I like simplicity. Any time there is a government process, a legal system, an insurance form, medical bureaucracy, or a big box store, I freak out.
So when a friend told me about her wonderful doctor and how simple it was to use her services, it had my attention. And when she told me that it was Dr. Karen Hansen-Smith, I was extra happy, because I’ve known her and her husband for several years, and they are wonderful, community-minded people.
So I called Dr. Hansen-Smith to learn about her system, and it seemed far too easy to be true. Here’s how Hansen-Smith Family Medicine works: You pay $125 a month if you are 64 and under, or $200 a month if you are 65 and over. This covers your office visits and phone consultations. You do labs or any hospital visits through your insurance, just like normal. Think of it as a membership and the membership isn’t covered by insurance. Think of this as your co-pay. That way she doesn’t have to deal with insurance companies, which keeps her overhead lower so she can charge less and have fewer patients (which is why this works so well!).
Dr. Hansen-Smith’s office is as nice as a spa, and you feel instantly at ease. Her limited number of patients makes it easy to get an appointment or, if you have a simple question or need a prescription refill, she can often help through a phone call, text or email. I’ve always been able to get in to see her within a day.
As nice as the convenience of being able to reach your doctor when you need to is, Dr. Hansen-Smith’s demeanor is an even greater benefit. She takes time to get to know her patients and to listen to each situation. She is very conversational and isn’t on a 10-minutes-per-patient clock, like many of the big institutions. One of the many interesting points that she made in our interview was that taking time to really know her patients actually saves time in the long run. She doesn’t start from scratch with each visit.
Sometimes I go a few months without needing anything. But when I have a real need, I know I can get in to see her and I don’t have to schedule and reschedule over weeks or months just to see my doctor.
Dr. Hansen-Smith’s office is across from Fig Garden Village at 725 W. Shaw in Fresno, and her phone number is (559) 485-3639. Click here to visit her website. Contact page or call are best.
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