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General Information

The Eyewear Center clinical experience is designed to train Optometry students in Ophthalmic Optics application. Students successfully completing the second year of the professional program are assigned to the EWC rotation. All 3rd year students will complete a minimum of 200 clinical hours in dispensary training. The expectation is to achieve clinical excellence in managing ophthalmic eyewear services. This experience includes the following topics:

  • frame selection
  • dispense, repair and adjustment of eyewear
  • neutralization, verification and duplication of eyewear
  • spectacle lens design of all prescription types
  • ophthalmic material and its appropriate utilization
  • laboratory issues related to eyewear fabrication
  • consultation/communication with patients on the eyewear visual experience
  • assessing and resolving patient eyewear concerns
  • philosophy and psychology of patient care
  • economics of ophthalmic materials
  • ophthalmic dispensary practice management

In addition to direct patient care, seminars supplement the students’ education. Seminar attendance is mandatory and student participation is encouraged. Each student’s clinical evaluation will include attendance, proper clinical attire, clinic preparation, and clinical skills performance.

The EWC and the Primary Care Clinics provide service to the general public. A professional team of optometrists, opticians and administrative personnel staffs the ophthalmic dispensary. Our goal is to provide excellent patient care and student education. Students work directly with patients but are mentored by the professional staff. Each Rx order must be reviewed and approved by an optometrist or optician.

Clinic Hours (hours vary during Interim sessions):

  • Monday through Friday: 8:30AM – 5:30PM
  • Saturday and Sunday: 8:30AM – 3:30PM

Service in the EWC is generally provided on a first come, first serve basis.All patients seen in the primary care clinics are considered appointed patients and are serviced as promptly as possible. The EWC staff may see patients out of order based upon available staff and patient needs.

The EWC accepts many 3rd party service plans and most employers contracted plans. See “Patient Appointments and Cashiering – Vision/Medical Insurance.” Each of these 3rd party or contracted plans has procedural guidelines. Follow the procedural manual or consult with one of the opticians for the proper protocol.

The EWC will fill current prescriptions from other practitioners. Expired prescriptions will be filled if the patient presents an authorization from their current doctor, extending the expiration date. In case of an emergency, the EWC will fill a patient’s prescription after consultation with an attending doctor or an appointment can be made for the earliest available eye exam in the Clinic.

Efficient operation of the EWC requires each optician and student to be involved in the daily maintenance of the dispensary. At the conclusion of each day, the frame boards are checked to account for all frame inventories and all the frame displays are cleaned.

Fee Structure

The EWC is a teaching unit. It is self-supporting and must generate income to cover the operating and maintenance costs through fees charged to the patients. The professional service fee covers:

  • assistance with frame selection
  • measurement of frame dimension
  • discussion of lens selection and lens options
  • determination of lens measurements (e.g., segment height)
  • prescription verification
  • initial and subsequent maintenance of the eyewear

Patients ordering multiple pairs of complete eyewear may be eligible for a fee reduction. Faculty members, staff and optometry students obtaining eyewear for themselves and certain family members may be eligible for eyewear at a reduced fee. Fee slips for each of these transactions must identify the fee status of the patient (e.g. student, staff) or reason for discount (2nd pair), and must be approved by a member of the Clinics’ administrative team.

Payment for all material is required prior to processing. The EWC accepts cash, check, credit card (MC, Visa, Discover), debit card or ATM for payment of fees. There is no provision for partial payment, COD or billing unless approved by the Chief of the EWC or Director of Clinics.

Order Processing

The Eyewear Center has a large selection of frames to meet most patients’ needs. The opticians and instructors and students strive to provide quality, prompt service.

A student clinician assists each patient seen in the EWC to assure that the frames chosen are appropriate for the patient’s needs. After a patient decides on a frame and lens order, an optician or instructor:

  • Checks the fit of the frame.
  • Confirms the appropriateness of the lens order.
  • Determines the most appropriate laboratory for each prescription order.
  • Enters all prescription and frame information into clinic computer system and completes lab order via online processing.
  • Signs the lab form.
  • Signs the fee slip confirming the accuracy of all charged fees.

The student clinician:

  • Places the completed lab order in an order envelope.
  • Completes the information on the envelope label:
    • Patient’s name
    • Patient’s telephone number
    • Date of order
    • Fee paid
    • Designated laboratory for order
  • Places the envelope in the appropriate order box for processing by a staff member.
  • In the case of multiple orders for one patient, each order will be placed in a separate order envelope and numbered accordingly (e.g. 1 of 2 or 2 of 2).
  • The order envelope is then placed in the appropriate box for processing by a staff member.
  • A frame selected by a patient may be used off the frame display. The EWC finishing lab may be able to offer reduced turnaround in cases when the frame and lenses are in stock. A fee for such service will be charged. These are usually single vision prescriptions within the stock finished range. This in-house lab is used preferentially except as follows.

