Story by Twana Atkinson on 04/01/2019WOMACK ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, FORT BRAGG, N.C. Womack Army Medical Center's Ophthalmology Clinic has expanded their services to support a collaborative initiative that services the Fort Bragg beneficiary community.
In November, the ophthalmology staff increased in order to combine resources with Fayetteville Veterans Affairs as part of the National Defense Authorization Agreement of 2017.
Policy changes and increased manning now has given the clinic the capacity to service more of WAMC's beneficiaries throughout the community.
"A lot of patients that are used to being seen out in the community are surprised to find out that we have space and availability to see them here at the clinic," said Lt. Col. David Greenburg the Chief of Ophthalmology Services
Refractive surgeries such as photorefractive keratectomy, LASIK, or Implantable Collamer Lens are now available to all Service Members that have at least six months of active-duty time remaining on their contract. This opens the window of eligibility for many activated members of the Reserves and National Guard.
Also, Womack's Ophthalmology clinic continues to acquire cutting edge technology to ensure the beneficiary population has access to the best possible ophthalmic care.
"We offer the full gamut of technologies to perform refractive cataract surgery," said Greenburg.
Patients with visually significant cataracts can have their surgery performed with traditional manual techniques, or they can choose to have femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. The laser can assist with incisions and astigmatism management. WAMC's patients also have free access to toric and multifocal intraocular lens that can reduce dependence on glasses after surgery.
"Insurance typically does not cover these premium techniques," said Greenburg. "There would be a substantial out-of-pocket cost for patients to receive these services anywhere else other than Womack."
Tricare beneficiaries that would like to receive care at the Womack Ophthalmology clinic should request a referral from their primary care manager.
"New patients can receive appointments within a couple weeks, and if they need a surgery we can usually perform it soon after their initial appointment, said Greenburg.
The Ophthalmology clinic is open Mon-Fri. 7:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m.