Have you ever wondered why some LASIK practices can offer such extreme discounted while others recommend charges that are beyond your purse strings? With some many advertisements focused on price, New England Eye Center can understand why you might be confused. Our physicians and highly skilled LASIK team are here to help you understand the value and affordability of seeing experience surgeons at a world class hospital. To help debunk the discount myths and also guide you through your decision making process for the procedure that will give you your personal best vision, it is important to address a few points below.
Discount LASIK is a means to attract a patient to the office. Just like any marketing strategy it is a “call to action”. That means “the lower price or the discount savings” is a way to capture your attention so you will pick up the phone and inquire for more information. Sometimes the discount offered is deducted from a “higher standard price” which is never actually collected. There is nothing wrong with using this stratagem, but it is not our standard practice. We believe in order for you to make an informed decision when choosing your LASIK provider, you should be better educated on price tactics. This way you can recognize what discount LASIK could mean to you. Most often the criteria needed for someone to qualify for the low price LASIK exists in a very small percentage of the population. If you read the fine print in the advertisement, it will state what prescriptions actually qualify. On some occasions the lower cost pertains to utilizing technology that one would now consider “out of date” or not the “desired practice of medicine.”
Why charge for different prescriptions?
Practices advertising discounts off LASIK or very prices for LASIK may recommend upgraded charges based on your eye prescription. This is also another means to capture your attention. The reality is, when it comes to cost, it should not matter if the prescription is higher or lower to treat someone with LASIK. If an individual qualifies for LASIK, it take the same resources to treat a person with a low degree of nearsightedness as it does to treat someone with nearsightedness and astigmatism. The same pre and post operative testing is required to determine candidacy and once the doctor turns on the laser for a procedure it will cost the same amount of money to have it on for 30 seconds just as it does to have it on for 50 seconds. And regarding the technology used to treat LASIK patients, the lasers available today treat relatively in the same range for all LASIK candidates. At New England Eye Center in Boston, we offer one price for our iLASIK and PRK patients which include all pre-operative testing and post operative follow up visits for one year. The only time the price changes at New England Eye Center is when patients are candidates for procedures other than LASIK. We Call these alternatives Advanced Lens Procedures or Premium Lenses. These procedures, such as Visian Lens, Crystalens, Toric lens and Restor lens, require being treated in an ASC (Ambulatory Surgical Center) for an intraoperative procedure and any fees that apply to that facility which are not covered by insurance. The physicians at New England Eye Center are experts in vision correction and offer the most recent advancements in procedures and technology. We do not need to match the patient’s budget to the prescription or technology. We recommend the procedure which will give you your personal best vision and one price for that procedure.
Do I need punctual plus for the treatment of dry eye?
Some additional or hidden prices you will find when visiting discount LASIK centers may apply to the treatment of dry eye. LASIK surgery has been known to temporarily induce some dry eye symptoms. While the dryness can vary, it usually resolves itself within a few months. If significant, the dryness can affect your visual outcome. If you suffer from dry eye prior to surgery it is important to proactively address dry eye symptoms prior to laser vision correction but not everyone suffers from dry eye, therefore not everyone requires the treatment for dry eye. Some LASIK centers in Massachusetts and in the United States require all patients to purchase punctual plugs for dry eyes regardless of the need and they will persuade the patient that their dry eye protocol is in their best interest of the patient. This is a way to obtain more money incrementally from the patient. while punctual plugs are an option for the treatment of dry eye, there is more than one treatment for this condition. At New England Eye Center we start with eye drops before inserting punctual plugs. Often the treatment of dry eye can be resolved or controlled by using Restasis or other types of eye drops. During your pre-operative consultation and dilated exam we will measure your tear film. If your tear film is low, the physician will recommend a dry eye regimen which will correct your tear film to an optimal level before proceeding to surgery. In some instances, the doctor may actually recommend an alternative vision correction procedure called Visian. If you suffer from dry eye, it may not be in your best interest to proceed with LASIK at all and the Visian lens or PRK could be a better alternative than LASIK. This is one of the advantages to being treated in our facility. LASIK is not all we do. It is only one option in a wide variety of services we have available.
Do I need an extended warranty?
Additional prices you could see at discount LASIK practices can even include extended warranties for enhancements or different tiers of pricing for different surgeons. If this appeals to you, keep in mind, while you may have paid for a warranty, there is nothing that will guarantee that particular LASIK practice will be in existence ten years from now. Many corporate LASIK centers in the United States have closed due to the inability to achieve their required LASIK volume to cover their expenses. Often patients have no notice and actually showed up to the office to find the doors locked and the office closed. New England Eye Center and Tufts Medical Center offer more than LASIK and are not required to meet a quota. We are here to help lessen or reduce your dependency on glasses or contact lenses as well as managing all of your eye care needs. If you require an enhancement, we can usually determine this within the first three to six months post surgery. Any enhancements needed within the year are included in your cost. If for some reason you find several years from now your vision has changed, we will gladly assess your visual needs and if required we will provide an enhancement for our “standard enhancement fee.”
Why should I go with the lower price?
When you are ready to see if you are a candidate for vision correction we will be honored if you chose us for your procedure. At New England Eye Center we understand the financial aspect will be a consideration for you. Please know if you are unable to afford the most advanced procedure at this time, we will be available to you when you are able. We would advise you to wait until you can afford the best than to risk your future and your precious eyesight to a more risky alternative. You may also be surprised to learn that financing programs are available today that make the best truly affordable. Contact one of our skilled LASIK staff to discuss these programs and also remember to speak to your employer about flex spending programs. When the time is right for you, New England Eye Center will be honored to treat you and be your vision care provider.