I Will Not Save Money Because I Need a New Eye Exam

I got LASIK surgery in December 2007 and was able to get a great deal to save money by not having any interest payments on the balance. I want to wear colored contact lenses again so I thought I would call up the eye doctor where I had my LASIK done and get a prescription.

Now the last time I went in for an exam they told me that I could just call in to get the prescription because the brand of contacts that I wanted was not one they were really familiar with. I called the doctor to get my stuff set up only to be met with a brick wall.

I was told that most people who got LASIK never wanted to see another contact lens for the rest of their life …so the doctors there did not write prescriptions any more.

What they would do is to order the lenses for the person who really wanted them and the person would collect the lenses from the office. They then proceeded to tell me that this brand of contact lens that I wanted was not one they were affiliated with so they would not be ordering it for me.

Now this is what I don’t understand. Even if they do not write prescriptions because they do not carry prescription pads in the office..they know what my prescription would be. The place that I order my contact lenses from would call the office to verify that this was indeed the correct prescription. The piece of paper is simply something that I can have in my hands if I decided to walk into a store or if I needed to get the contacts on a Sunday when the doctor’s office was closed.

The REAL prescription is what is noted in my file and since the contact lens place has to call and speak to the doctor, who has to check the file, I don’t really NEED to have a physical piece of paper in my hand. Case in point where I ‘forgot’ the prescription one time and the contact lens place said they did not need it..just hold on a minute while they called my eye doctor.

So now they are refusing to give me the prescription over the phone or even tell me what my eyes measured at because they do not ‘give out prescriptions’.

They are telling me that I need to go to another doctor…and pay more money to have another eye exam done in order to get a prescription.

What do you think of this situation?


Update : After spending a long time on the phone I finally got through to someone who told me the reason they do not write prescriptions is because the doctor does not recommend that people wear contacts. He believes that the use of contacts puts your eyes at risk for infection so once he does the surgery you need to go somewhere else to get contact lenses because the office does not want to be ‘responsible’ for if you get an infection.

Okay now I understand the concern here…but how is it their responsibility if I get an eye infection from wearing contacts? If I am not responsible enough to take care of my eyes then that is my business. Once they do the surgery and you are clear within the time period what happens after is not the doctor’s concern.

Once the other eye doctors write the prescription it is not their business if you choose to sleep in the contacts or clean them with water from a puddle in the middle of the road.

They did finally tell me that I had 20/20 vision in both eyes according to the last visit..but said I could not get a specific ‘prescription’ because of the policy of the center.


Oh yeah and I also have to sign a few release forms to get my OWN information AND pay $25 to get a copy of MY medical records. Why do I have to sign a release to get my own records? They are mine!!! It is MY information. MY eyes!!! I don’t understand.

Author: Lulu

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14 Comments

  1. Vanity has its costs.
    I don’t think what you’re doing is terribly frugal.
    Do you really NEED colored contact lenses?!!

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  2. If someone can leave unencrypted personal information on a computer and sue Best Buy for millions of dollars for potential Identify Theft, then you can’t really blame those guys for safe guarding themselves against other morons.

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  3. This is America, there is all kinds of reasons for malpractice suits. More and more doctors are starting to implement specific policies to ensure they can still stay open for business and that is basically in the contract you sign with them when you get their services.

    They are basically telling you once you decide to do something that is outside the scope of their contract, they are not liable for any action you take.

    There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so I am not surprised they charged you for a copy of your medical records.

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  4. The doctor might be on the hook for liability if someone who wore contacts under his advice ended up suing him. That’s probably why he doesn’t write prescriptions. He’s a bit too conservative, but that’s what I think is going through his head.

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  5. Health is more important then money so I think that this eye exam spendings are good.

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  6. @Online TV:
    This has nothing to do with money vs. health. The eyes in question have already been examined. This is simply an issue of paying for something that is yours that you’ve already spent for.

    Again boiling down to Dr. liability.

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  7. @ Baz:
    Are you saying I am a moron? All I am doing is asking for a copy of my file…I don’t need to see anyone else’s file.

    @ Mark:
    According to your second sentence it sounds like you think they are trying to say they don’t care what I do…but they are not being uncaring…because they won’t give me the info so I can get the contacts.

    @ Shawn:
    Yes! 🙂

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  8. @Monty Loree: What’s the point in being frugal, if we can’t spend on the things we want?

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  9. @ Monty:
    No I don’t NEED the contacts…I WANT them. I have been saving money for months, cutting costs here and there….One of the things about managing your money is that sometimes you can get something that is not a NEED. 🙂

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  10. That is crazy why should you have to pay to get copy of your medical records? The whole medical industry is no longer focussed on good health care outcomes they only care about money.

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  11. I think I’m with the doc on this one. It’s good that you saved money because insurance doesn’t pay for Lasik, right? Well, getting contacts isn’t horrible. Lots of people wear contacts and it doesn’t lead to infection. It may seem overly cautious but you may have to go elsewhere to get what you need.

    Jerry

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  12. Jerry, I am not sure what you are saying. You say you agree with the doctor but yet you say that contacts don’t cause infection.

    The doctor was saying that he did not want to give me my prescription because he DOES NOT want me to wear contacts because of the risk of infection. So if you agree with one then you must disagree with the other.

    I know about people wearing contacts and not getting infections because I wore them for about 7 years without any problems.

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  13. Fitting contact lenses is more time consuming that lasik.

    1. They lasik Dr. does not have any training fitting contacts. Fitting Hard contacts is more time consumming and difficult than doing lasik. They make more money per unit of time vs fitting contacts.

    2. Your eye is now a poor shape to wear any type of contact lense. You will get poor optics (Ie. worse vision) as lasik has reshaped the front of your eye.

    3. Its legal to charge for records but 25.00 is higher than average. They are charging for the the paper and time it takes to copy.

    You will have to pay a qualified Dr. to fit you with contacts. You need to wear them and see if the optics are acceptable, they may not be. This is the result of the surgery and not a fault of the contacts or Dr. fitting them. The Dr. at the center has no clue as to what a good fitting contact lens looks like, he has no experience.

    Its not about infections, thats just sounds better to a patient. NO eye surgeon fits contact lenses, that is not what they are trained to do. BTW lasik has more complications than contact lenses so the infection claim is bogus. Even though he still can’t give you a prescription for contacts as he/she would need to evaluate the fit, since they don’t have training in this they will not do it.
    Does this make sense now?

    The lasik center did a poor job of educating you pre op. They really do not have any incentive to talk you out of it.
    Here is a heads up, you will still need glasses in the future. Reading and or bifocal.
    so do not go crazy when this happens in your 40s. Lasik does not fix this.

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