Urgent Eye Care in Los Angeles - Retinal Detachment, who will care?
January 5, 2019 11:38 AM   Subscribe

I think there's a good chance I have a retinal detachment. UCLA Urgent Eye Care isn't open and told me to go to the ER. The only ER I can find that has an ophthalmologist doesn't take my insurance. The ER I went to last night set me up with an appointment with a surly guy with many one-star reviews online, and it's not till tonight. Everyplace I've called has referred me to other non-open places. Please help me, I am freaking out.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Can you call your insurance provider and explain that the only ER with an ophthalmologist is out of network and would they pre-approve treatment? You don't have to mention the existing appointment with Dr. Surly.
posted by cooker girl at 12:02 PM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, I see that I misread "doesn't take my insurance" as out of network. Sorry about that.

Call your insurance company and ask them who to go to. They'll be able to tell you that.
posted by cooker girl at 12:05 PM on January 5, 2019

I was also wondering about contacting your insurance provider and also about trying to contact local assistance, because on Healthcare.gov, there is information about emergency care that may be helpful for you.
posted by Little Dawn at 12:09 PM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I’m not sure what you mean by “doesn’t take your insurance?” Your insurance plan most likely will cover an ER visit even if the ER is not in network. The ER should not refuse to treat anyone. If the ER won’t bill your insurance directly, that’s a big hassle. But that’s different from not being covered.
posted by expialidocious at 12:13 PM on January 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

Sorry, I am on my phone but in California you have the right to go to any emergency room and get treated and get your situation stabilized regardless of your payment situation. It doesn’t matter about the ER with the ophthalmologist not taking your insurance. By all means call your insurance company and get advice but if you may be about to lose your vision it is totally worth showing up at that ER with the ophthalmologist and getting examined immediately. Do not let people scare you off over the phone. I am not claiming it won’t be a pain in the ass afterward, I am not claiming there may not be financial ramifications but the law seems pretty clear to this complete and total non-attorney. Look, I’m poor but if it was my vision on the line I would totally go to the ER right away. Good luck, OP!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:24 PM on January 5, 2019 [13 favorites]

I had a detached retina 25 years ago that I did not treat because of money.

I've been blind in one eye since then.

I would immediately drive to the nearest ophthalmologist and request an immediate inspection. They will let you skip the line, etc, and they will laser down whatever is coming loose.

This will save you an immense amount of time and money over the rest of your life.

Go now.
posted by pdoege at 2:40 PM on January 5, 2019 [30 favorites]

my optho told me white flashes/huge black spots means emergency room pronto. GO
posted by brujita at 4:01 PM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Not to downplay urgency, but my eye doctor said that there's 24-48h before it's untreatable. I think I got my surgery in probably 36h after onset and made a full recovery.
posted by doomsey at 4:10 PM on January 5, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'm an emergency physician/medical toxicologist

1) Between now and when you get in to see an eye surgeon, spend as much time as possible lying down with the same side of your face as the suspected detachment on the pillow. I'm not going to explain why. JUST DO IT.
posted by BadgerDoctor at 4:24 PM on January 5, 2019 [14 favorites]

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