It is important that we all treat each other with the respect and dignity that we would like to receive. This includes the physician-patient relationship, where the doctor should act like a partner in the patient’s healthcare.
Bachelor of Arts in Biological Science, Chemistry Minor California State University, Fresno (5/1987)
Medical Doctor, Loma Linda University School of Medicine (6/1992)
Professional Training: Internship and Residency:
Family Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center (6/1995)
What's the Difference?
- Can you see your own doctor the same day you call for an appointment?
- Is your wait typically less than 5 minutes in the lobby?
- Are you satisfied with the amount of time your doctor spends with you?
- Does your doctor really listen to you?
- Do you have direct access to your own doctor outside of office hours?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then you are like so many others who are frustrated with today’s healthcare industry. Hansen-Smith Family Medicine has a limit on the total number of patients in the practice, so you will not compete with thousands of other patients for the doctor’s time.
At Hansen-Smith Family Medicine, you may be seen by Dr. Karen Hansen-Smith within one to two days of the time you call for your appointment—no more waiting weeks for an opening or for hours in the lobby, and no substitute healthcare practitioners. Everyone’s time is valuable, so we schedule patients with enough time to deal with all of their concerns, and enough time between patients to significantly reduce waiting times in the office. Most patients are guided directly to the exam room without even stopping in the lobby.
Dr. Karen Hansen-Smith believes that listening is the most important thing a good doctor must do. She listens to all of your concerns and explains her diagnostic decisions and your treatment choices—making you a partner in your own healthcare. When you leave her office, you will know that you have really been heard. All of Dr. Hansen-Smith’s patients have direct access to her all of the time. You do not have to deal with other doctors “on call” or rely on “urgent care clinics” to be treated in a timely manner.
This unique practice provides the kind of compassion, dignity and respect we all deserve.
How Do We Do It?
Everyone would like to have an old-fashioned relationship with their doctor along with the benefits of modern medicine. Hansen-Smith Family Medicine offers the best of both worlds--your doctor available to you when you need her with time to listen and the skills to diagnose and treat your medical concerns.
Most doctors rely on insurance companies to pay for their services to patients; but insurance companies are paying less and less, so doctors have to see more and more patients just to cover their office expenses. Most family physicians maintain at least 2,500 patients, seeing 35 to 45 patients a day, and this limits the amount of time and attention given to each person.
Personal Medicine (also called “concierge” or “boutique medicine”) uses a retainer fee, paid annually by each patient to allow the doctor to keep her practice limited to 300 patients. With fewer patients, Dr. Hansen-Smith is able to spend more time at each visit to allow all concerns to be addressed.
The Annual Enrollment Fee is not a covered benefit under any insurance company, so insurance companies will not pay for the fee—it is the sole
responsibility of the patient.
The enrollment fee allows the patient to have less competition from other patients for the doctor’s time and energy, and does not replace health insurance.
Annual Enrollment Fee:
The patient’s annual enrollment fee is paid in advance, starting the day the agreement is signed. This may be paid yearly or in installments (for example, once a month, every two months or every six months).
64 and under 65 and over
Annual Installment $1,500 $2,400
Monthly Installments $125 $200
The Annual Enrollment Fee is not a covered benefit under any insurance, so insurance companies will not pay for the fee. Your insurance company will not be billed, so the fee typically does not satisfy any deductible.
The fee may change with advance notice to the patient.
Members of Hansen-Smith Family Medicine have full access to the doctor from the day they register with the practice--whether they are seen by the doctor or not. Payment of the fee is expected from all patients--whether or not they contact or are seen by the doctor.
Initial payment is due upon registering in the practice and can be paid with check, cash or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover are accepted).
A Late Fee of 10% of the monthly fee will be applied to the statement for the month following the late payment. A $10 Returned Check Fee will be assessed.
It is not Dr. Hansen-Smith's policy to deny treatment to patients if they are slightly behind in their payments. However, it is expected that payment will be made in a timely manner. Occasionally a member may get behind in their payments, and a schedule of payments may be agreed upon to help the member catch up. If no attempt to contact the office to arrange payments is made within 4 months of the first delinquent date, the patient may be dismissed from the practice and collections may be initiated.
The agreement usually renews automatically each year, but the patient or the doctor may cancel the agreement instead of continuing with the patient-physician relationship in the practice by phone or in writing. Pre-paid fees will not be refunded. Any past-due fees owed to the practice at the time that Hansen-Smith Family Medicine is notified of the member's cancellation are still owed to the practice. Hansen-Smith Family Medicine reserves the right to cancel this agreement for nonpayment of fees with appropriate notice to the patient.
Once a patient has cancelled the agreement, the doctor will assume that the patient will not return to the practice unless arranged in advance.