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NEWS FLASHES:

1/10/15: Would you like to sign up for My Health Online, the SPMF Epic EHR patient portal? By signing up now, you will have access when we reopen on 2/2/15. The best way for our existing patients to enroll in My Health Online is to complete this form and mail or fax it to the Patient Services Contact Center in Sacramento. Allow about one week for processing. Here are some MHO FAQs.

1/8/15: We became aware this week of ongoing contract negotiations between Blue Shield of California and Sutter Health. All current contracts will be honored through 6/30/15. See FAQ.

1/5/15: We are not certain yet but we might have better news about our ability to transfer your athenahealth EHR into the Epic EHR used by SPMF. If you have not yet scanned, faxed, or mailed it to us, please send us your signed consent form to us ASAP, as Sutter Health is not permitted to accept your records without your written consent. The consent form is still available online for download and we are still accepting your signed consent forms.

1/4/15: We have new SPMF phone and clinical fax numbers that take effect on 1/5/2015. Phone (415) 600-4750. Clinical fax (only for consultations, urgent care, ER, hospital, lab, X ray reports) (415) 369-1314. Please replace our old numbers with these new numbers.

12/22/14: Adding NEW FAQs to the top of the Q&A below and within the FAQ. Check there often for answers to NEW questions.

12/21/14: Thanks for letting us know about your emails to SPMFConsent@owenmed.com containing your signed consents that bounced back to you. That mailbox filled to capacity. We've cleared the mailbox so it's OK to use now.

12/20/14: Some have requested confirmation of receipt of your signed consent to transfer to SPMF. We have 1,800+ patients to respond to. We'll try to confirm once all of the consents are in.

12/19/14: We have been overwhelmed by your questions, concerns & refill requests by phone, Patient Portal secure email and personal visits. We understand that change is sometimes difficult for all of us. But please do NOT create multiple requests for the same issue. We will reply to all messages and take care of all refill requests but it may take a day or two.

12/19/14: Contact SPMF Patient Services at (888) 637-2762 (new phone #) to verify if you have an insurance plan that is not listed.

12/15/14: Our practice is becoming part of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation (SPMF). SPMF accepts nearly all of the insurance plans we do.

Here is a checklist of what you need to do - also read the open letter to patients below and the FAQ
1) To remain as a patient in our practice, sign the release of info & return it to our office ASAP. Don't forget to check off & initial all 4 boxes on the top of page 2. We are still accepting consents.
2) Our office is closed for remodeling 12/31/14-2/2/15. We are offsite training on SPMF's electronic record (EHR).
3) If you have a medical emergency, as always, call 911 or go to the nearest ER. For urgent health issues while we are closed, please see this list of Bay Area urgent care centers. We prefer that you visit either a Sutter Health urgent care center or a non-Sutter facility that uses Epic EHR (e.g., UCSF Urgent Care).
4) You should already have asked your pharmacist to request from us any refills you might need prior to our return on 2/2/15.
5) If you are supposed to do lab tests before any scheduled 2015 visit with us, be sure you have a PAPER lab order. You may use any Sutter Health lab in Northern California or any LabCorp throughout the U.S. Do NOT use Quest Diagnostics.
6) Your athena Patient Portal disappeared after 12/28/14. Earlier, we had strongly advised you to print out all of your Portal documents. Sign up with Sutter Health's patient portal, Epic EHR's My Health Online: just complete and mail or fax this form.
 

Open Letter to the Patients of William F. Owen, Jr., M.D. and Carl Stein, MHS, PA-C and Q&A

NEW FAQ posted since the Open Letter was mailed are highlghted & posted below, just above the prior Q&A and within the FAQ

URGENT: Your signature is REQUIRED ASAP to remain as a patient of OWEN & STEIN-we are still accepting your signed consents

Dear Patient,

35 years ago I started our medical practice in San Francisco. In 2015 we will be taking a new direction. The last day of our private practice was December 22, 2014. On February 2, 2015, we reopen as an affiliate practice of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation (SPMF). So, you might be asking, “What does this mean for me?” We hope to answer some of the most frequently asked questions below. As other questions arise, we will post them on our website, www.owenmed.com.

NEW Q: You mentioned that access to my athenahealth Patient Portal disappeared after December 28, 2014. Does that mean my entire athenahealth electronic health record (EHR) is gone forever?

A: No, within a few weeks of closing athenahealth, we will receive from athenahealth a disc containing PDF files of each of our patient's EHRs. We are also checking to see if athenahealth Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) for each of our patients can be imported directly into the EHR of SPMF, known as Epic.

