If you visit an eye doctor regularly, you may have asked him or her if you are a LASIK candidate. After all, they are your eye doctor and have likely known you for quite some time. Many eye doctors or optometrists will refer their patients to specific LASIK surgeons who offer co-management.

What Is LASIK Co-Management?

Co-management is when the optometrist receives a fee from the LASIK surgeon for providing pre- and post-operative care. While co-management can be financially beneficial for your eye doctor, it can create a less-than-stellar result and/or experience for the patient.

Why Do Eye Doctors Refer Patients to Specific LASIK Practices?

This is part of the co-management model. When an optometrist and LASIK surgeon co-manage, the optometrist almost exclusively refers his or her patients to that surgeon, regardless of the patients’ individual needs. It is a monetary benefit to both sides because the LASIK surgeon will have a guaranteed flow of referrals from the optometrist, and the optometrist is guaranteed fees from the LASIK surgeon for performing the pre-and post-operative care.

Providence Eye & Laser Specialists does not co-manage with optometrists. Let us explain the very important reasons why he made this decision when we opened in 2003.

1. Your LASIK surgeon should perform your LASIK evaluation.

At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, your actual LASIK surgeon (who, BTW is a fellowship-trained cornea specialist), not an optometrist or a technician, will conduct your consultation! That’s right – you will not only meet your surgeon but he will examine your vision and the overall health of your eyes. He will also analyze the maps of your cornea (thanks to our Pentacam and VARIO corneal mapping devices) to determine if LASIK eye surgery is right for you. These two highly sophisticated diagnostic devices are not typically part of any exam with your regular eye doctor. Did you know that approximately 20% of the patients who come to Providence Eye for a consultation are turned away because they are not ideal candidates for a variety of reasons? Many times, it has to do with findings from corneal mapping.

2. Eye doctors who have extensive experience with LASIK patients should do LASIK post-operative care.

Providence Eye is primarily a surgical practice. We specialize in laser vision correction procedures, not general eye care. Our surgeons and our optometrists, Dr. Mills, and Dr. Gray, have extensive training and experience when it comes to ensuring your eyes are continuing to heal after LASIK surgery. Likely you will have fantastic vision after your LASIK surgery, but it is important to attend all your post-operative visits (which are included in our price) so that if there are any concerns they can be detected early by an expert.

3. Communication and continuity of care are extremely important.

We are a team here at Providence Eye! From your very first phone call, through your entire LASIK experience, you will be known at our practice, and you will never be treated like a number. Providing you with all your pre-and post-operative care within Providence Eye ensures communication and continuity of care. This continuity enables our surgeons to provide you with a safe, precise, and optimal LASIK experience.

Is Providence Eye looking to take you away from your favorite eye doctor? No, definitely not! After you have completed your one year of LASIK post-operative care, we encourage you to have annual eye exams with your regular eye doctor. We ask that you please send us the results of those exams, which we will keep safely in our HIPAA-compliant electronic medical records. By having annual eye exams with your eye doctor, you will keep your enhancement policy with Providence Eye intact.

If you are curious about having LASIK surgery, make the first call. At Providence Eye, we are here to teach you everything you need to know about LASIK, and we will always answer all your questions. After all, this is a personal decision, and we want you to feel great about it! Contact us today for a free LASIK consultation.