|Lasik comanagement is commonly when an optometrist provides
pre-op and post-op care with an ophthalmologist providing
Comanagement is the process of two or more independent healthcare
professionals providing a patient's care. In most cases, this is
when an optometrist provides the initial Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or any refractive surgery evaluation and care after the surgery
with an ophthalmologist providing only the surgical component. Often
the independent optometrist has been the patient's trusted eye care
provider for years or the optometrist's office is more convenient
to the patient. This can be especially valuable to patients who
live in rural areas.
Long History of Comanagement
Comanagement has been around as long as there have been allied
healthcare providers, surgical specialists, and surgical subspecialists;
it really is not exclusive to eye care. Nurses and doctors are the
prime example of comanagement. Chiropractors and orthopedists are
another. Optometrists and ophthalmologists often coordinate and
share the refractive surgery patient's care.
Check and Balance
When handled well, comanagement provides a check and balance
between the patient and the surgeon, with an optometrist assisting
the patient's questions and concerns. When handled poorly, comanagement
can isolate the patient from the surgeon and potentially delay needed
It could easily be argued that the best person to handle all
patient care is an ophthalmologist, but sometimes this is unrealistic.
Even within an ophthalmologist's office optometrists, technicians,
or allied personal perform certain procedures, such as refractions
and visual fields
Comanagement is controversial. One of the areas of controversy
is the financial arrangement between comanaging professionals and
doctors. Some suggest that the fees a comanaging professional collects
are little more than payment for a patient referral to a doctor.
Of course an optometrist needs to be paid for the services provided,
but it would be improper for that payment to exceed usual and customary
fees for the scope of the services provided to the patient.
We recommend that the patient separately pay the doctor for the
surgical fees, the facility for the use of the laser, and the comanaging
professional for the services being provided. In this manner, the
patient has the opportunity to decide if the fees commensurate with
It is the patient's choice if comanagement is an acceptable manner
to receive care or if care provided exclusively within the ophthalmologist's
facility is more appropriate. If you choose to participate in a
comanaged arrangement, be sure to choose your comanaging professional
as carefully as you choose your doctor.
Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?
If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional
or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization.
Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.
If this article did not fully answer your questions, use our
free Ask Lasik Expert patient forum.