NEW Q: I'm still worried that my athenahealth EHR will be lost.

A: No, your athenahealth records won't be "lost". As noted above, we will be getting a PDF of all of our patients' EHRs from athenahealth within a few weeks after we discontinue the system at the end of the year. If you have already printed out your Patient Visit Summaries, it might make it easier to reenter some of the historical data when you come for your first visit on Epic, the new EHR.

NEW Q: So, if you are getting a PDF of my entire athenahealth EHR, why did you ask me to go to the trouble of printing out the contents of my athenahealth Patient Portal by December 28, 2014?

A: We do not know at this time just how "organized" the PDF of your athenahealth EHR will be. We recommended that you print out the Patient Visit Record of your most recent comprehensive physical exam OR preoperative exam OR HIV quarterly visit. What we need are the items to facilitate entry of data into your new Epic EHR. These include an updated problem (diagnosis) list, medication list, drug allergy list, list of other providers you consult from time to time, vaccination record, past medical history, surgical history, family history, and social history.

NEW Q: Why are you and Carl Stein having to do all of the work of reentering all of my data manually into SPMF's Epic EHR?

A: There are two parts to this answer. First, I requested that athenahealth provide to us all of the athenahealth patient data in a usable digital format. athenahealth declined, stating that it was their corporate policy not to provide any assistance to their principal EHR competitior (i.e., Epic). However, it appears now that athenahealth may have softened their position on this and will provide to us Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs). The Information Services department at Sutter Health is now investigating whether these CCDs may be importable into SPMF's Epic EHR as usable data. Second, SPMF has offered to provide limited abstracting of our patients' athenahealth PDF files that we will receive on disc. However, we have not been informed by SPMF how many patients' athenahealth records will be abstracted by the SPMF abstractors, nor have we been advised for how long this service will be provided, only that the abstracting assistance will be "limited". All of this says that Carl and I might have to reenter data for a significant number of our patients. This is where your organized athenahealth Patient Portal printouts, if you were able to obtain those, may be of some assistance.

NEW Q: Can I receive a copy of the PDF of my entire athenahealth EHR?

A: Every patient is entitled to a copy of his or her own medical record. So the answer is yes. However, please understand that (1) at this moment we are overwhelmed with transition issues and (2) we do not have the data disc yet from athenahealth containing all of the PDFs of our patients' EHRs. If you would like to receive a copy of your athenahealth PDF on a CD-ROM, please wait until we are back in our renovated Suite 402, after February 2, 2015. At that time, you will need to sign a new consent (different than your SPMF consent), this time requesting a personal copy of the PDF of your athenahealth EHR plus anything we scanned from your previous paper chart. The fee for production of this disc will be $50, payable by money order only, to William F. Owen, Jr., M.D. After February 2, 2015, send your signed request and your $50 money order or drop it by our office in a sealed envelope addressed to Dr. William Owen and marked "Personal & Confidential". The $50 fee includes the cost of transferring your athenahealth PDF and any scanned files from your paper chart to CD-ROM, burning it, placing it in a CD envelope, the media mail postage to send the disc to the address of your choice, as well as my personal time for doing all of the above. As employees of SPMF, our staff will no longer be responsible for fulfilling such requests for medical records from my private practice, so I will need to do all of the work myself. Please understand that I will not have any employees to do this, so it may take time to produce CD-ROM discs for everyone requesting one.

Q: Dr. Owen, will you and Carl Stein continue to practice at 45 Castro in February 2015 upon reopening as an SPMF office?

A: Yes, Carl and I and our two staff members will continue to practice at 45 Castro Medical Office Building, Suite 402, when it reopens on February 2, 2015. Some time after we return in February, we will be adding a third medical assistant/patient care representative in February to assist us in the transition to SPMF.

Q: Will you continue to accept my health care insurance?

A: For the most part, yes. On our website you will find a table showing the insurance plans SPMF and our practice accept. The plans accepted by both our practice and SPMF are highlighted in green. The plans Sutter and our practice do not accept are highlighted in red. If you have a PPO plan or a traditional Medicare plan, you should be able to remain with our practice. The major exceptions would be HMO plans and a few Medicare Advantage plans. You may contact Patient Services at (888) 637-2762 to verify whether SPMF accepts your insurance if you have a plan that is not listed on the table.

NEW Q: I heard from Blue Shield of California that they were unable to reach a contract agreement with Sutter Health. Does this mean I will need to find a new primary care provider?

