Sometimes patients are surprised to receive a bill because they thought the visit was a follow up that was covered under the last visit. The term “follow up” can be very broadly used but patients usually mean that they are seeing the doctor again for a condition for which they have been seen previously. It is neither a medical nor a medical coding term.
Depending on your eye condition, the doctor may recommend that you return in a week, six months, a year, etc. In each case, patients often say they are here for a follow up to the condition for which they were seen the last time. Some conditions may require treatment or specific testing at each visit while others require periodic monitoring in case treatment is required. Each of these visits is a separate episode of care for which there is a charge and any required co-pay.
There are some office visits that do not require a charge. These include the post operative period after surgery and a check of new contact lenses. Some minor surgeries do not have a post operative period. Other surgeries have a 10-day post operative period and major surgeries such as cataract surgery have a 90-day period.
During this period, you will not be charged for the doctor checking on the progress of your recovery. If the doctor finds it necessary to perform some diagnostic tests, they are not included and you will be charged for them. Also, if you need to see the doctor for a condition unrelated to the surgery, you will be charged an office visit. As always, if you have a question, feel free to ask one of our friendly staff members.