General Information for Patients

The USC Roski Eye Institute at Keck Medicine of USC places our patients at the center of care and surrounds them with the complete spectrum of diagnostic, treatment and preventive eye care services. Improving the lives of people who experience vision loss is the focus of everything we do. Our quest to enhance vision and end blindness begins with understanding patient needs and developing new treatments that are needed most.

JRpatient info
USC Roski Eye Institute is widely recognized as a trailblazer in patient care, vision research and physician education. In the past 27 years, we have been ranked in the top ophthalmology programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and Ophthalmology Times.

Our main location is at Keck Medical Center of USC, east of downtown Los Angeles. We also offer satellite centers in Arcadia, Pasadena, and our Optical Store at USC’s University Village.

Our team looks forward to meeting you and helping you achieve the best eye care results.

First Appointment Checklist

The USC Roski Eye Institute team wants your visit to be as comfortable and productive as possible. Some important items and information to bring to your appointment include the following:

  • Current photo identification
  • Insurance card and/or Medicare card
  • Completed new patient forms sent to you by our office, or downloaded from our website
  • Letter of authorization from your insurance carrier (if applicable)
  • Current medication list (including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and any supplements)
  • Medical records of previous eye surgeries from another physician (if applicable)
  • Name, address and phone number of referring physician (if applicable)
  • Current or old eyeglasses
  • Sunglasses, in case your eyes are dilated
  • Snacks or medications, in case you have an extended wait

We recommend that you bring someone who can drive in case your eyes are dilated, which makes your vision blurry and your eyes sensitive to sunlight.

Your Examination

flowersThe first visit to the ophthalmologist involves a comprehensive evaluation that will take about two to three hours. Your visit may take longer if you need specialized testing or have complex eye problems. While not all patient visits are the same, please understand that the USC Roski Eye Institute physicians are performing these tests to determine the best possible care for your eyes. Some common tests include a refraction to determine how well you see, a slit-lamp microscope to look at the health of the front part of your eyes and a measurement of intraocular eye pressure.

Most first time patients will have special drops put in their eyes to dilate both eyes so the physician can look at the inside and back of the eyes and check the lens, retina and optic nerve. Once the drops have been administered, the pupils become fully dilated in about 30 to 45 minutes. The pupils may remain dilated for as long as 24 hours, so vision will be blurry during this time.

Your Vision Care Team

Successful vision care requires collaboration between the patient and the physician, along with many other individuals that are part of a university-based Department of Ophthalmology and a teaching institution. Professionals, other than your ophthalmologist, that may attend to your eye care include:

  • Ophthalmic technicians and assistants, who are trained in various procedures such as visual field tests and measuring eye pressure to assess your vision.
  • Ophthalmology residents and fellows (MD), who are licensed physicians currently enrolled in the Department of Ophthalmology specialized training programs.
  • Optometrists (OD), who are primary eye care specialists that evaluate eye health and may refer you to a subspecialist physician for further treatment or surgery.

Insurance and Fees

The USC Roski Eye Institute participates with many major insurance plans. Insurance plans’ coverage vary in what will be paid. Please note that we do accept HMO plans. We are not able to know what benefits will be paid by your individual insurer, so it is your responsibility to check with your employer or insurance agent about your benefits. Our staff will discuss estimated fees that are due at the time of your appointment and billing procedures.

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