A: We just became aware on January 8, 2015 of this health insurance contract dispute. The negotiations relate only to Blue Shield of California. Anthem Blue Cross of California is not affected. The various out-of-state Blue Cross / Blue Shield plans are also not involved in this dispute, to our knowledge. We do understand that contract negotiations are continuing between Sutter Health and Blue Shield of California, despite the heated rhetoric and public posturing on both sides. There actually is precedence for a last minute settlement. A few years ago, there were similar contract issues between California Pacific Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate, and Anthem Blue Cross of California. These contract issues were settled shortly after the official "deadline". Blue Shield of California has stated that it will continue to honor the existing contracts with Sutter Health through June 30, 2015. All services to our patients with Blue Shield of California will be covered until then, just as they had been during 2014. We trust that an amicable settlement between Blue Shield of California and Sutter Health will have been reached by the end of June. For additional information from Sutter Health's perspective, here are Sutter Health's FAQs about the current situation with Blue Shield of California.

Q: OK, Dr. Owen. So I have an insurance that you and SPMF accept. What do I need to do now to remain a patient of you and Carl Stein under SPMF?

A: You must sign the release of records to remain a patient of William F. Owen, Jr., M.D. and Carl Stein, MHS, PA-C, under SPMF. The records release, in PDF format, may be found on our website. The form states that “…the facility listed above (our practice) will receive compensation for the use or disclosure of my health information” and that “There may be fees incurred for this service.” Both of these statements are not applicable to what SPMF is requesting here: your signature to allow you to remain as our patient. Be sure to check off and initial all 4 of the boxes on the top of page 2 and sign the form on the bottom of page 2.

Q: Why do I need to sign a release of my medical records if I’m staying as a patient with you and Carl?

A: SPMF considers this to be a transfer of care, even though you are staying with the same providers. So, basically, you are transferring from the private practice of William F. Owen, Jr., M.D. and Carl Stein, PA-C, to the care of Owen and Stein under the auspices of SPMF.

Q: May I use a virtual and secure e-signature service (e.g., DocuSign)?

A: Yes, you may use either your actual signature or an e-signature service for which you have registered.

NEW Q: How can I get the release back to you, now that your office is closed for reconstruction?

A: We have extended our orginal deadline and are still accepting signed consent forms from our patients but please submit those forms to us ASAP so that we can import your data into SPMF's EHR, Epic, or abstract your data for entry direcly into Epic. Remember that our office is under construction during the entire month of January 2015 so do not, under any circumstances, drop off at or mail forms or other documents to Suite 402! Our preference for returning the form is in the order listed below:
1. You may complete, sign (either by hand or using an e-signature service), scan and email the release to SPMFConsent@owenmed.com.
2.
You may complete, sign and fax the release to (415) 621-9204
.
3. You may complete, sign and mail, FedEx or UPS your release to William F. Owen, Jr., M.D., c/o the office of Dr. Charles Moser, ATTN: Phaedra Edwards, 45 Castro Street, Suite 125, San Francisco, CA 94114.
4. You may complete, sign and drop off your release to William F. Owen, Jr., M.D. at the office of Dr. Charles Moser, ATTN: Phaedra Edwards, 45 Castro Street, Suite 125, San Francisco, CA 94114.

Q: Why are you closing from December 23, 2014 through February 1, 2015?

A: We have been at the 45 Castro Suite 402 location for 25 years of our 35 years in practice and our office is in need of renovation. Some of the construction is prompted by Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and privacy (HIPAA) statutes that did not even exist when we opened this office in 1989. We packed up our supplies and equipment during the final five work days in 2014. Demolition began on Saturday, January 3, 2015 and our office suite became one giant construction zone starting on Monday, January 5, 2015, and continuing through the end of January. We are NOT present in Suite 402 during the construction.

Q: Dr. Owen, during the reconstruction of your office, are you, Carl Stein, and your staff on vacation for five weeks?

A: We wish! (LOL) Actually, all of us are offsite in training as new employees of SPMF. We are also learning how to use Sutter’s electronic health record (EHR) called Epic. This will take a few weeks to get us up to speed.

NEW Q: Does this mean that I don’t have access to the athenahealth Patient Portal?

