eye exams vs eye tests

At optomed our optometrists provide comprehensive eye exams. The term “eye test” is now quite outdated and refers to the fact that in the past, getting your eyes tested meant exactly that… a test. In other words, you were asked a lot of questions about which lens provided clearer vision and hopefully your answers to those questions resulted in an accurate prescription for glasses.

Over the years the role of the optometrist has changed as a result of the development of some incredible technology and we no longer just “test” your eyes… your eyes can now be thoroughly examined for a large range of eye diseases and conditions, some of which can be treated much earlier and consequently prevent or minimise loss of vision.

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover a lot of this additional technology. Much of the equipment necessary to conduct a thorough, comprehensive eye examination is very expensive to purchase and this cost becomes part of the consultation fee for the eye examination.

At optomed we have invested, and continue to invest, in the latest technology and offer our patients a choice of a standard eye examination which does not involve the use of this technology… or a full comprehensive eye examination where we provide a full suite of diagnostic procedures.

fees | medicare rebates | bulk billing

Our consultation fees reflect the fact that we provide an examination of your eyes which is much more than a vision test and a prescription for glasses. At optomed our appointments are 45 minutes long and we offer detection, management and monitoring of most eye diseases including the more common such as glaucoma, macula degeneration, cataract, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye disease.

In early 2015 the federal government made a number of changes to benefits paid for optometric services. As a result we were forced to change our billing and claiming procedures. Instead of bulk billing non-concessional patients, we made the transition to Medicare Easyclaims which allows us to offer our patients immediate reimbursement of their Medicare optometric benefits at our reception desk.

If you have previously registered your banking details with Medicare, you will receive a rebate benefit to your nominated bank account almost immediately. If not, you’ll receive a benefit cheque in the mail. You may have experienced exactly this same system previously at your GP as it is used extensively by them.

Unlike bulk-billing, there will usually be a gap between the fee you pay us and the rebate benefit you receive from Medicare.  For an initial consultation, the benefit will usually be either $56.80 or $28.45, depending on circumstances such as the time since you last claimed for one.  Neither Medicare nor private health insurance pays benefits for specialised additional examination procedures conducted in the course of your consultation that are charged for separately such as optical CT scans.