Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eye Care and Surgery Payment Options

Regardless of what kind of service you are having- whether it is an elective surgery such as LASIK or PRK, a multifocal or astigmatism correcting intraocular lens implants, treatment for diabetic retinopathy,  or glaucoma surgery, we at Eyecare Medical Group try to make the services we offer affordable.  This is why we offer several different payment options to our patients. For your convenience, we are participating with all local medical insurance plans and we will work with your insurance company to find out if a service is covered or not.  For those who are qualified, and for the elective procedures such as LASIK, that are not covered by your insurance, we offer up to 24 interest free financing.  Our billing department will work with you on an individual basis to set up a payment plan if necessary.  Don’t let money be the reason to stop receiving the care that you need.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL)-What You Should Know

“Intraocular Lens Implants or as they are more commonly called Intraocular Lenses or IOLs, are tiny artificial plastic lenses that we use to correct vision after Cataract Surgery”, commented Maine Cataract Surgeon and Glaucoma Specialist Robert Daly, M.D. at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.

Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of intraocular lenses in 1981 patients who had Cataract Surgery were forced to wear thick eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve their vision. Today there are several types of advanced technology IOLs that can help Cataract patients get the best possible vision correction after Cataract Surgery.

Monofocal Lens Implants vs. Multifocal Lens Implants (IOL)
Traditional IOLs were of a type called Monofocal Lens Implants as they provide improvement in vision at one set distance-usually for seeing far away. For many Cataract patients this is adequate. But for others who would like to be able to see at distance as well as at arm’s length and near without necessarily having to wear glasses to do so, another option is a multifocal or accommodating lens implant . “These types of Lens Implants offer our patients the ability to see more clearly at a range of distances by replacing the eye’s natural lens with a new artificial lens”, said Maine Cataract Surgeon William Holt, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group.

Astigmatism Correcting Toric Lens Implants (IOL)
“Until recently patients who had astigmatism before their Cataract Surgery generally had to also either wear eyeglasses to correct the astigmatism after their Cataract Surgery or even have an additional surgical procedure to correct the astigmatism”, said Maine Cataract Surgeon and Glaucoma Specialist Samuel Solish, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group. Today if freedom from glasses for distance vision is important to you, you now have a better option. Drs, Cassidy, Holt, Daly, Solish and Sterrer are able to implant a unique type of intraocular lens- astigmatism correction IOL to correct your vision and provide significantly improved distance vision without the need for eyeglasses.

Aspheric Lens Implants (IOL)
Most patients’ eyes have optical distortions or imperfections called aberrations. Aberrations result in a decrease in vision and visual function. One more common type of aberration is called spherical aberration. Spherical aberration is generally associated with blurriness, halos, lost of contrast and poor night vision. Eyecare Medical Group Cataract Surgeons Drs. Cassidy, Holt, Daly, Solish and Sterrer are now able to implant aspheric lens implants to provide patients with improved image quality and enhanced clarity. “My Cataract Surgery patients who have aspheric lens implants report that they have excellent vision in dim illumination such as on foggy or rainy days and really notice the improvement in their night driving comfort”, said Jordan Sterrer, M.D.

If you think you have a Cataract or have been told you have a Cataract and would like to be less dependent on glasses it is worthwhile to learn more about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery and Lens Implants by scheduling an examination and consultation. Please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group Toll Free at 888.374.2020.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

About Eye Drops after Eye Surgery

It is very important to remember to follow your post op instructions, especially when it comes to using your eye drops. Regardless of what kind of eye surgery a patient has, it is imperative to listen to the technicians and doctors and use the eye drops as prescribed by your physician.

Steroid drops are important in the healing process and help fight infection. Antibiotic drops also help fight infection. Nonsteroidal drops are important in reducing and preventing post surgical swelling. All of the eye drops recommended for use by your physician serve a purpose, and it’s very important to remember to use them exactly as prescribed. All of the physicians at EMG give written post op instructions on exactly how to use each eye drop. A doctor or technician will also discuss all of the drops with you before surgery. If you have any questions about how to use your post op medications, please contact your physician.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cataract & Prostate Cancer Treatment

A recent study about the risk of developing Cataracts  (Annals of Epidemiology: November 2010) reported that Cataract risk may be higher in patients being treated for prostate cancer with Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT). The side effects of ADT such as weight gain, insulin resistance and blood lipid level problems have been linked to Cataract formation. Although further prospective study is necessary to truly understand the findings, researchers from Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Medicare database to analyze cataract formation in prostate cancer patients and found a demonstrable increase in Cataract risk.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What is a YAG?

A YAG laser capsulotomy is a procedure that is sometimes required after Cataract Surgery. “At least 30% of patients who have cataract surgery will develop a secondary cataract over time and require a YAG laser” says Dr. Jordan Sterrer of Eyecare Medical Group.

When a patient has their natural lens removed during Cataract Surgery, the capsule of the original lens is left intact to support the new intraocular lens that is implanted. Sometimes, a cloud forms in the capsule and vision becomes blurred. This is what is referred to as a secondary Cataract. The procedure to relieve this problem is a YAG laser capsulotomy. A small opening is created in the center of the capsule, and vision is restored. A YAG laser procedure is painless and generally takes about 15 minutes. Because a secondary Cataract does not develop in all patients, a YAG laser procedure is considered a separate procedure from the original Cataract Surgery.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Insurance Counseling at EMG

Meet Chelsea Cormier from the billing department here at EMG. Chelsea’s job is a little different from the ordinary billing position because she works face to face with patients all day, counseling them on the billing process and letting them know what their cost shares are going to be after surgery.

Chelsea’s desk is located in the lobby at EMG and she generally has a line of patients and technicians waiting at it. She speaks with every patient who is brought to her desk about our billing process, gives them written outline of what she has discussed with them, as well as her business card with all of her contact information, and then she calls their insurance companies to verify their benefits. After she has figured out if the patient will have a balance, and what that balance is, she calls them to notify them so there are no surprises to the patient after their surgery.

Chelsea also obtains authorizations from insurance companies for all patients who are having surgeries. She answers questions about billing and coverage, and often goes into exam rooms to speak with patients who are having procedures for the first time, or simply do not understand why they may get a bill for their service.

If you have any questions about your bill or concerns about the cost of an upcoming procedure, you can stop by and see Chelsea at your next visit, or call 1-888-374-2020 to speak with Chelsea or another billing representative.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Eyecare Medical Group Cataract Awareness Month

Eyecare Medical Group wishes to announce that Prevent Blindness America has designated June as National Cataract Awareness Month. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. About 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80.
Many patients do not actually know that a cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. This results in a clouding and blurring of vision. They need to understand that cataracts are not a growth or a film over the eye. For many patients cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. But, as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision. The most common symptoms that bother patients with cataracts include:

• blurring of vision

• sensitivity to light and glare

• double vision in one eye

• poor night vision

• fading or yellowing of colors

• frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions

When cataracts do begin to interfere with daily activities or with patient comfort and safety, they can be treated surgically. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the United States. Today, at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine Drs. Cassidy, Holt, Daly, Solish and Sterrer provide a full range of Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL) available that allow us to correct near vision as well as distance vision without requiring bifocals or reading glasses for the vast majority of patients. Please feel free to contact us with your questions about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants by calling Eyecare Medical Group Care Toll Free at 888.374.2020.