FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
EYE EXAM FAQs
COMMON REQUESTS FAQs
PATIENT PORTAL FAQs
CHILDREN UNDER 18 FAQs
YOUR VISIT FAQs
Q: What can I expect from my visit?
A: Depending on the reason for your visit, you may undergo refraction (checking your glasses/contacts prescription), intraocular pressure measurement, and dilation. Other tests may be ordered by your doctor as needed.
Q: How long will my appointment take?
A: Some visits, especially if you are a new patient, can take anywhere from 45 min to 2 hours. Please allow yourself plenty of time for the visit. Our doctors and staff make every effort to see you quickly. We also always try to accommodate patients with emergencies and unexpected problems, and this may rarely affect your wait time. We very much appreciate your patience should this happen.
Q: Why do my eyes need to be dilated? How long does dilation last?
A: Dilation involves using eye drops to enlarge the pupil of the eye. This allows your doctor to look into the eye and examine its internal structures. Without dilation, some important parts of the eye cannot be seen.
Dilating drops often make your vision blurry for 3-4 hours, especially your near vision. Dilation can also make your eyes more sensitive to bright light. Sometimes driving is difficult, and some patients choose to have someone drive them to and from appointments.
Q: Can you give me a prescription for contact lenses?
A: Most of our doctors can update your contact lens prescription if you are happy with your current brand. Please bring the boxes/packaging along with your current lenses. However, if you have never worn contacts before, are looking to switch lens brands or try specialty contacts for the first time (colored, toric/astigmatism, multifocal lenses), please see our optometrists, Dr. Vu-Gia or Dr. Tran, for a lens fitting.
Q: I have questions about my insurance plan coverage and benefits. Who should I contact?
A: If you have questions regarding covered services, non-covered services, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurances, or any other insurance coverage or benefits issues, please contact your insurance provider. The customer support number for your insurance company is usually provided on the back of your insurance card. If this information is not provided on the back of your insurance card, please speak with your insurance broker or your Human Resources Department to request the correct contact information.
Q: What is a deductible?
A: A deductible is an amount that your insurance plan may require you to pay out-of-pocket prior to the insurance company paying for medical care for you. Payments you make for medical care are applied towards your remaining deductible amount. Once your remaining deductible amount is $0, your insurance company will begin to pay for covered medical care rendered to you and your dependents. However, you will still be responsible for your office visit copays and coinsurances until you have reached your out-of-pocket maximum.
Payments for non-covered services (medical or routine treatment that your insurance company does not allow payment for) will not be applied to your deductible. Sometimes co-pays and co-insurances are not applied to your deductible, either. If your insurance plan allows, your deductible may be waived for medical care provided in an office setting.
The best resource for figuring out your plan’s deductible policies is your insurance company. If your insurance company’s number is not provided on the back of your card, we encourage you to reach out to your insurance broker or your Human Resources Department to retrieve that contact information.
Q: I do not wish to pay towards my deductible during my office visit. May I request to be billed for my visit?
A: Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to know if you have an office visit deductible amount for specialist visits and to know the remaining amount of that deductible. Our office staff can usually retrieve this information from our insurance eligibility reports. Still, upon request, we will submit our claim for your office visit. Once we receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company, you will be billed for any outstanding balance due for your visit. Note: You must still pay the specialist copay that is due for your visit.
Q: I do not wish to pay my copay during my office visit. May I request to be billed for my visit?
A: Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to know your specialist copay amount at the time of your visit and to pay that amount upon checking out. However, upon request and as a courtesy, we will submit our claim for your office visit. Once we receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company, you will be billed for any outstanding copay amount due for your visit. Note: A $10 billing fee will also be charged to you for non-payment of your co-pay at the time of service.
Q: I received a collections notice. Who do I need to contact?
A: For questions regarding collection activity on your NVOA account, please contact:
P.O. Box 64378
Saint Paul, MN 55164
Phone: (888) 735 – 8029
Q: I have a delinquent account/ I am in collections. Will my doctor still see me for my annual eye exam?
