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I don't know how many of you have dropped into Dr. Chen's office recently, but I was there early this morning with an eye infection. To my surprise, what used to be the waiting room was under construction, as was much of the office. Dr. and Mrs. Chen have moved out of the back area and into a house to make more room. I saw Dr. Gomez, who said that he will be in the office from 8:00 to 4:00; Dr. Chen will be there from 4:00 to 7:00; and a woman doctor whose name I can't remember (Winnie Something?) will cover the night shift. A Dr. Guiterriz also will fill in from time to time. There also is a new fee structure. Daytime appointments are $15, or $12 with the jubilado discount; nighttime is $20, or $16 discounted; and home visits are, I believe, $40 (but don't quote me on the latter). In any case, wonderful facility improvements and a reasonable fee structure.

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Dr. Gomez told me a month or so ago that Dr. Chen no longer owned the practice and the doctors are now employees of the practice owner who is trying to change the practice into something more modern (i.e., higher prices, shorter consultations).

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For what it's worth, my consultation was not short. The examination was thorough, and we spent at least 5 minutes socializing. The last time I was in, at least six months ago, an office consultation had gone from $10 to $15. This time it was $12. The new owners apparently have set a fee structure that acknowledges the senior citizen discount. All costs are clearly posted near the counter.

Again, I'm not sure I'm remembering the cost of home visits correctly.

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