A: That is correct. Although athenahealth will be sending us a disc containing a PDF of each patient's entire EHR, you did not have personal access to the records in your Patient Portal after December 28, 2014. That's why we had recommended that you print out everything in your Patient Portal before December 29 but, at minimum, your last physical exam, preoperative exam, or comprehensive quarterly visit. All of these types of visit records have most of the information we need to get your new Epic electronic record populated with all of your important health information. You should organize any printouts from your EHR by category and bring them with you to your next visit with us in 2015. Depending on how much of your athenahealth EHR, if any, SPMF abstractors have been able to enter into the Epic EHR, or how much data we have been able to import into SPMF's Epic EHR from your athenahealth EHR, you and we may need to reenter some or all of that data into our new Epic EHR ourselves, so having all of the details of your history at your fingertips will be essential.

NEW Q: I really [choose one] like / dislike the athenahealth Patient Portal. Will Sutter Health's Epic EHR have its own Patient Portal?

A: Yes, Epic is the premier EHR in the U.S. right now, used by 22% of practices with an active EHR. It is the EHR used by all of Sutter Health, UCSF, Kaiser-Permanente, and Stanford, among many other institutions. Epic EHR has a well-regarded Patient Portal, known as "My Health Online". Here is the online link to activating your My Health Online account. You will need an access code in order to do an online activation of your My Health Online account, which our office staff can provide at the time of your first visit with us under SPMF. Alternatively, you may do a paper enrollment in My Health Online by completing this form and mailing or faxing it to the Patient Services Contact Center in Sacramento. Paper enrollment will take approximately one week for processing. This might be the best way for our existing patients to sign up for My Health Online so that you already have patient portal access when we reopen our office on February 2, 2015.

NEW Q: I would like to sign up for My Health Online and have a few questions. Where should I go for additional information?

A: Sutter Health has an FAQ page with several questions and answers about My Health Online. Navigate to the My Health Online FAQ site for additional information.

NEW Q: Suppose I need an appointment during the transition period: what will I do?

A: As always, if you have a medical emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. For minor issues (e.g., sore throats, sexually transmitted infections, backache, etc.) we have posted on our website a list of urgent care centers inSan Francisco and surrounding counties, including clinics specializing exclusively in sexually transmitted infections. If you need to seek any medical attention during the transition period, please be sure to ask the provider to send us a report of your encounter. Our preference would be that you visit either (1) a Sutter Health affiliated urgent care center or, in the absence of a Sutter Health urgent care center, (2) an urgent care facility where they use the Epic electronic health record (EHR) (e.g., that of UCSF in San Francisco). With "Epic Anywhere", we will be able to import your urgent care visit data directly into your new Sutter Health Epic EHR the next time we see you.

Q: Is there any chance we can see you or Carl Stein during the transition?

A: We may have brief periods here and there, particularly during the 3rd and 4th weeks of January 2015, when we are not in training at SPMF facilities and may be able to handle basic phone calls. Please check out our website, www.owenmed.com, for the latest announcements about any changes in our schedule. However, we will not be able to make future appointments until we are fully trained on Epic or to schedule urgent visits. So it’s best to use the urgent care centers we’ve posted—or emergency departments if necessary—if you have a condition that must be checked out in a timely fashion. And my staff and I would be most appreciative if you could hold any routine care questions until February, assuming those questions are minor enough that you can wait until then to discuss those concerns with us after we return to our renovated office.

NEW Q: Suppose my refills run out during the transition period. What should I do to prevent that?

A: You should have checked with your pharmacy or pharmacies prior to December 22, 2014 to see if you had enough refills to get you through to mid-February 2015. However, if you discover that you do not have enough refills to last until February, please ask your pharmacy  to request additional refills from us either electronically or to our new fax number: (415) 369-1314. This is extremely important so you do not run out of essential medications during the transition!

Q: I have an electronic order in athenahealth for laboratory tests I must do in 2015. Will those orders be available to me when I go to the lab?

A: No, our ability to access athenahealth online, to make any new entries in athenahealth, or to print out specific functions like laboratory orders or prescriptions, disappeared after December 28, 2014. This means that any future lab test orders we previously ordered for you electronically for 2015 from within athenahealth, our previous EHR, will not be accessible. If you do not already have a printed LabCorp or Sutter Health/CPMC order to be done prior to an already scheduled upcoming visit, you should call our new office number, (415) 600-4750, during normal business hours to determine how to proceed.

Q: Which laboratory may I use now that your practice is part of Sutter Health?

A: You may take your already printed laboratory order form either to any Sutter Health facility laboratory (including the CPMC-Davies lab, right across the driveway from us) or to any LabCorp (including the station two blocks from our office at Noe & Henry Streets). You may NOT use Quest Diagnostics laboratory.

