Get answers to common questions about your visit to Duke Eye Center.
Plan on spending one-to-two hours at our facility if you are having a routine eye exam. For any other exam, please allow three-to-four hours.
Subspecialty exams (retina, pediatric, neuro, cornea, oculoplastic, and glaucoma) require extensive examinations and often require additional testing.
Our goal is for you to see the doctor, have the necessary testing performed, and when possible undergo treatment all on the same day. Therefore, please allow up to three-to-four hours to be with us.
To provide the best possible care, please have your referring eye care provider fax or send your medical records to our office.
For patients seeing a neuro-ophthalmologist, please be sure copies of all medical records including testing such as MRIs, CT scans, and other pertinent information is sent before your appointment. If records are not provided, your appointment may be rescheduled.
Refraction is the process of determining your eye glass prescription. Medicare and some insurance companies do not cover this time-consuming service. Refractions that are not covered by insurance will be assessed $25. Depending on your coverage, you may be required to pay the fee at the end of the visit.
Contact lenses require an additional amount of work depending on the complexity of the lens. Fees for this service are referred to as “contact lens fitting fees.” They include determining the best type of lens for your eyes, and training you how to insert, remove, handle and care for the lenses.
Very often additional visits are required in the fitting process especially for new wearers. These additional visits are covered by the total fitting fee. The fitting fee does not cover the actual lenses. Contact lens professional fees may run from $35 for brief assessments and updates, to $80 - $350 for new lens wearers depending the lens complexity.
These fees are never covered by insurance. Specialty contact lens fitting for medical conditions can range from $500 to $1,000. These fees are sometimes covered by medical insurance. The patient is responsible for payment of contact lens professional fees at the time of service. Glasses and contact lens prescriptions must be filled within 90-days of the exam to ensure accuracy of the prescription.
By law, Medicare does not pay for routine vision exams. Medicare beneficiaries may choose to have an annual exam, but they are responsible for payment.
Some beneficiaries may have vision insurance that covers the exam. Private major medical insurance plans sometimes include a routine eye care benefit. Check your individual plans.
You may receive more than one bill for your clinic visit. Bills for physician services from the PDC (Private Diagnostic Clinic) include examinations, interpretations of tests, surgical procedures, and consultations performed by physicians.
Separate bills from the hospital lab/outpatient facility include, but are not limited to testing services such as visual fields, photography, ultrasound, injection room, and laser room fees.
You may also receive a bill from the pharmacy for injectable medications. Please note that some insurance companies have a separate co-pay and deductible for hospital lab and facility fees.
The physician’s examination and recommendations are covered as part of the eye visit however; additional testing, minor procedures, laser treatments, injections, and all other services are separately billable.
Please be sure to ask to speak to a Financial Care Counselor if you have questions.
Medicare does not pay for drugs deemed “self-administered” in the outpatient setting. For example, if you are in the clinic or operating room and the physician or nurse gives you eye drops, you will be billed for the eye drops.
If you have questions that were not answered here, please call 919-684-6611 or toll-free 800-422-1575.