about your recent appointment or visual needs. If you are experiencing new symptoms, do not leave a secure message, but call our office at 800.472.0033 in order to speak with a nurse or doctor.
IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY, DO NOT USE SECURE MESSAGING – Dial 911 or proceed immediately to an emergency room for treatment
Save with Flex Spending Accounts
Does your employer offer a medical flexible spending benefit? Spend your flex or cafeteria funds on something you’ll enjoy for years to come: better vision from the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin. You can pay for LASIK and other vision correction procedures with pre-tax dollars. With flex accounts, you can save up to 30 percent and enjoy clear vision now.
Many people have a number of questions about vision correction surgery and services – especially about how to pay for the treatment. That’s why we offer convenient payment options to make your experience as smooth and affordable as possible. For more information, call the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin at 715-261-8500.
Special financing options available for upcoming procedures with your Wells Fargo Health Advantage credit card*. This plan brings you a revolving line of credit that you can use over and over again. Special financing where available, convenient monthly payments to fit your budget, easy-to-use online account management and bill payment options. To apply, click the image below.
*The Wells Fargo Health Advantage credit card is issued with approved credit by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
When you get emergency care or are treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, you are protected from balance billing. In these cases, you shouldn’t be charged more than your plan’s copayments, coinsurance and/or deductible.
What is “balance billing” (sometimes called “surprise billing”)
• When you see a doctor or other health care provider, you may owe certain out-of-pocket costs, like a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible. You may have additional costs or have to pay the entire bill if you see a provider or visit a health care facility that isn’t in your health plan’s network.
• “Out-of-network” means providers and facilities that haven’t signed a contract with your health plan to provide services. Out-of-network providers may be allowed to bill you for the difference between what your plan pays and the full amount charged for a service. This is called “balance billing.” This amount is likely more than in-network costs for the same service and might not count toward your plan’s deductible or annual out-of-pocket limit.
• “Surprise billing” is an unexpected balance bill. This can happen when you can’t control who is involved in your care—like when you have an emergency or when you schedule a visit at an in-network facility but are unexpectedly treated by an out-of-network provider. Surprise medical bills could cost thousands of dollars depending on the procedure or service.
You’re protected from balance billing for:
• If you have an emergency medical condition and get emergency services from an out-of-network provider or facility, the most they can bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount (such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles). You can’t be balance billed for these emergency services. This includes services you may get after you’re in stable condition, unless you give written consent and give up your protections not to be balanced billed for these post-stabilization services.
Certain services at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center
• When you get services from an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center, certain providers there may be out-of-network. In these cases, the most those providers can bill you is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount. This applies to emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. These providers can’t balance bill you and may not ask you to give up your protections not to be balance billed.
• If you get other types of services at these in-network facilities, out-of-network providers can’t balance bill you, unless you give written consent and give up your protections.
• You’re never required to give up your protections from balance billing. You also aren’t required to get out-of-network care. You can choose a provider or facility in your plan’s network.
When balance billing isn’t allowed, you also have these protections:
• You’re only responsible for paying your share of the cost (like the copayments, coinsurance, and deductible that you would pay if the provider or facility was in-network). Your health plan will pay any additional costs to out-of-network providers and facilities directly.
• Generally, your health plan must:
o Cover emergency services without requiring you to get approval for services in advance (also known as “prior authorization”).
o Cover emergency services by out-of-network providers.
o Base what you owe the provider or facility (cost-sharing) on what it would pay an in-network provider or facility and show that amount in your explanation of benefits.
o Count any amount you pay for emergency services or out-of-network services toward your in-network deductible and out-of-pocket limit.
If you think you’ve been wrongly billed, contact Eye Clinic of Wisconsin at 800-472-0033.
Visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers for more information about your rights under federal law.
Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have certain types of health care coverage or who are not using certain types of health care coverage an estimate of their bill for health care items and services before those items or services are provided.
• You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any health care items or services upon request or when scheduling such items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
• If you schedule a health care item or service at least 3 business days in advance, make sure your health care provider or facility gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing within 1 business day after scheduling. If you schedule a health care item or service at least 10 business days in advance, make sure your health care provider or facility gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing within 3 business days after scheduling. You can also ask any health care provider or facility for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service. If you do, make sure the healthcare provider or facility gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing within 3 business days after you ask.
• If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more for any provider or facility than your Good Faith Estimate from that provider or facility, you can dispute the bill.
• Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate and the bill.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers, email FederalPPDRQuestions@cms.hhs.gov, or call 1-800-985-3059.