RevolutionEHR Insights ™

Release Notes have been moved to RevHelp

Doc/Coding tips

'Routine' Eye Exams?
Posted: December 10, 2012

Q:  I am in the process of setting up my appt types and templates.  I am curious why with your recommended exam types, you do not use descriptors like “routine” or “vision” or “medical”?  Also curious with your decision process on why and when you use wording of “exam”, example “posterior segment exam” versus “encounter”, example Glaucoma Encounter?

Dr. Brownlow:  I feel quite strongly that an optometrist’s eye exam is never ‘routine’ because the doctor never completes the visit without doing any examination relative to the patient’s health and/or the health of the patient’s eyes.  Dentists never do ‘routine’ exams, MDs never do, and neither do ophthalmologists.

Optometry has lived with the illusion for a long time that we do ‘routine’ exams and that we do ‘medical’ exams, but in reality, that illusion was created by vision plans purely so that they had optometry services they could offer on a prepaid basis.  ‘Routine’, ‘non medical’, ‘medical’?  They are all eye exams.

I believe the confusion has arisen over the years over payment issues.  The reason for visit often determines who will pay the bill; the patient, the patient’s vision plan, or the patient’s medical plan; but even when the reason for visit is non medical, the history and examination have many ‘medical’ elements and therefore the encounter could not appropriately be characterized as ‘routine’.

I’m certain that the profession would be better off if the term ‘routine eye exam’ could be stricken from ODs’ vocabulary.





View Status Page
Updates Prior to 2018