The following prescriptions are processed at a contract laboratory.

  • multifocal lens prescriptions
  • single vision prescriptions requiring surfacing
  • lenses requiring a lens option that cannot be completed in the EWC lab

The average turn-around period for the above prescription glasses is ten working days.

Delivery of Prescription Eyewear

Glasses are checked for accuracy and quality before they are dispensed to the patient. The following steps are part of the dispensing protocol:

  • A staff member checks in glasses after receipt from laboratory.
  • Glasses are verified against lab order; date of verification and initial of clinician is written on order label (e.g., V10/25/99–gkl).
  • A staff member contacts patient and an appointment is given.
  • Glasses are held in “to dispense” drawers.

On the day the glasses are dispensed:

  • Student fits glasses to the patient; optician and instructor check the fit.
  • Dispense date and name of student clinician is entered in the patient’s file.
  • Documents will be scanned into the patient’s file.

Verification Standards

Prior to dispense, prescription glasses are verified against the written laboratory order and must comply with the current ANSI Z80.1 standards. These standards are posted in the lab verification area. The EWC senior lab optician reviews any glasses that do not meet the standards. Any glasses not meeting the allowable tolerances are returned to the laboratory for re-fabrication. A note identifying the nature of the re-fabrication must accompany the lab invoice form. As a courtesy, the patient is advised of the delay.

For statistical purposes, each redo type is given a code number. Place the redo code number on the order envelope. The statistics help the clinic identify whether the problem is a doctor’s error or a laboratory error.

Return, Cancellation and Exchange Policy

Eyewear is custom made, based on a prescription written specifically for each patient, and created to meet the needs of that patient. The patient has considerable input into the products and materials provided. The patient always gives final approval to each order before it is placed. Returns of finished eyewear therefore should be extremely rare and the responsibility for such returns is shared by the Eyewear Center and the patient.

The return policy will vary depending on the original terms of the purchase. When third parties such as government agencies or vision care insurance providers have dictated the terms of purchase, the return or exchange policy will be modified by the Eyewear Center to reflect those terms.

A time limit of 30 days from date of delivery will be placed upon returns, and any sale that has for any reason exceeded those limits will be considered final. All returns will be limited to clinic credit.  No cash refunds are allowed.

Frame Sales

  • Frames are selected by and ONLY with the specific approval of the patient. The lenses are fabricated to satisfy the patient’s wishes and the prescription written for the patient.  As the Internet is often used to place orders, the fabrication process may begin within hours or minutes of the time the order is finalized and payment is made.
  • Due to the cost of lenses, frame change requests made for cosmetic reasons after the prescription lenses have been made will not be allowed.
  • Any eyewear purchased at patient request that is contrary to the documented advice of the Eyewear Center staff cannot be returned or exchanged for any reason.
  • Frames selected by the patient from Eyewear Center display cannot be cancelled, returned for credit or exchanged once the lenses for that frame have been completed by the optical laboratory.
  • Frames that are sold from Eyewear Center display without an accompanying order for lenses are treated identically to non-prescription sunglasses.  (See below)
  • Frames, including non-prescription sunglasses, ordered from vendors at patient request are considered final sales and cannot be cancelled or returned for any reason once the order has been placed by the Eyewear Center on the patients’ behalf.
  • Non-prescription sunglasses that are sold from Eyewear Center display, once worn by the purchaser or any other person, cannot be returned. Returns of unworn products will be accepted with a 25% restocking fee, based on the full retail price of the frame, as long as all accessory items, including carrying case, cloths and all other packaging are included. Any noted signs of wear or missing items that might prevent resale will cause the return request to be declined.
  • These terms will apply with equal effect to all transactions, whether direct or with the involvement of any third party payer.