NEW Q: Why do I have to use LabCorp or Sutter/CPMC? I like using Quest Diagnostics laboratory.

A: Unfortunately, Quest Diagnostics and Sutter Health have not yet built an interface between Quest and Sutter’s version of Epic EHR. However, we understand that Quest is working with SPMF to have this interface available some time during 2015. Therefore, until this Epic interface has been programmed and tested, if you were to do your lab tests at Quest, the data would not flow into Epic. At best, it will be very difficult to track down your Quest lab data. At worst, your test results done at Quest might get permanently lost. We are confident this situation is a temporary one and that you will be able to use any Quest Diagnostics lab facility (in addition to any LabCorp or Sutter Health facility) later in 2015.

Q: When should I do my lab tests in 2015?

A: As before, it’s always best to do your lab tests two weeks prior to your next office visit. If your order includes a basic or comprehensive chemistry panel, blood glucose (sugar), or lipid (cholesterol/triglyceride) panel, please remember to fast for 12 hours. That means no food with any caloric content but we strongly urge you to drink lots of water before you have your tests drawn. The exception to the two week rule is for lab tests done in conjunction with a Medicare annual well patient visit. Starting in 2013, Medicare began denying payment for tests we have always considered to be “preventive tests”. Now Medicare only pays for tests when there is a specific diagnosis or medical indication to do the lab tests. So if you are having a Medicare physical exam, we will decide which tests are medically justified at the time of the annual exam and you may do the lab tests after the annual exam has concluded. You may then view your test results via your Epic patient portal, "My Health Online"., once you have enrolled.

Q: How can I communicate with you or your staff during the transition period?

A: As already mentioned, we are offsite during the transition, training as employees of SPMF and learning how to operate the new Epic EHR. Our old telephone and fax numbers have been replaced by new numbers (see below) and they may be forwarded to another office or to our answering service. Because of HIPAA privacy law restrictions, we are not permitted to communicate about health issues via standard email, so please do NOT send us standard email requests about your medical problems. We had previously outlined the importance of preparing for our absence starting in mid-December 2014, making sure that you had enough refills to carry you through the transition and that you had a paper Sutter/CPMC or LabCorp lab order for any lab tests to be done in 2015. You should also review the list of urgent care centers to select a location near you, should you need to use it during the transition, with preference given to urgent care centers that are either affiliated with Sutter Health or that use the Epic EHR (e.g., the UCSF urgent care center in San Francisco). We strongly recommend that you enroll NOW in the SPMF Epic EHR patient portal, My Health Online, so that you will have yet another way to communicate with us after we return to our office on 2/2/2015.

NEW Q: Has your office changed its phone numbers now that your practice has joined SPMF?

A: Yes, as of January 5, 2015 our new phone number is (415) 600-4750. Our new clinical fax number is (415) 369-1314. Please use our clinical fax number only for consultations, urgent care visit reports, ER reports, hospital admission and discharge summaries, lab reports, X ray reports and other medical documents and forms that relate to you as a new or existing patient.

Q: Dr. Owen, your appointment schedule is booked so far in advance. Is there any chance that you might be adding another physician to your practice under SPMF?

A: Unfortunately, because of the winter holidays and the fact that we are unable to attend any patients in January 2015, we have had to push out appointments several months. When we were in private practice, the cost of adding another physician would have been prohibitive. However, SPMF has committed to start recruiting for another M.D., possibly as early as July 2015. As a sign of that commitment, during the January remodel, SPMF is bringing our exam room capacity from the current four up to six exam rooms. SPMF has assured me that I will have an opportunity to interview prospective candidates, to make certain that they are compatible with our providers, staff, and patient population and that they are knowledgeable about the variety of medical conditions we commonly encounter in this practice.

Q: Dr. Owen, does all of this really mean that you will be retiring soon?

A: When I made the decision to join forces with SPMF, I also made the commitment to work within this new structure for at least two years. Starting in 2015, I have reduced my hours from 4 days per week to 3 days per week, two full days (Monday and Tuesday) and two half days (Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings). I anticipate that extra day off will give me an opportunity to “charge my batteries” and to renew my commitment to my patients. At the end of two years, I will reevaluate whether I would like to continue as an SPMF physician or choose another option. Among several alternative options that I would have available to me at the end of 2016, one of those is retirement. [BTW, Carl Stein, MHS, PA-C, will still be available for both AM and PM appointments 5 days per week, Monday through Friday.]

