Can you tell me more about what my visit to your office will be like? What should I know ahead of time?
Thank for choosing Stone Eye Center for your eye care. We appreciate your vote of confidence. Our office culture stresses empathy for all our patients. While chairside manner is important, our goal is to help you resolve whatever might bring you to our eye center.
It is important for us to take a detailed medical and ocular history, perform a detailed examination with relevant testing, offer clinically verified treatments, and communicate effectively with you during every stage of your visit.
Formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan requires experience and precision, and must be completely thought out.
Our office makes use of technicians and physician assistants. Often this ancillary staff will interview you and do preliminary testing, and the present the findings to the doctor. In a similar vein Dr. Stone also relies on his staff to assist in patient education and check out procedures, usually reiterating findings & recommendations.
Why has Dr. Stone been recognized as a top ophthalmologist in Chicago?
Lawrence Stone, M.D. did his medical school and ophthalmology training at University of Chicago, ranked at that time as the third top medical school in the country. Travelling in elite circles, he completing prestigious fellowships at Will’s University in Philadelphia and McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Teaching appointments have included U. of Chicago, Illinois Eye Institute and Loyola University. For many years he was chief of ophthalmology at Weiss Hospital.
His resume includes over 40 lectures and publications on a host of topics. It can be found on this web site under doctors. Writing and lecturing on topics requires a depth of knowledge and the ability to think and solve problems creatively. He brings these skills with him into the exam and operating rooms.
In addition, he had been sought out by attorneys all over the country to consult on complex medical legal and insurance disability cases. His analytic and writing ability allow him to conceptualize complex topics and make them understandable to non-physicians. He has worked on pro-bono cases.
From 2007 to 2010 he was awarded the Castle-Connelly top docs award in ophthalmology. In 2015, Dr. Stone was listed in the “Top Doctors Honors Edition” America’s Best Doctors. In 2016, he was named to an international list of top doctors.
What is a refraction and is it covered by insurance?
A refraction is a vision care service that determines if you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia. Measurements are taken by our experienced optometrist and a prescription is formulated. Generally speaking a refraction is not included as part of a medical eye exam but may be covered by vision insurance or paid for out of pocket.
We have an optical dispensary with well-priced frames and top quality lens products. If you wish to make a purchase, our optician will gladly assist you with your frame and lens selection. We have expertise in progressive lenses and computer glasses.
Which insurance plans do we participate in? Do we see out-of-network patients?
Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna and Aetna are among the insurance companies that we participate in. Each company offers multiple plans and we participate in many but not all of them. We will verify your eligibility benefits prior to your first visit. You may also want to call the number listed on the back of your insurance card or check your insurer’s website membership area to verify your benefits.
We participate in several HMO plans including Chicago Health Care System and Ravenswood Physicians Association. We also see patients enrolled in a variety of Medicare Advantage Plans.
Out of network and self-pay patients seek us out based on our reviews and high ratings. We are happy to quote a fee over the phone once we learn the reason that you are seeking care.
What is your billing policy? What should I bring with me on the day of the visit?
We will check with your insurance to see where you are in terms of meeting your deductible and what your co-payment responsibilities are. Our billing manager will be happy to assist you. Generally speaking any financial liability that you’ll be incurring that is not anticipated to be paid by your insurer will be collected on the day of the visit, or be guaranteed by a credit card authorization. This allows us to focus on patient care and minimizes the time spent on billing and collections.
For you first visit to our office, you will be asked for your insurance card, driver’s license and credit card.
I wish to come in right away, do you offer immediate care visits?
We will try to accommodate you if our schedule permits. We offer specialty ophthalmology coverage by a board-certified ophthalmologist.
The urgent care visit is designed only to address and discuss the most important and relevant issues. Often further evaluation and additional management is made on a second exam, during which additional time would be allotted for discussion. If the doctor ascertains that your issue requires care above what our office can provide appropriate referrals would be made.
I have been told that I have a chalazion; what should I do?
A chalazion is a blockage of the meibomian glands, which produces a specialized secretion called mebum. Mebum helps support the tear layer.
