Why Do You Need a Refraction?
Why is a Refraction Such an Important Part of Your Complete Eye Exam?
An annual vision exam is a very important step to ensure you maintain a high quality of life. Your exam will confirm that your vision and your eyes are healthy and functioning as they should, or it will allow your physician an opportunity to proactively treat any eye deficiencies or conditions.
Why Is It Important To Have a Refraction?
A refraction is an important part of an eye exam. This is when skilled staff flip a variety of lenses inside the phoropter (as pictured above) and ask you which lens gives you better clarity of sight (They will typically ask you, “Better 1 or Better 2?”) The phoropter determines your eyeglass prescription.
A refraction is an important step in preparing for cataract surgery, as it helps your surgeon, Emilio M. Justo, M.D., to know what your best corrected vision is, so as to facilitate the proper recommendation as to whether cataract surgery is in your best interest.
“We do our very best to make every step in the process from routine eye exam to eye surgery, as easy on patients as possible,” explains Dr. Justo. “But to do our very best, there is no way around our need to understand and know your current prescription. There is so much value in having your refraction completed by our staff, to ensure that your vision is the best it can be after any procedure or exam. I encourage you to have a refraction done today.”
Why Do I Have to Pay For It?
CMS, the department of the federal government that controls Medicare and Medicaid, has decided that refractions are not a payable part of your eye exam. CMS, directly under control of the US Congress, has determined this is a “non-covered” service. That means you have to pay for that portion of the eye exam.
Further, CMS has declared that if we don’t charge you extra for this service, we could receive various forms of punishment. Refraction (CPT code 92015) has been a “non-covered” service since Medicare was created in 1965. Since about 2007, Medicare has been enforcing the policy of requiring eye doctors to charge separately for refractions. As many private insurance carriers adopt the policies of the federal government, many of our contracts with private insurance carriers require us to collect the money from you, as well. We highly recommend that you undergo a refraction today.