A: Patients with a delinquent account status or patients whose accounts have been sent to collections may not be scheduled for any annual exams or other routine eye care services until our Billing Department has cleared the patient. However, all established patients with true eye emergencies may be scheduled for emergency appointments only. Our Billing Department will still meet with those patients during their scheduled appointment time.
Q: How do I get a copy of my glasses prescription(s)?
A: Please call one of our offices to request a copy of your glasses prescription(s). All requests received by 4:00 PM will be handled the same day.
Our staff will mail or fax the glasses prescription(s) to your requested location.
Note: Glasses prescriptions expire after two years. If your glasses prescription has expired, you will need to be re-examined before a new prescription may be issued.
Q: How do I get a copy of my contact lens prescription(s)?
A: Please call one of our offices to request a copy of your contact lens prescription(s). All requests received by 4:00 PM will be handled the same day.
Our staff will mail or fax the contact lens prescription(s) to your requested location.
Note: Contact lens prescriptions expire after one year. If your contact lens prescription has expired, you will need to be re-examined before a new prescription may be issued.
Q: How can I get a refill for my current medication prescription(s)?
A: Please call one of our offices to request a medication refill. All requests received by 4:00 PM will be handled the same day. Please provide:
Pharmacy where prescription should be sent (if being sent electronically)
Name of prescription
Any other details you want sent to our Technicians
If you do not know the name of your medication, please provide the condition that the medication is being used to treat in order to help our Technicians determine which medication needs to be refilled. If needed, our Technicians will call you to get further information regarding your request.
Our Technicians will send the refill authorization to your requested pharmacy electronically or mail the prescription to your address that we have on-file.
Note: Depending on your last office visit, you may be asked to return for a follow-up before your prescription(s) can be refilled.
Q: I do not have an email address. How can I gain access to the Patient Portal?
A: In order to gain access to our Patient Portal, you must have an email address. However, if you do not currently have an email account, you may:
Create a free email account online; or
Use the email address of a family member or a caregiver
Note: Using another individual’s email address to register for our Patient Portal grants that person access to your protected health information, including appointments, diagnoses, etc… as well as access to change your Portal password.
If you decide to create a free email account, please call one of our offices once the account is created and provide our Receptionist with your new email address.
If you decide to use another person’s email address to access our Patient Portal, you must complete the Portal Authorization Form listing that person’s name, relationship to you, and email address. The form will be in-effect until you revoke the authorization or until you complete a new authorization.
For parents/guardians of patients under the age of 18, we automatically recognize the parent/guardian name(s) and email address that we have on-file as authorized Portal users for the patient’s account. When your child reaches the age of 18, he/she may elect to revoke your access to his/her patient file on our Portal. Or, your child may create his/her own portal account and still allow you to have access to his/her file.
Q: Can someone else accompany my underage child to office visits/ surgeries?
A: It is our policy that, for any surgery, a parent or guardian must accompany any underage patient.
For office visits, someone else may accompany your underage child. If your underage child will be accompanied by someone other than a parent/guardian, please review and complete our Minor Consent Form. This form is good for the entire year in which it was signed.
Once completed, you may fax the form to one of our offices. Alternatively, you may provide verbal consent over the phone for your child to be accompanied by someone other than a parent/guardian and our staff will note the conversation on the Minor Consent Form.
In any event, all financial / medical forms for the appointment must be completed by a parent/guardian and provided on the date of service. You may find the forms you need by visiting our Forms Page.
Note: If any patient under the age of 18 shows up for an appointment unaccompanied by an adult, that patient will not be seen.
Q: What should I bring with me to my appointment?
A: For your appointment, we ask that you bring:
An unexpired photo ID
Your insurance card(s)
The name and date of birth of the policyholder for your insurance plan(s)
A list of medications and supplements you are currently taking, including: (1) how many times per day you take each medication / supplement and (2) what condition(s) you are taking each medication for, if applicable.
Many times, we are able to pull you medication history for previously-filled prescriptions through our Electronic Health Records system. To allow us to pull your medication history, please complete our eRx Consent Form.