What to Expect

We see patients age 18 and under for the diagnosis and treatment of eye problems. We also see patients age 18 and under for routine vision exams. The only adults we see are those with eye muscle disorders (strabismus). Adult patients are generally referred from another physician and should see their regular eye doctor for routine eye exams and glasses unless glasses are needed to control double vision.

Eye exam consists of:

  • Dilated eye exam on the first visit to examine retina
  • Assessment of ocular alignment (Are the eyes straight and do they work together?)
  • Assessment of ocular movement (Do the eyes move normally?)
  • Assessment of need for glasses
  • Exam of the retina
  • Measurement or estimate of visual acuity
  • Intraocular pressure (glaucoma test) for children over 10 years of age or younger when indicated

Other tests performed when indicated:

  • Color Vision
  • Slit Lamp Exam
  • 3-D Vision

A complete eye exam generally takes about two to three hours, so please be prepared with diapers, formula and snacks if you have small children with you. Each reception area offers children’s movies, a playroom and current periodicals. Our treatment area contains DVD players with children’s movies.

We strive to see patients in a timely manner but our first concern is that a thorough eye exam is performed and that all questions related to the eye problem present are answered. Also, despite the fact that we leave openings for unscheduled patients that have serious urgent eye problems, sometimes several patients with emergencies may need to be seen that were not scheduled. For these reasons, we apologize for any additional waiting you experience in our office. Our primary goal remains to offer excellent eye care and to deliver clear information about any eye problem that is present.

We strive to provide quality care that fits into your budget. For the convenience of our patients we accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover. We are a preferred provider for most insurance companies. Prior to being seen a determination will be made as to whether you will need to pay the entire cost of the visit. Many insurance plans pay only for medical eye problems and not for routine eye exams for glasses. Many insurance plans have a deductible. Some require a referral form from your primary care physician. For these reasons we will determine whether your insurance will cover the cost of the office visit prior to entering the exam room. If your visit is covered by your health plan, we will be happy to file claims for you. If your visit is not covered by your health plan, you can be assured that our office fees are very competitive for this area; our fees are generally much lower for the same specialized care from a pediatric ophthalmologist in any other metropolitan area. We do not bill for office visits or co-pay amounts. You will be expected to pay these amounts at the time of your exam.

After a complete eye exam if you or your child requires surgery we will be happy to schedule a surgical appointment. We generally have openings for surgery within two to three weeks. We will call your insurance company to determine your coverage and to obtain pre-certification. Usually no payment is needed from you prior to the surgery. If your insurance company will not cover the cost of the surgery or will only cover a small portion of the cost of the surgery, a pre-payment may be requested.

Thank you for choosing the practice of Dr. Alan B. Richards, Dr. John D. Hinrichsen and Dr. Amy E. Coburn!