Richard A. Levinson, M.D. > Financing FAQ

Financing FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about Laser Vision Correction Pricing & Financing in the Denver & Boulder Colorado Area.

Yes, The Vision Financing Plan was created to make Laser Vision Correction an affordable reality by providing convenient monthly payment plans. This program is available to qualified Laser Vision Correction patients . With financing, the cost of Laser Vision Correction is about $4 a day for 48 months. (This is about 16 cents an hour!!!).

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My fee for LASIK or PRK on the Visx Star S4 with CustomVue Wavefront LASIK is $1995 per eye and $1695 per eye on the VISX Star S4 without Wavefront. The IntraLase is an additional $400 per eye. These fees include all pre-op and postop appointments, surgical and Laser Center fees for 1 year. Also included, if needed, are retreatments for 1 year from the initial procedure. The fee does not include the cost of your antibiotic eye drops or artificial tears. There are no hidden or additional fees. There will be a charge to you for all eye examinations after the 1 year anniversary of your initial procedure. If applicable, we can bill your health insurance for you or if you do not have health insurance coverage, we offer you a 25% discount on your exams. Our fee also includes our Lifetime Promise Agreement . With the Lifetime Promise, if you have your eyes examined yearly by me after your Laser Vision Correction procedure, I will retreat you, if needed, at no additional charge.

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Laser Centers (or, for that matter, any service or product) can be divided into two basic groups: Premium and Economy. The goal of a Premium Laser Center is to provide you excellence; the highest attainable levels of quality, safety and customer service. The goal of an Economy (“cut-rate”) Laser Center is to offer you a good result at as low a price as possible with only a rudimentary concern for customer service.

I offer you a Premium Laser Center, but at what price? I don’t believe that the highest price necessarily guarantees the highest anything. However, in LASIK as with just everything else in life, you generally get what you pay for. And top-of-the-line Laser Vision technology is expensive. The Excimer Laser I would use on you, the VISX Star S4 with all available upgrades and CustomVue Wavefront Scanner cost over $800,000. (You can buy a used Nidek Excimer Laser, the Laser the “$299” Laser Center uses, for $200,000). I have set my Laser fees based on the costs I incur to provide you with Premium quality, safety and customer service. We do offer you very good value because the fees I have set are usually less than you’ll find at other Premium Laser Centers offering similar advanced Excimer Laser technology, direct access to the Laser Surgeon and customer service.

I think there are 3 differences you need to consider between LASIK performed in my practice and LASIK performed at the “cut-rate” Laser Centers. First, the Surgeon; second, the Excimer Laser; and third, the volume of cases performed.

Before going into specifics, I want you to understand that the “cut-rate” Laser Centers use “bait and switch” in their pricing. Only patients with the very lowest corrections will get LASIK for “$295”. There are numerous add on charges; the average charge at one “cut-rate” Laser Center was $1100 per eye.

No matter how simple and safe LASIK may sound, LASIK is still a surgical procedure, performed on you by an Eye Surgeon, with potential risks and occasional complications. At a “cut-rate”, and even some Premium Laser Centers, you don’t meet the LASIK Surgeon until the day of surgery. HOW CAN YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE IN A SURGEON THAT YOU HAVE NEVER MET UNTIL JUST MOMENTS PRIOR TO YOUR SURGERY??? I don’t think anybody will disagree that you will get the highest quality LASIK care if the LASIK Surgeon does your preoperative evaluation, your LASIK procedure and your postop care. “Cut-rate” Laser Centers can not afford to pay the LASIK Surgeon to do preoperative and postoperative care. The “cut-rate” Laser Centers hire technicians and optometrists to do the pre-op and postop care. Obviously, technicians and optometrists are not medical doctors and do not have the same knowledge and expertise as the LASIK Surgeon. I do not believe optometrists and technicians have any business managing surgical patients without direct medical supervision by the LASIK Surgeon. The “cut-rate” centers disagree with me and will reassure you that technicians and optometrists are “competent”, but I doubt that they can convince you that technicians and optometrists are as “competent” as the LASIK Surgeon in providing pre-op and postop care. Furthermore, 95% or all potential visually-compromising complications occur 1-10 days following the LASIK procedure and need to be diagnosed and treated promptly. In a “cut-rate” Laser Center, if you have a complication, the technician or optometrist will first evaluate you post-operatively, and you are relying on their training and expertise to quickly and accurately recognize LASIK complications. I stress, technicians and optometrists are not medical doctors and their level of training does not include four years of medical school and three years of Ophthalmology Residency training! If a technician or optometrist identifies your problem, they may try to treat you or they will try to have you see the LASIK Surgeon, who may not be readily available. If you have a complication, delay in treatment can affect the outcome of your LASIK procedure.

