Dr. Chen's practice is a solo outpatient internal medicine practice, providing only office-based consultation services to patients. Dr. Chen will not be designated as a patient's primary care provider, so patients should have their own primary care physicians. Dr. Chen will not be performing any routine gynecologic exams, surgeries, phlebotomy services, intravenous therapies, or any hospital work. Female patients must continue to obtain their routine gynecologic examinations through their primary care providers or gynecologists. All patients consulting Dr. Chen will do so only for non-emergent and non-urgent medical situations. In the event that a more urgent question needs to be addressed, patients may leave their questions/requests with Dr. Chen's receptionist or directly on Dr. Chen's confidential answering machine, which is checked at least once per day. Dr. Chen will provide for cross-coverage with another practitioner of similar practice styles in the event she is out-of-town and unreachable.

All consultations are by appointments only, and all cancellations must be made with at least 24 hours advanced notice, or a fee of $50 will be assessed. Dr. Chen does NOT participate with nor does she bill any insurance plans, and payment is due in full by cash, check, VISA or Mastercard at the time of service. A fee of $30 will be assessed for all bounced checks. Patients will receive a superbill (receipt of payment) with documentation of the level of services (with appropriate CPT codes and ICD diagnoses as required by insurance plans) provided and amount paid which they may then submit, on their own, to their insurance carriers for possible partial reimbursement. It should be noted that reimbursement may be possible with commercial insurances, Blue Cross, and potential PPOs, but is unlikely with any HMO plans such as Kaiser, Health Net, or Pacific Care. Patients with primary Medicare insurance will only be allowed to see Dr. Chen for consultation if they first sign a disclaimer (please contact the office for this form) stating that they will not bill Medicare for any of Dr. Chen's services, since Dr. Chen has opted out of Medicare participation. In such cases, the superbill may be submitted by the patient to a secondary, non-Medicare insurance carrier (if available) for possible partial reimbursement.

Dr. Chen will directly order appropriate lab tests for non-HMO and non-medicare patients, usually utilizing local reputable laboratories such as QUEST and Labcorp. However, patients who possess insurance coverage whereby non-participating physicians such as Dr. Chen are NOT allowed to order labs will need to go through their participating provider in order to have recommended labs performed and covered by their insurance. Otherwise, they may use Dr. Chen's lab requisition at any licensed lab directly and pay out-of-pocket for the lab fees. Extent of lab testing depends on the complexity of each individual's situation. Dr. Chen usually reviews recent test results brought in by patients before ordering additional tests. Dr. Chen does not order tests for patients until she has physically evaluated them at a formal appointment. Dr. Chen is not affiliated with any laboratories or testing facilities. All charges generated by individual testing facilities as a result of performing tests ordered by Dr. Chen are ultimately the financial responsibility of the patient.

Follow-up appointments are usually within 2-4 months and at a minimum of every six months in order for Dr. Chen to be actively involved in the care of her patients and continue medication refills in a responsible manner.

All new appointments are 1½-hr. long with any additional time charged on a pro-rated basis. Follow-up appointments are generally 1-hr long, with exceptions determined individually by Dr. Chen. All telephone consultations are available by appointment only. All telephone consultations need to be paid in full by cash, check, VISA, or Mastercard before or at the time of the actual telephone appointment. Please contact the office directly at 831-462-6013 for the current fee structure (subject to change in the future at the discretion of Dr. Chen, with appropriate notice to patients).

Dr. Chen's policy regarding time spent answering questions outside of scheduled appointments for established patients, whether by telephone or by fax is that there will be no charge for the first 10 minutes. Once the call or fax review has surpassed 10 minutes, there will be a $5 per minute charge, retroactive to the beginning of the telephone call or fax review. Patients will be billed subsequently. Dr. Chen also reserves the right to implement charges for phone calls if she feels the number of phone calls from an individual patient is excessive for a given period of time. This determination is at the discretion of Dr. Chen. Alternatively, she may request the patient come in for another appointment in order to address all questions and concerns for the patient.

Dr. Chen's areas of interest include hormone balancing (for women and men), metabolism, nutrition, integrative, functional/regenerative/anti-aging medicine, and general preventive medicine. Since a person's hormones are all connected, dealing with sex hormones will also necessitate some working knowledge of other endocrine systems, such as thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal function. She is also available to do consultations on any general internal medicine issues that are non-emergent, and non-urgent, such as chronic migraine headaches, chronic abdominal pain, osteoporosis and other women's health issues, high blood cholesterol, asthma, etc. For further details regarding Dr. Chen's areas of interests, refer to her Philosophy of Medical Practice Statement.