On behalf of everyone in my practice, I wish to thank you for your loyalty during these many years of service by my staff and me to our community. We apologize for any inconvenience you might experience during our transition to SPMF. We are looking forward to seeing you in our bright, newly remodeled Suite 402 and to working with you in 2015 and beyond.

Best regards,

mission of owen medical group

Hi! My name is Bill Owen, M.D. Welcome to our medical practice website. I opened my general internal medicine office in San Francisco in 1979. I am a general practitioner (G.P.) and our practice emphasis is on primary health care of adults. As a gay doctor, I have a special focus on primary care of gay men and lesbians, including patients with HIV/AIDS. We believe that patient education is a keystone in understanding any medical condition and that providers and patients must be active partners in health care.

In 2015, our practice took an exciting new step by joining with Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation.

Please come inside our website and have a look around. Feel free to call us if you have any questions or comments or would like to arrange an appointment.

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practice profile

A very large percentage of the patients in our general practice are gay men and lesbians. Some of our special interests include HIV/AIDS care, sexually transmitted diseases, tourist and travel medicine, personal fitness/bodybuilding and treatment of male sexual dysfunction, including impotence. We offer second opinions, as well as opportunities for clinical research.

In 1977, I founded Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights, the first association of gay doctors and lesbian physicians in the U.S. In 1980, I wrote the first comprehensive reviews of gay health care which were published in the June and July issues of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In 1982, I was honored by the University of California San Diego (UCSD), for my work in gay health care, by having their clinic, which serves the medical needs of lesbians and gay men, designated "The Owen Clinic". In 1988, the American Society of Internal Medicine (now the American College of Physicians) named me as the recipient of its Special Recognition Award, in honor of my work with patients with HIV/AIDS. The involvement of Dr. William Owen in the early years of the AIDS epidemic is also chronicled in the book, AIDS Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic by Gerald Oppenheimer and Ronald Bayer. In June 2000, Bill was honored with the annual Gay Pride Community Service Award by San Francisco PBS affiliate KQED-TV. In January 2004, San Francisco Magazine named Dr. Bill Owen one of the best HIV/AIDS doctors in the San Francisco Bay Area. In January 2005, San Francisco Magazine named William F. Owen M.D. one of the top primary care physicians in the San Francisco Bay Area (see cover of January 2005 issue top left). In 2006, Bay Area Consumers Checkbook named Dr. William Owen as one of the top-rated primary care physicians in the San Francisco Bay Area (see cover of Winter/Spring 2006 issue middle left). Dr. Bill Owen has also been elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America® from 2003 to 2012. On June 15, 2012, Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights, at its 35th anniversary celebration, presented Dr. William Owen with its "Visionary of the Decades" award for his work as one of the founders and architects of one of the earliest organizations of gay doctors.

In 1986, a continuing series about Bill Owen's practice (see picture bottom left) appeared in the American Medical News, the official newspaper of the American Medical Association. It was written by AMNews reporter Sari Staver, and discussed the fact that my practice was one of the first private medical practices to treat large numbers of patients with HIV/AIDS.

I am a member of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) (a national organization of gay doctors), Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (BAPHR), the HIV Medical Association (HIVMA) of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) , International AIDS Society (IAS), the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), the Community Consortium of Bay Area HIV/AIDS Providers, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the American College of Physicians (ACP) (formerly the American Society of Internal Medicine), the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), and I am a lifetime member of the American Medical Association (AMA).

More details about my curriculum vitae, bibliography and financial disclosure may be found on my résumé page.

 

 

Since 1994, I have worked closely with a physician assistant, Carl Stein, MHS, PA-C, who also sees patients under my care.

Carl received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Michigan and attended the Physician Assistant Program at Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned a Master of Health Sciences degree. His education concentrated on direct patient care and included clinical rotations in inpatient medicine, family practice, emergency medicine, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, surgery, substance abuse treatment, and migrant health care. He passed a rigorous national certification exam and met California state licensing requirements. He is a member of the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the Community Consortium (and serves on the Consortium's Executive Advisory Board), the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Physician Assistant AIDS Network (PAAN) where he serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Carl is a co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Physician Assistants and continues to serve on the association's steering committee. Carl's interest in HIV developed during the 1980s, when he was a volunteer at the Whitman-Walker Clinic and Washington Free Clinic (now part of Whitman-Walker) in Washington, DC.

An article about Carl Stein's background and career was featured as the cover story in the November 2000 issue of News-Line for Physician Assistants. More details about Carl's educational background, publications, and financial disclosure may be found on his curriculum vitae page.

