COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic Preparedness
In these times of uncertainty, please remember LaserCare Eye Center is here for you. We are adapting to this brave new world for both your and our protection.
We are here for you!!
The COVID-19 Emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic warrants us to adapt to how we do things. Through it all, please remember we are here for you and will aim to provide the same great standard of medical care to which you are accustomed. This page will provide you more information about our changes:
Live Phone calls
During the COVID-19 emergency, our offices need to operate in an efficient manner given all the procedures we have to perform to keep patients safe. Our main focus is direct patient care. Unfortunately, this means that live phone service will not always be as readily available. We ask that you use the following ways to communicate with us is:
Every call is important, but please understand that we must prioritize calls based on medical urgency. If you have a non-urgent medical need, we may not be able to address it for a few days. If you have a non-medical call, we will likely not return it until after the National Emergency is over. If you have a true medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency room.
Improvements in the Office
When COVID-19 hit, one of the first things we did was form a committee to create drastic changes to improve our offices to promote patient safety. One of the changes we made was to assign a Chief Infection Officer, who works with Dr. Gicheru and our managers to ensure we far exceed minimal standards for Infection control. The following are changes we have made to promote patient safety:
- Masks for all: You will need a mask that fully covers your mouth and nose to enter our office. Your mask cannot have a filter or a breathing hole(s). All our staff will be wearing masks and some will have gloves.
- COVID-19 Screening: You will be screened with a temperature check and questionnaire prior to being seen. If your temperature is high or if you have COVID-19 symptoms, your appointment will be rescheduled so you can see your PCP or go to the Emergency room.
- Individual waiting rooms: We have eliminated group waiting rooms: You will have your own individual VIP waiting room.
- Text when you arrive: One day before your appointment, our office will text you. Once you get to the office, please text to let us know you have arrived. Wait until we have a personal waiting room ready before you walk up to the office.
- Enhanced cleaning procedures: It will take a little longer for us to see you because we do a deep clean of the exam rooms, equipment and common areas in between patients. Please be patient with us.
- One Way Flow: Our offices now have separate entrances and exits so that we can minimize patients running into each other.
- No guest policy: We ask that you come to your appointment alone. If you must bring a guest, this will need to be approved ahead of time.
- Red Eye Precautions: Because COVID-19 can present with a red eye, all Red Eye patients must be evaluated with Telemedicine first before a live visit is scheduled.
- Enhanced Air Filtration: We have installed a new Air Conditioning unit in our Laser suite and installed an Air Scrubber to optimize the air during your LASIK, SMILE or PRK surgery.
- Telemedicine: Some appointments can be scheduled as Telemedicine visits: See below.
Go to our TeleMedicine Portal to schedule
During the Texas COVID-19 lockdown, we instituted Telemedicine. Our patients and our team loved it so much that we are continuing to use it. Telemedicine is the use of real-time audio-visual technology on a device such as a smartphone, e-reader (iPad, Kindle, etc) or computer/laptop with a webcam for an office visit. The doctor, with the help of staff, is able to obtain a detailed history, perform a COVID-19 screen, perform a limited exam and give recommendations, just like with a regular medical exam. The actual exam is limited, but the doctor can address your needs from the safety of your home without the risk of infection at the hospital or Emergency room.
Furthermore, if you need a medication refill, contact lens refill or work release, we can help you during your Telemedicine office visit. Participating in a Telemedicine office visit is as simple as clicking on a link that is sent by email or text. Our staff will call to walk you through the steps.
Should you not have a device or should your device not work with our software, the State of Texas has allowed us to convert to a simple phone call. Your visit will be billed to your insurance just like a regular office visit. Any copays/coinsurance/deductibles will apply and will be collected by our staff on the Telemedicine platform.
Elective Eye Surgery
We are continuing to offer Elective Eye Surgeries such as LASIK, SMILE, PRK, Cataract Surgery, Refractive Lens Exchange and more. This is because we perform almost all of our surgeries either in our in-office LASER Suite or at our Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). Thus, the Governor of Texas recent ban on Hospital Elective surgery does not apply to us. Both facilities have enhanced their procedures to make surgery safe. Obviously, patient safety is our highest priority and our doctors, managers and our Chief Infection Officer is monitoring news from the Governor’s office, County governments and more on a daily basis.
Pre-Pay Surgery Specials
We totally understand that some patients don’t want to leave the house RIGHT NOW. If you want surgery, but just not RIGHT NOW, we have great options for you. For select new patients* wanting Refractive surgery, we offer financing** and also have Pre-pay Specials for Laser Vision Correction, such as LASIK, SMILE, PRK ICL, RLR, and Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery. We can do it in 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Email [email protected] or call our Direct LASIK line at 214 495-1351 to schedule a free Telemedicine consult with our staff and doctors.
Step 2: At the Telemedicine consult, we will schedule your Pre-op evaluation, provided the discounted Surgeon’s fees are paid within 48 business hours. Unfortunately, the Pre-op must be delayed until after the Governor’s Elective Surgery ban expires.
Step 3: At your pre-operative appointment, which will be a face-to-face visit, your surgery will be scheduled.
Please keep in mind that Pre-op and Surgery dates are subject to change depending on the Governor’s Executive Orders. If you opt for a Pre-Pay special, your surgery can be scheduled any time before August 31st, 2021 provided our Surgeon determines you are a candidate at your Pre-op appointment. Should our Surgeon determine you are not an ideal candidate for surgery, a refund of the Surgeon’s fees*** will be provided. Please email [email protected] for more details about Pre-Pay Surgery specials.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we must protect our patients and our staff. COVID-19 can present as a “red eye” or in many other unusual ways that we are learning more and more about. As a precaution, we may require a Telemedicine evaluation prior to a Face-to-face emergency appointment. This is done as a precaution. Once our doctor is assured that the risk of COVID-19 is low, a Face-to-Face emergency appointment can be scheduled, if needed. Please remember, our usual $100 Emergency fee will be strictly enforced for all Emergency face-to-face visits. This fee is on top of the visit fee and is paid out of pocket. These visits are problem-focused to reduce the contact time between you and our staff. No routine glasses exams or diagnostic testing will be done during Emergency visits. In some cases, you may be referred straight to the emergency room for your care. If you have had an injury or have neurological symptoms, an Emergency room may be better to handle your needs. We apologize if this is inconvenient, but we are taking Infection control very seriously.
We are seeing patients for regular appointments. Obviously, we use the precautions listed above. If you have an existing appointment, our office will call you and send you a text 1-2 days before the appointment. Keep the text message because you will need to use it to text our office when you arrive at our building for your appointment. Our office will text you once we have a clean individual waiting room for you. NOTE: Until August 31, 2020, convenience fees for rescheduled or missed appointments are waived.
Our Optical Shop is closed until the Texas COVID-19 Emergency concludes. If you have an Optical job pending, we can dispense via mail or delivery in a few weeks. If you have broken your glasses and had a glasses prescription in our office in the last year, we would be happy to send you a copy of the prescription. Alternatively, you can scheduled an appointment for an office visit and glasses exam. We appreciate your patience during these uncertain times.
*Applies only for new patients with no history of prior eye surgery and offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, Comanagement, insurance, Groupon or offers. **Financing subject to approved credit. ***The refund will be for pre-paid Surgeon’s fees. Pre-op, other exams and diagnostic test fees do not apply.
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