Q. What can I expect from an Initial Evaluation?
A. The initial evaluation process is typically comprised of three visits. The first two visits are used to thoroughly test visual function of the patient and the last visit is a conference with the doctor and patient or parents. At the conference the doctor will give you a comprehensive report that details the results of the testing. The doctor will share with you the recommended treatment, how long the treatment is anticipated to last, and the goals associated with that treatment.
Q. How long should I expect the initial exam to take?
A. The first two appointments are generally 1 to 1 1/2 hours in length. The conference typically lasts about 30 minutes with the doctor to go over the testing results and recommendations. Another 30 minutes is reserved to go over medical insurance coverage, payment plan options, other financial questions and scheduling.
Q. Will my insurance cover the initial exam?
A. The vision assessments done at this clinic are not considered routine eye care and are covered by your medical insurance not your vision insurance. Usually private medical insurance considers these initial evaluation appointments to be a combination of medical office visits and medical diagnostic visits and will cover them according to your individual policy benefits.
Q. How much will the Initial Exam cost?
A. If you have medical insurance, then the cost will depend on your individual policy benefits. If you do not have medical insurance and would like to pay at the time of service, you will receive a prompt pay discount. With this discount, the total for all three visits is typically between $326.20 and $552.30 depending on the testing that needs to be done.
Q. If vision therapy is needed, what is the typical length of therapy?
A. The length of vision therapy depends on the diagnosis and severity of the vision problem. At the conference, the doctor will let you know how much therapy is anticipated. Depending on the severity of the vision problem, length of therapy typically can last between 4 months to a year or longer.
Therapy is typically almost an hour long, once a week, and one-on-one with an optometric vision therapist. Progress evaluations are done every 8 weeks by the doctor to check on the progress of the therapy.
Q. What if I just saw my family eye doctor?
It is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year by your family eye doctor. Vision is so critical to so much of what we do, a comprehensive eye exam ensures your eyes are healthy and free of disease and that you have the best prescription for your glasses or contact lenses. This is why we ask that all patients coming in for an evaluation be seen by their family eye doctor within the last 2 years. If you have not an eye exam within the last two years, please do not hesitate to call our clinic and we will be happy to assist you in making sure you get all of the appointments set that you need.
Also, please remember that your family eye doctor is not a specialist in functional or development visual problems. Therefore, if you have been told that your vision is fine, or that you have 20/20 vision and therefore have no problems with your vision they are typically speaking from a perspective of the health of your eyes. Many times, they did not have time to do testing to ensure there is no doubling or blurring of vision, headaches, or eyestrain from vision problems associated with poor visual skills development or stress on the eyes.
Q. Do I need to be referred to your clinic?
A. No referral is needed. We do ask that you be seen by your family eye doctor within the last 2 years for them to check the health of the eyes, but they do not have to refer you to our clinic for you to be seen.
Q. Will I have to be dilated if I was just dilated by my family eye doctor?
A. A dilation of the eyes is a part of our assessment. There are things that the doctor is looking at that are typically different than your family eye doctor’s dilation.
Q. What training does the doctor have?
A. Our doctors are all doctors of optometry and have received the designation O.D. They have then received additional training in visual development, strabismus (wandering eye), amblyopia (lazy eye), functional vision, and vision issues related to traumatic brain injury and strokes. The doctors are either board-certified or working on their board certification in Neuro-Visual Rehabilitation/Vision Therapy and Vision Development and receive the designation, FCOVD.
Q. How else can I prepare for the initial examination?
A. There are history forms to fill out that give us information about your medical and eye history. You can find those here http://wavtc.com/online-forms.html.
There is almost always a balance due even with insurance such as co-pay or co-insurance so please be ready with that payment. If you have medical insurance please bring your insurance card with you.
We do have a strict late and cancellation policy where fees may apply or you might be asked to reschedule. Please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in and give 2 days’ notice for cancellations.
You changed James' life and we will forever be grateful! His last appointment was great and better than before if possible. Sorry we won't see you again but we are so excited James is completely finished! Thank you just doesn't seem sufficient but is all we have to say! Thank YOU!!
Meet The Developmental Optometrist
Dr. Winters is board-certified in vision development and vision therapy. In 2010, he started a vision therapy center in Yakima, Washington. His advocacy for children that struggle with life-altering developmental vision problems has included over 100 lectures in colleges, professional groups, parent groups, and schools. He is one of the founders of Building Vision, a non-profit that raises awareness and funds for individuals struggling with these vision problems and which has given free screenings to almost 1000 children in the Yakima area. He established the Harvest in the Heart of the Northwest Conference which is an educational seminar held biennially in Yakima, providing continuing education specific to developmental optometry. He is the clinical director of Washington Vision Therapy Center and is currently serving as the president of the Yakima Valley Optometric Society.