When you come to the Eye Clinic the front desk staff will ask you for your current address and billing information. If seeing a Specialist, or if required by your insurance, please make sure you have a current referral for this appointment. You will also need to have your co-pay for your appointment. If you do not have a current referral and co-pay, your appointment may be rescheduled. If you have your referral and co-pay, you will be able to get checked in to see the doctor without a delay.
After being checked in, the Technician will take you to a room to check your vision and ask you about your health. They may also put drops in your eyes so the doctor can see all of the parts of the eye. These drops may make your vision blurry and the light may bother your eyes. If you have sunglasses, please bring them with you. They will make your eyes feel better in the light of the clinic as well as for your drive home in the sunlight. It takes about 30 minutes for the drops to work. Then the doctor will see you. When the doctor is done he or she will tell you if you need a follow-up visit. Before you leave the clinic, the staff will schedule the date and time you need to come back for your next appointment or surgery.
The doctor visits will take from 1 to 3 hours so we would appreciate your patience. You may want to bring snacks for your children or for yourself, especially if you have a health condition such as diabetes. You may also want to bring a book or magazine to read while you are waiting. There is a cafeteria, Jersey Jack’s and Subway Sandwich shop at the UNM Hospital Eye Clinic. There is no food or drink easily available at the 1600 University Eye Clinic.
What is a referral?
Some insurance companies will want to approve your visit to a “specialist” before you see them. If this approval is not received, your insurance may not pay and you will be responsible for paying the bill. The “referral” is sent from your family doctor, also known as your Primary Care Physician (PCP). Your PCP may tell you to see a specialist, if they do please call your insurance company to make sure that UNM Hospital Eye Clinic is covered by your insurance, or to make sure your referral has been approved.
What if I just need to get my eyes checked, or need new glasses or contacts?
The vast majority of insurances at this time do not pay for “well eye exams”. This is an eye exam for a person who has no existing eye disease such as cataracts, and no medical diseases or medications that may affect their eyes such as high blood pressure, diabetes or autoimmune disease. A well eye exam is strictly for those people who have no medical or eye conditions but want to have a regular dilated eye exam to make sure their eyes are healthy. This also includes people with no medical conditions who may need glasses or contacts, or a new prescription for glasses or contacts. While insurance does not pay for these well eye exams, we highly recommend regular eye checks so that any problems can be detected early. In addition, some medical conditions can be discovered through regular eye exams. Because insurance does not pay for these important exams, they are offered at a very low competitive rate at the University Blvd location. Please call for pricing.
What is a co-pay?
A co-pay is what your insurance company requires you to pay for each visit. Every insurance plan is different on how much a co-pay is. You will need to check with your plan to see how much you will need to pay at each visit. If you do not have health insurance for eye care, please contact the clinic you will be going to for the co-pay cost. These fees are a down payment for the bill and you will be billed for the remainder of the bill. All of the above fees are required at the time of the visit.
If you run out of your eye drops, call your pharmacy and they will call your doctor. If you have questions about your eye drops call the pharmacy. During your doctor visits you need to ask your doctor about getting refills for your medicines.
Who will be my doctor?
The “Attending” doctors are Board Certified in the care of your eyes.
What is a Resident?
Resident doctors have finished Medical School, and are taking more training. They take care of you under the care of the attending doctors.
What is a student doctor?
Student doctors often work at the Eye Clinic. They will see you under the care of an attending doctor. Many people like these students and are happy to help with the training of future doctors.
What about emergencies?
If you have an emergency, call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.
How will I be billed?
You will receive two bills. One bill is from University Physicians Associates (UPA) for the doctor’s care. For questions about this bill, call 1-866-756-8347. The second bill is from University Hospital for the clinic fees. For questions about this bill, call 272-2135.
What if I have a problem and the office is closed?
After hours, call the hospital operator at 505-272-2111. She or he will page the doctor on call. If it is an emergency, please call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.
What if I have to be admitted to the hospital?
Doctors at the Eye Clinic admit their patients to University Hospital, if needed.
How can I talk to a “real” person at the clinic?
Each clinic at University Hospital uses a phone system. When you call the Eye Clinic you will be given the option to be hear the message in English or Spanish. Listen to the choices, and it will guide you to press a number to talk to a person at either Eye Clinic Location.