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Frequently Asked Eye Care Questions

COVID-19 FAQ

Do I need cataract surgery?

Cataracts occur as a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. Early symptoms of a cataract are trouble with night driving or reading small print, difficulty watching TV and decreased color in your vision. When these symptoms begin impacting your daily routine, a cataract consultation with Dr. Carlson will confirm whether or not your cataract is mature enough for surgical removal and if you are a candidate for options such as femtosecond laser and a premium lens in conjunction with cataract surgery. This surgery is done as an outpatient procedure with very little downtime and almost immediate improvement in your vision.

What options do you offer in conjunction with cataract surgery?

The options associated with cataract surgery, that you may or may not be a candidate for, are femtosecond laser or Toric™ lens implant for treatment of astigmatism, PanOptix™ or IQ Vivity™ premium lenses to correct near and far vision. An iStent or express shunt for treatment of mild to moderate glaucoma may also be an option.

Does my insurance cover femtosecond laser and premium lens?

No. Neither Medicare nor private insurance companies cover the options of femtosecond laser for treatment of pre-existing astigmatism nor premium lens implants that treat presbyopia. These are conditions that insurance companies do not cover.

Am I a candidate for laser vision correction?

The only way to know for sure if you are a candidate for laser vision correction is to have a laser vision correction consultation. Dr. Carlson will present you with all of your options including LASIK, LASEK or PRK, and give you the information you need to select the procedure that is best for you and your vision. You will also have an opportunity to meet with our patient care coordinator to schedule a procedure if you are ready to proceed with laser vision correction.

How quickly does Botox® work and how long does it last?

The three main areas to treat using Botox® Cosmetic are the forehead, the area between your eyebrows and the crow’s feet. Depending on the individual, each area could require between 10 and 20 units of Botox. It takes about 7-10 days to see full results which last about three to four months.

What are my payment options?

Learn about the payment options we offer.

Where are you located and how do I get to Claris?

We are in the M Health Fairview Clinics & Specialty Center in Burnsville, MN. For detailed directions to our clinic and a map please go to the contact page.

Do you accept my insurance?

Find information on insurance and billing.

Do I need a referral?

If you have a primary care clinic listed on your insurance card, go there for all of your primary medical care and if have received referrals from that clinic in the past to see specialty providers outside that clinic and/or care system, then, most likely you will need a referral to come to Claris Eye Care & Surgery. You will need to contact your primary care physician/nurse to initiate the referral giving them the name of our clinic, Claris Eye Care & Surgery, the name of our provider, Keith Carlson, MD, and request the start date the same day as your appointment at Claris, permission to consult and treat over a 6- to 12-month period with up to 12 visits. You will want to make sure this referral is in place before your first appointment as you may not have any coverage at all without a referral.

Will my visit will be covered by my insurance plan?

You can refer to your master medical insurance plan document to see what is covered and if so, how your coverage reads (i.e., copay, deductible and/or coinsurance) or what’s not covered. You could also call and ask them specifically if you have coverage for a routine eye exam and/or an eye exam with a medical diagnosis and what the coverage is for each of those exams. Finally, you should confirm that Claris Eye Care & Surgery, NPI #1841425899 in Burnsville, MN is in-network for your insurance plan.

What’s the difference between a routine eye exam and an exam with a medical diagnosis?

A routine eye exam is when you come in to have your eyes examined on a regular basis even though you aren’t having any issues with your vision except maybe some blurriness requiring a new eyeglass prescription. Some insurance companies only cover routine eye exams through a vision plan and will not cover them if submitted through your medical insurance plan. It is a good idea to call your insurance company before your visit to confirm whether or not you have coverage for a routine eye exam, what the coverage is and whether it’s through a vision plan or your medical insurance plan. Please let us know when you are scheduling your appointment that you need a routine eye exam. Additionally, at the beginning of your visit when the technician asks you the reason for your visit, state that you are there for a routine eye exam. When you have a concern about your vision, the condition of your eyes or you see Dr. Carlson regularly for the follow-up of a medical condition such as glaucoma, the diagnosis will be a medical one and the exam will be billed to your medical insurance company.

Do you accept Vision Plans for routine eye exams?

No, we are currently not contracted with vision plans. We are unable to contract with the other major vision plan carriers. You might have limited out-of-network benefits for which you would need to file a paper claim yourself to receive any reimbursement.

What is a refraction and is it covered by insurance?

A refraction is a measurement of the lens power necessary to prescribe glasses or other corrective lenses. Many medical plans, including Medicare and Medicare supplements/replacement plans, do not cover refractions. If your insurance company does not pay for this service, you are responsible for this charge of $76. It is ultimately your decision whether or not you need a refraction so if you know you don’t have coverage for one unless you really need a new prescription, just let our technicians know at the beginning of the visit that you don’t want a refraction done.

Who do I contact if I have a question about a bill from Claris?

You can call Jennifer Omann, Billing Specialist, at (952) 522-4900.

Is Botox® treatment for Blepharospasm covered by insurance?

Yes. Botox® Cosmetic treatment is considered medically necessary when used to treat blepharospasms around the eye area. We do need documentation that you have been experiencing them for a while and that other limited treatment options haven’t worked for you. You will also want to check with your insurance to find out if this procedure will require prior authorization and also how it would be covered.

What’s the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist?

An optometrist performs eye exams, diagnostic testing and primary eye care treatments. When they suspect medical conditions that require more advanced testing and treatment such as glaucoma or cataracts, they refer to an ophthalmologist who can further diagnose and treat surgically, if necessary.

Do you co-manage surgical patients with optometrists?

Yes. We have a number of optometrists who routinely refer cataract patients to us for surgery and we then send those patients back to the referring optometrist for post-operative care.

What eye-care-related products do you sell at your clinic?

We carry many eye care products at Claris. Oasis artificial tears which have no toxic preservatives but do have an active ingredient of glycerin making it effective with as little as two applications per day; OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Original Formula for treatment of blepharitis; Focus Vitamins, a premium supplement which contains essential vitamins and minerals to support macular health and we will refer you to the experts at PRN Omega Health to assist you in ordering a premium fish oil formula that is pure, potent and of the highest quality.

Which cosmetic services and products do you provide at your clinic?

We carry Botox® Cosmetic, SkinMedica®, a medical-grade skincare line whose products are scientifically formulated and clinically tested and Latisse® which helps your eyelashes grow longer, fuller and darker.

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