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office hours

 

morning afternoon 2015 closure & new hours from 2/2/15
monday closed closed Our office is closed from
tuesday closed closed Friday, December 17, 2014 until
wednesday closed closed Monday, February 2, 2015
thursday closed closed for complete reconstruction and
friday closed closed provider and staff training on the Epic EHR
saturday closed closed When we return, starting 2/2/15, our hours will be:
sunday closed closed Owen IN: M & Tu: AM & PM; W: PM ; Th: AM
Owen OUT: W: AM; Th: PM; F: AM & PM
      Stein IN: AM & PM on all weekdays: M, Tu, W, Th, F

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directions to the practice

via public transportation

The N-Judah streetcar, the 24-Divisadero trolley bus, and the 37-Corbett bus stop right at our door, across from California Pacific Medical Center, Davies campus. BART connects with the N-Judah line at any of the downtown BART/MUNI stations. The Powell Street and California Street cable cars connect with the N-Judah line at the Powell Street and Embarcadero stations, respectively.

via auto from the east bay and downtown sf

Take the Bay Bridge (I-80) west to the Mission/Fell Street exit. Stay in the left lane of the off ramp and continue directly forward under the freeway which becomes Duboce Avenue. Continue for 3 long blocks to Market Street. Turn left on Market Street and continue for one block of Market past the Safeway, to where Market, Church and 14th Streets intersect. Then bear right onto 14th Street. Stay on 14th Street for 3 blocks to Castro Street. Turn right ½ block into California Pacific Medical Center, Davies campus parking garage.

via auto from the peninsula and points south via us hwy 101

Take US Hwy 101 North to the Mission/Fell Street exit. Stay in the left lane of the off ramp and continue directly forward under the freeway which becomes Duboce Avenue. Continue for 3 long blocks to Market Street. Turn left on Market Street and continue for one block of Market past the Safeway, to where Market, Church and 14th Streets intersect. Then bear right onto 14th Street. Stay on 14th Street for 3 blocks to Castro Street. Turn right ½ block into California Pacific Medical Center, Davies campus parking garage.

via auto from the peninsula and points south via interstate hwy 280

Take I-280 North toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow the signs to 19th Ave and continue north 3.4 miles to Lincoln Drive at Golden Gate Park. Turn right on Lincoln and and keep in the left lane until the road turns left through Golden Gate Park. Then keep to the right, the road will turn sharply to the right and become Oak Street. Continue east on Oak 1.0 mile to Scott Street. Turn right on Scott and drive on Scott for 4 blocks. California Pacific Medical Center-Davies Campus is at the end of Scott Street.

( golden gate bridge courtesy of steve weller)

via auto from marin county

Take US Hwy 101 South across the Golden Gate Bridge to Lombard Street. Turn left onto Lombard Street and then turn right onto Divisadero Street. Follow Divisadero Street for 2.0 miles until it becomes Castro Street. Then turn left on Duboce Street and right into California Pacific Medical Center, Davies campus parking garage.

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map of castro/upper market/duboce triangle districts of san francisco

california pacific medical center-davies campus complex

 

( Castro area map courtesy of Steve Weller) (Davies Campus map courtesy of CPMC)

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hospital affiliations

california pacific medical center (CPMC)
(from left to right: california, pacific, davies and st. luke's campuses)

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insurance plans accepted (partial list) *

We accept most PPO plans, some EPO plans and Medicare, including some Medicare Advantage plans. We do NOT currently accept any HMO plans. Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation (SPMF) accepts virtually all of the insurance plans we take. On our website you will find a table showing the insurance plans SPMF and our practice accept. The plans accepted by both our practice and SPMF are highlighted in green. The plans Sutter and our practice do not accept are highlighted in red. You may contact SPMF Patient Services at (888) 637-2762 to verify whether SPMF accepts your insurance if you have a plan that is not listed on the table.

There is a current, ongoing health insurance contract dispute between Sutter Health and Blue Shield of California. The negotiations relate only to Blue Shield of California. Anthem Blue Cross of California is not affected. The various out-of-state Blue Cross / Blue Shield plans are also not involved in this dispute, to our knowledge. We do understand that contract negotiations are continuing between Sutter Health and Blue Shield of California, despite the heated rhetoric and public posturing on both sides. There actually is precedence for a last minute settlement. A few years ago, there were similar contract issues between California Pacific Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate, and Anthem Blue Cross of California. These contract issues were settled shortly after the official "deadline". Blue Shield of California has stated that it will continue to honor the existing contracts with Sutter Health through June 30, 2015. All services to our patients with Blue Shield of California will be covered until then, just as they had been during 2014. We trust that an amicable settlement will have been reached between Blue Shield of California and Sutter Health by the end of June.

