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What is the difference between a medical eye exam and a routine eye exam?

WGECC North Office Opens September 1, 2016


We are delighted to announce the launch of our new satellite location, which will formally open for patients on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Our primary location (2616 Warm Springs Road) will operate as per usual, and for many of our patients, very little will change. In an effort to keep the transition as smooth as possible, here’s what you need to know:

  • ADDRESS: West Georgia Eye Care Center North is located at 6600 Whittlesey Boulevard, Columbus, Georgia, 31909.
  • CONTACT NUMBER: To schedule appointments at the north office, call: 706-323-3491.
  • PHYSICIANS: Dr. James Brooks and Dr. Cynthia Nix, our fellowship-trained cornea specialists, will relocate to this office. If you are a new or existing patient of Dr. Brooks or Dr. Nix, your appointments will be scheduled at WGECC North.
  • OPTOMETRIST: Our new optometrist, Dr. Patrick Stow, will offer primary family eye care and specialty contact lens care at WGECC North.
  • iLASIK: This office will house the new iLASIK refractive surgery suite, and will be the epicenter for all things LASIK. You can find our LASIK coordinator, Misty Kearney, at the north location as well.
  • OPTICAL SHOP: The north location will have a new optical shop, giving you the opportunity to purchase designer frames, polarized sunglasses, and contact lenses.

We’d love to answer whatever questions you may have! Call us at 706-323-3491 and we’ll be happy to clarify. We look forward to seeing you soon!


Notice Regarding these United Healthcare Plans:

  • AARP Medicare Complete (HMO)
  • United Healthcare Compass (State Health Exchange) Insurance Plan

Re:  Primary Care Provider Referral

Dear Valued Patient,

Effective January 1, 2015, United Healthcare is imposing a new requirement for the above two plans:  you must receive a referral from your primary care provider (PCP) to be seen by our physicians for all visits except for routine (healthy) eye exams.  So, if you have any medical condition i.e. glaucoma, macular degeneration, cornea and retinal conditions, diabetes, cataracts, eye irritation, pink eye, etc., we cannot see you without your PCP contacting United Healthcare and authorizing a certain number of visits within a six month timeframe.  Your PCP is required to do the referral via Your insurance plan requires the referral be done online and will not recognize a verbal referral from your PCP.

We understand that this is a significant inconvenience, that it delays care, and may increase expense to you.  This is a Plan design choice of United Healthcare, and not Medicare or our office.  If you were not aware of this requirement and wish to contact someone to file a complaint about your inability to have direct access to your primary eye care provider, you may wish to contact the following:

  • United Healthcare 1-800-643-4845
  • AARP 1-888-687-2277
  • United Healthcare Compass – See your insurance card.
  • State of Georgia Insurance Commissioner 1-800-656-2298
  • Your member of Congress

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by United, but these are your insurance plan requirements.