Lens Sales

  • Lenses are made to the prescribing Doctors’ Rx.  It may be necessary to alter an original prescription or lens choice on occasion, or to address the patients’ adaption to new products.  In such an event, a 30 day limit is placed on such orders.
  • When a change is made, an additional thirty days will allowed to evaluate the revision.
  • Due to the cost of lenses, frame change requests made for cosmetic reasons after the prescription lenses have been made will not be allowed.
  • Transactions that are changed or cancelled at patient request after lenses have been started in the production process but not completed will be assessed fees for lab costs incurred, and staff time consumed to place and cancel or change the order.
  • When a change is made that requires an upgrade of materials beyond the value of the original purchase, the patient will be charged the appropriate fee for the upgrade.  A greater fee will be charged if the patient declined a suggested upgrade, and then requests it a later date.
  • Progressive Addition Lenses (PALs) are offered with a one time, 30 day warranty that allows exchange to another lens of equal or lower cost without cost to the patient.  No refund is offered in such cases when the patient invokes this option.
  • When the patient is dissatisfied with the quality or performance of lenses for any reason, the Eyewear Center in cooperation with the fabricating laboratory offers a one-time right, within 30 days, to change the prescription or lens design without charge, excluding any upgrades.  We urge the patient to use that time to evaluate and allow adaption before exercising this option.
  • After exercising this option, should the patient still be dissatisfied, two further options are offered.
    • A refund of the cost of the lenses, less a 25% restocking fee, based upon the retail list price of the lenses, before any discount or allowance is taken.
    • Waive the right to a refund and request additional changes to be billed at 50% of the retail cost until the patientis satisfied.
    • If the patient has utilized coverage under a Vision Care Insurance plan, the following should be carefully considered by the patient before making a decision:
      1. Your Insurance Plan has dictated all costs as well as the source for all lens products.  Fees you paid were given to your Insurance Plan, not kept by the Eyewear Center.
      2. Any restocking fee is based upon the retail cost of the lenses, not the post coverage amount paid by the patient. This will significantly reduce the amount of any credit.
      3. A credit given to you by the Eyewear Center does not restore to you the lens benefits provided by the Insurance Plan.
      4. The frame purchase is not eligible for return, and will be kept by the patient, with its’ cost (per plan) deductedfrom any refund amount.

Outside Rx

We accept and fill prescriptions written by doctors not affiliated with UCBSO.  With regard to changes in the order, we treat such orders exactly as we would treat an order prescribed by one of our own doctors.  (See lens sales)

The space between the initial exam and the order for change cannot be more than 30 days  in order to qualify for this treatment.

Our Rx Filled by Another Provider

We urge patients who choose to fill their lens and frame needs elsewhere, utilizing a prescription written here, to
determine in advance the policies of their provider regarding prescription change.  In accord with usual industry
practice, the materials provider is solely responsible for the costs of such changes.  If this is not their policy, we suggest that you select another provider, for we will not remake lenses due to prescription change without charge if they were not purchased here.

Computer Price vs Insurance Price

The price we calculate for your third party Insurance coverage is always adjustable based upon the final determination of coverage by your Insurer. We reserve the right to correct charges for products or services based upon that determination.  You will be advised if your cost has risen, and you will have the option to:

  1. Cancel and receive a full refund except for examination fees.
  2. Pay the revised fees.
  3. You may not insist upon the original quote as a final settlement.

Vision Care Discount Plans

Some Insurers or marketing groups offer in addition to funded benefits plans, a group of options for discounted eyewear wherein the group pays nothing for materials and offers substantial discounts to members for purchases.

Some providers artificially escalate their prices to compensate for such devices.

We strive to keep our prices as reasonable as possible while providing a cross-section of quality goods and services to our patients. Excessive or unreasonable discount programs are not in keeping with this philosophy. Therefore we do not accept any discount only plan that calls on us to provide:

  1. A discount on an incomplete pair of glasses, i.e. frame only or lenses only.
  2. A discount of more than 20% on a first complete pair of glasses.
  3. A discount of more than 30% on a second complete pair of glasses, or for more than 20% for more than 30 days following an initial purchase.

Tag Price vs. Computer Price

The price tag on our display frames is a guarantee of accuracy on that frame, and that frame only. A request to order another identical or similar frame from the vendor may produce a different price if the retail price for that frame has risen since the display frame was received and tagged.

Special Order Frames

We may additionally charge a fee to place a special order for a frame to cover costs of shipping and handling associated with such an order. A charge will also be made to order parts for damaged eyewear after the one year warranty period has expired. Such frames, once ordered, may not be returned or exchanged for any reason.

Patients’ Own Frame

We may charge a fee for the use of your own frame, if not originally purchased here within a reasonable time, to cover the costs associated with processing and writing such orders.

Previously worn frames are accepted for new lenses only on condition of the patient accepting all risk of damage to the frame. Damage to a frame may not be readily apparent at the time of order, and the stresses of lens installation may worsen the damage. The risk is initially very small, but increases with the age of the frame, and the treatment it has received since its’ purchase date.  We require that the patient accept all responsibility for the frame while it is in our possession or a vendor that we have selected.  This includes the cost of lenses if they were made before any damage is discovered.