The next consideration is the Excimer Laser. Not all FDA-approved Excimer Lasers are of equal quality. Almost without exception, all “cut-rate” Laser Centers use the Nidek EC-5000 or Technolas Excimer Lasers. The “cut-rate” Laser Centers will assure you that the Nidek or Technolas are excellent Lasers. I would agree that they are good Excimer Lasers, but not excellent Excimer Lasers. The VISX Star S4 with the CustomVue Wavefront Scanning System is an elegantly engineered, technologically advanced piece of equipment incorporating state-of-the art design, and is the only Excimer Laser I would recommend if quality, not “lowest-price”, is your highest priority.

The third consideration is the number of cases the “cut-rate” Laser Centers perform each month. They can not defy economic gravity. To stay in business, they need to perform hundreds of cases per month. I have a large LASIK practice and I can not perform more than 100 cases per month; if I do more than that number, the chance for mistakes increases.

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In my opinion, the “best” Laser Vision Surgeon is any highly experienced Laser Surgeon that meets with you at your initial consultation and your pre-op exam, performs your Laser Vision Procedure, meets with you at every postop visit and takes full responsibility for your Laser Vision Procedure. You will find this direct access to a Laser Surgeon when you select an Ophthalmologist Laser Surgeon in private practice. The other option for Laser Vision Correction is the “assembly line” Laser Vision Center approach where you primarily meet with technicians, optometrists and sales people, seeing the Ophthalmologist Surgeon only the day of surgery. Limited access to the Ophthalmologist Laser Surgeon is the model followed by ICON, 20/20 Institute, LVI, LasikPlus, TLC, Omni Eye Specialists, Spivack Laser Center, Dishler Laser Center and Hines-Sight Laser Vision Center. I would not recommend this model of providing Laser Vision Correction. Before you choose a Laser Vision Surgeon in the Denver or Boulder area, I would encourage you to visit a “Laser Vision Center”, where you have limited access to the Ophthalmologist Laser Vision Surgeon, and then with an Ophthalmologist Laser Vision Surgeon in private practice, where you have continual direct access to your Ophthalmologist Laser Vision Surgeon. Based on this model of providing Laser Vision Correction, I am one of the most experienced Ophthalmologist Laser Vision Surgeons in private practice in Denver. I do not claim my LASIK results are perfect nor do I claim I get better results than any other LASIK Surgeon in Denver, but I do make every possible effort to provide you with the highest technical expertise (including Custom Wavefront LASIK and IntraLase technology) and personal care possible, at a fair price. Other highly experienced Ophthalmologist Laser Surgeons in private practice that I would highly recommend in the Denver area are Stuart Frankel MD, David Drucker MD, Stuart Lewis MD and Lance Forstot MD. Furthermore, there are many other excellent, experienced Laser Vision Surgeons in private practice in the Denver area but the ones I recommended are the ones I know personally and that I would trust to perform Laser Vision Correction on me.

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Phone (303)393-0347
Fax (303)393-1026

Laser Vision Correction Surgeon Denver  Boulder Colorado
Rose Medical Plaza, 4545 East Ninth Avenue, #270, Denver, CO 80220