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payment policy

We accept most insurances, but require payment of co-payments at the time services are rendered. Be sure to have your health insurance card handy when you call to arrange an appointment, because the office staff will ask specific questions that can only be answered by referring to the card.

For patients who do not have medical insurance or who are insured by plans with which we are not affiliated, we require payment at the time of the office visit. If you are insured, you may submit your bill to your insurance company for reimbursement.

We accept payment by:

Checks (including money orders), Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and ATM (debit) cards. Until December 29, 2014 payments may be made through our athenahealth Patient Portal. Sorry, but with our new billing system, as of April 3, 2012 we can no longer accept cash.

 

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examples of medical emergencies

 If you have a medical emergency, and if a delay would be detrimental to your health, seek care at the nearest emergency facility or dial 911. Examples of medical emergencies include:

  • difficulty in swallowing
  • poisoning
  • severe shortness of breath
  • high fever
  • uncontrolled bleeding
  • burns
  • loss of consciousness
  • suspected overdose of medications
  • heart attack
  • suspected heart attack

 

contact us

A Request from our Staff
Although several means will exist to reach out to us when we return from our SPMF training to our newly reconstructed office in February 2015, our staff kindly ask that you choose only one method to contact our office (e.g., telephone call, answering service message, voicemail message OR Sutter Health's Epic EHR My Health Online message). One of our staff members might be checking voicemail messages, while another staff member is checking My Health Online messages. If you try to contact us using both approaches, this will result in a needless duplication of effort and will prolong the time for our staff to attend the needs of other patients. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this request.

telephone

+1 (415) 600-4750 (effective 1/5/2015)+1 (877) OWENMED [+1 (877) 693-6633] (toll-free)

fax

Please use our clinical fax number only for consultations, urgent care visit reports, ER reports, hospital admission and discharge summaries, lab reports, X ray reports and other medical documents and forms that relate to you as a new or existing patient.

+1 (415) 369-1314 (effective 1/5/2015)+

postal address

45 Castro Street, Suite 402, San Francisco, CA 94114-1040

electronic mail: standard & secure

secure email

(for established patients only):
Please note: As of April 14, 2003 when the HIPAA privacy law took effect, established patients in our practice may no longer use standard email in order to communicate via email with Dr. William Owen or Carl Stein.
DO NOT USE OUR REGULAR E-MAIL ADDRESS. Once we have been trained in the use of the Epic electronic health record (EHR) used by Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, you may communicate with us via secure email by signing up for the SPMF Epic Patient Portal. Please use discretion when using secure email and employ it only to clarify issues that we have discussed at a recent appointment with you.

online consultations

Regrettably, as of March 1, 2006 we have discontinued our participation in the Medem online consultation service. Please call our office for an appointment.

appointments

new patients

New patients appointments may be made via telephone. Because of the transition to SPMF, we are currently scheduling new patient visits 3 to 4 months in advance. Additionally, our office is closed during January 2015 for renovations and our staff is offsite in training. Therefore, we are unavailable between December 19, 2014 and February 2, 2015 to schedule any appointments.

existing patients

During the transition to SPMF, our office is undergoing an entire reconstruction so it would not be possible to see patients in the midst of a giant construction zone. Additonally, we are offsite for training as a new SPMF practice and learning to use Sutter Health's Epic EHR. During this period, our clinicians are only intermittently available to see our patients in a remote location. If you have an urgent health issue between December 19, 2014 and February 2, 2015, we strongly recommend that you visit one of the urgent care centers we have listed elsewhere on this website. In order to facilitate incorporation of your urgent care center or emergency department data into your new Epic EHR, preference should be given to those urgent care centers that are part of the Sutter Health network OR to those centers that use Epic as their EHR (e.g., UCSF's Urgent Care Center).

prescription refills

Requests for refills should be submitted directly to your pharmacy. In general, your pharmacy should notify us of this request electronically via the electronic health record (EHR) and we will provide the approval (or denial) electronically as well. If you missed our December 22, 2014 deadline for Rx refills and determine that you are running out of your essential medications, you should ask your pharmacist to attempt to send the refill request electronically to us now and, if that fails, you should ask your pharmacist to fax the refill request to our new fax number, (415) 369-1314.
 

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Last modified: January 11, 2015