If it is red or tender, it is infected. An oral antibiotic may nip the problem in the bud. Warm compresses have also been found to be helpful.
If there is no infection you can wait to see if it gets smaller on its own.
Some chalazion require surgical incision.
Generally, the surgery is done on the inner surface of the eyelid to avoid leaving a visible scar.
What is a stye? How is it treated?
A stye (hordeolum) is a cousin to a chalazion and the two are often confused. Unlike a chalazion, a stye is always infected when it starts out and is located at the lid margin. It arises at the base of one of the eyelashes and appears red and tender. Sometimes it has a whitehead that “points.” Warm compresses and ophthalmic antibiotic ointment are recommended. There some anti-bacterial eye ointments that can be purchased without a prescription. Drainage of the stye may be spontaneous or by surgical incision.
Seek medical attention as necessary from an urgent care clinic, primary care doctor or eye care provider.
What are the costs for treatment?
There is a professional fee and facility cost for each procedure. Each is billed separately to your insurance company. We do welcome self-pay patients also.
Coverage varies in terms of what is covered or not covered by insurance. We will give you an estimate or a range of what your out of pocket costs are likely to be and if prepayment is required towards anticipated charges.
I understand that you treat floaters, what is a floater?
A floater is an opacity in the gel of the eye. As the gel undergoes degenerative changes, a circular, semi-circular, glob or snake like opacity may develop. These opacities cast a shadow on the retina which can appear as a spot or bug darting across your vision, or as cloud or veil.
Many floaters become less noticeable with time. However, if you have a visibly disturbing floater, treatment with LFR (Laser Floater Removal) may be an option.
What floaters should be treated?
A typical floater that responds well to treatment is called a hyaloid ring. This is a fibrous circular or semi-circular opacity that has broken off of the optic nerve and usually resides in the middle of the vitreous gel. Patients tend to get this type of floater after the age of 50. Also snake and rope like opacities often respond to laser treatment.
Are some floaters less amenable to treatment?
Not all floaters are treatable. Some are too close to the retina to treat. Others are too transparent and do not absorb the laser energy. Younger patients tend to have minute floaters that are difficult to visualize and are often too close to the lens or retina to safely treat.
What is involved if someone wants to have a floater evaluated?
An office visit is set up with our office staff.
The visit will include a discussion of how and where the floater appears to you. It’s important for me to try to correlate your symptoms to what I see in the eye.
After that discussion your pupil will be dilated. I will use several special lenses to view and diagram the floater and discuss risk and benefits of treatment. If I see multiple floaters, I’ll try to assess which ones require treatment.
How long does a treatment take
Before the treatment, drops and an anesthetic gel are instilled. Patients are seated with the head and chin against a bar. There’s a special lens that is place on the eye.
The laser treatment can last 10 minutes or more, if I see the patient getting uncomfortable I’ll pause the treatment for a few minutes by removing the lens.
My floater is bothersome, what should I do?
Many floaters become less noticeable with time. It can shift to a different position in the eye, away from the center. Also, neuro-adaption may occur, where the brain tunes out the disturbance.
Not all floaters are treatable. Some are too close to the retina to treat. Others are very transparent the laser will have trouble dissolving them.
Only an evaluation can determine whether your floater is treatable. For treatable floaters, most patients notice a 70% improvement in symptoms. Sometimes more than one treatment is necessary.
What concierge services do you offer? What is a concierge level office visit?
A concierge visits to our office features more detailed explanations into pathophysiology, anatomy, prognosis, treatment and so forth. It does not however mean that every question that you have will be answered in the detail that you’re looking for.
Price (excludes testing and any and all procedures) ranges from $395 to $695 and does not include testing. A concierge visit is not covered by insurance (and will not be billed to insurance), but certain tests may be eligible for insurance reimbursement.
The higher fee level allows more time and may include a limited email exchange with the doctor after the encounter. We also guarantee—barring an emergency– that you will get in right away with limited time waiting.
Other concierge services involve recommending top ophthalmic subspecialists in the city or country; reviewing past medical records, rendering opinions. Call us for more information about this unprecedent level of service.