What to Expect at Your First Visit

What You’ll Need

Insurance card
If you changed insurance plans or have a new insurance card, please notify the front desk and have your card available.

Driver’s license or other state ID

Most HMO plans require a referral. If your insurance requires a referral, please be sure to send it to our office.

Medical records
This is optional but highly recommended. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, it is imperative that you bring a complete copy of your medical records (including any diagnostic testing) to your first visit. Please fax to our medical records department directly at 202-688-2857.

What to Expect

Length of the appointment
Please allow up to 2 hours for your first appointment.

Your copay will always be collected at the time of service. If you choose to receive a service that is not covered by your medical insurance, such as a contact lens evaluation, payment for that service will be collected up front. We accept cash, check and all major credit cards.

Brief clinical overview
Your appointment will begin with an ophthalmic technician. It is likely that the technician will perform some diagnostic testing before you meet with the doctor.

Brief admin overview
When you arrive for your appointment, you will be greeted by our receptionists who will ask you to complete our patient registration through our self check-in kiosk. You will be asked to enter demographic information and agree to our consent forms. There will be administrative staff present at all times to provide assistance with this process if necessary.

Surgery consultations
If you are coming in for an evaluation for surgery, you will also meet with a surgical coordinator following your appointment.


Admin Questions

What can I expect at the first appointment?
Do I need to bring anything?
  • Insurance card
  • Driver’s license or other state ID
  • Referral – if applicable. If you do not know, please check with your insurance. Remember, referrals expire.
  • Medical records – This is optional but highly recommended. Please fax to our medical records department directly at 202-688-2857.
How do I know if I need a referral?
  • Please check with your insurance company to verify if you need a referral to see a specialist. Most HMO plans require a referral.
  • If your insurance requires a referral, please be sure to send it to our medical records department directly at 202-688-2857.
Are you open on weekends?
  • Yes, our optometrists see patients on Saturdays from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Please note that only certain offices are open; it is best to call during normal business hours to find out which office is open on that particular Saturday.
What is your appointment policy?
  • Appointments must be cancelled 24 hours in advance to avoid a cancellation fee of $25.00.
I received a bill and have questions about it. Who can I call for assistance?
  • Please call our billing department – Doctor’s Choice. They can be reached at 301-670-4250 (ext 426).

Clinical Questions

Will I be dilated?
  • Your eyes may be dilated if the physician needs to take a closer look at the back of your eye. You may opt out of having your eyes dilated by taking a photo called an Optos. Keep in mind that if you have any underlying diseases or any disorders of the eye (i.e. glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration, nevus, etc.), you are required to have a dilated exam at least once a year. If you chose to have an Optos, there will be a $40.00 charge that is collected on the day of service.
How long will this appointment take?
  • Your appointment can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours depending on the appointment type and the amount of testing required. Below is a rough estimate:
    • Medical visits
      • Short/brief appointments: 30-45 minutes
      • New patient or annual appointments: 45 minutes – 1.5 hours
      • Glaucoma consult: 2-3 hours
      • In-office procedure: 45 minutes – 1.5 hours
      • Post-op appointments: 20-30 minutes
      • Same-day emergency
    • Cataract-related visits
      • Cataract consultation: 2-3 hours
      • Follow-up measurement/testing visit: 45 mins – 1 hour
      • Post-op appointments: 20-30 minutes
    • LASIK-related visits
      • LASIK consultation: 1 hour
      • LASIK pre-operative exam: 1.5-2 hours
      • Post-op appointments: 20-30 minutes
    • Contact lens-related visits:
      • Contact lens evaluation:
        • Standard: 1.5 hours
        • Specialty: 2-3 hours
      • Insertion and removal appointments: 1-1.5
      • Follow-up appointments: 30 minutes –
        1 hour
What if I need a refill on my prescription?
  • Please give our office a call at 301-215-7100 to submit a request. You may also ask your pharmacy to fax a request to our office.
  • Prescription refills will be processed only for established patients who have been seen in the past 12 months.
  • Your physician will review your chart, and the prescription will be called in directly to your pharmacy within 1 business day.
  • If your physician feels an office visit is necessary before a refill can be given, you will be notified by a staff member.
Do you take my insurance?
  • Eye Doctors of Washington participates with most major insurance plans. If you do not see your plan listed below, please contact your insurance company directly to find out if the provider you’d like to see is in network.
  • If the provider you’d like to see is out of network, contact your insurance company about using your out-of-network benefits.
  • Visit our insurance and financing page for more information about how to make your eye care more affordable.
Yes: No:
  • Medicare: Part B Only
  • BCBS Open Access
  • GEHA
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare Choice Plus
  • Medicaid
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Humana
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Anthem Healthkeepers
  • United Healthcare HMO
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