Welcome to the Portal of the Owen Medical Group Electronic Health Record (EHR)

General EHR/Portal info HERE Q&A about EHR/Portal HERE

Already signed up on our Patient Portal? Click HERE

Not yet signed up? Choose one of the following:
NEWS FLASHES: 1) Eliana Hernandez retired! 2) New staff!
After over a third of a century of dedicated service to our practice, our Senior Medical Assistant, Eliana, retired on July 3, 2014. Eliana & Julian will be moving to Chile. Read an open letter from Eliana to all of our patients from over the years.
And please join Carl Stein, PA-C and Dr. Bill Owen in welcoming our new MAs, Cristina & Mira, to our practice.
Existing patients (appt since 1/1/2010):  Portal  will find you by your ID. Click here to sign up for Patient Portal & NOT register as a new patient.
New patients (incl former patients whose last appt was before 1/1/2010): Click here to sign up for the Portal AND register as a new patient.

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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.

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. If you are a new patient, you may also set up a new patient visit online after signing up for our Patient Portal and registering online with our practice.

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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 2014 holidays closed
monday 8:00 am-11:00 am 2:00 pm-5:00 pm New Year's (December 31, 2013-January 1, 2014)
tuesday 8:00 am-11:00 am 2:00 pm-5:00 pm MLK Jr / Inauguration Day (January 20)
wednesday 8:00 am-11:00 am 2:00 pm-5:00 pm Presidents' Day (February 17)
thursday 8:00 am-11:00 am 2:00 pm-5:00 pm Memorial Day (May 26)
friday 8:00 am-11:00 am 2:00 pm-4:00 pm Independence Day (July 4)
saturday closed closed Labor Day (September 1)
sunday closed closed Thanksgiving Thu & Fri (November 27-28)
Christmas Day & Boxing Day (December 25-26)
      New Year's (December 31, 2014-January 1, 2015)

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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) *

Aetna US Healthcare-PPO, POS, EPO only
Anthem Blue Cross-PPO (on Covered California outside SF county)
Beech Street Corporation
Blue Shield-PPO only (on Covered California within SF county)
California Foundation for Medical Care (CFMC)
Choice Care Network
CIGNA Healthcare-PPO, POS, EPO only
First Health-PPO only
Health Net ** (HN PPO only on Covered California)
HealthSmart (Interplan)
Medicare (but not with Medi Cal)
Private HealthCare Systems (PHCS)
United Healthcare-PPO, POS, EPO only
* for HMO plans: Dr. Owen is not affiliated with Brown & Toland Medical Group (BTMG) or with Hill Physicians Group; Dr. Owen is affiliated with San Francisco Direct Network
** for HMO, EPO, POS plans: Dr. Owen must be listed as primary care physician (PCP) on your insurance card

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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. Coming in 2013: 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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q&a about appointments, consents, patient portal, email, and communicating with our office

Question: My last visit with Dr. Owen or Carl Stein took place some time around late 2009 or early 2010. How can I tell if I am a "new" or "existing" patient?

Answer: Try first to sign up for our Patient Portal as an "existing" patient. The Portal will ask you for some identifying data. If this matches with what we already have on file, then you would be considered an "existing" patient. Existing patients should only sign up for the Patient Portal and should not complete the patient registration portions of the Portal. Otherwise, your record will be duplicated. However, if your record cannot be located within the Patient Portal by your identifying data, then you would be considered a "new" patient. This involves both signing up for our Patient Portal and then registering yourself as a new patient.

Question: I am having trouble signing in to my account on the Patient Portal. When entering email and PIN number, I receive a message that my login information is incorrect. What should I do?

Answer: Your PIN number may be linked with a mobile number rather than a home number or vice versa. Thus, information may sound incorrect and force patients to reset the account and start over. When you first registered for the Patient Portal, the phone number you entered is the one that is linked to your PIN number. This phone number would be the one to use when you login in the future.

Question: I have already signed Dr. Owen's HIPAA privacy form and your practice's consent to treatment. Why do I have to sign these forms again?

Answer: All of our patients, both new and existing, need to sign several forms before we can treat you. There have been a few subtle changes in the forms (like one allowing us to download your list of recent medications from SureScripts) and so it is important that all of our patients are "on the same page" in terms of our consent forms.

Question: Can I send you a question via email?

Answer: Since April 14, 2003, it has been a violation under the HIPAA law, governing patient privacy protection, to use standard email to communicate with patients about their medical issues and treatments. Our athenahealth EHR allows you to ask us a question via secure email through the Patient Portal. However, not all types of email would be considered appropriate.

Question: So what is an "appropriate" use of secure email?

Answer: Let's say you would like us to clarify some issue that has already been discussed at the time of a recent office visit with us. That would be considered an appropriate use of secure email.

Question: Then what what would you consider to be an "inappropriate" use of secure email?

Answer: You should NEVER use email for new issues that we have not discussed or for acute medical problems, e.g., acute abdominal pain. If you develop an acute or severe health problem, it is best, in general, to go to the nearest hospital Emergency Department where your problem can be evaluated more expeditiously.

Question: Do I need to take a handwritten or computer generated paper prescription to my pharmacy for a new medication that you have prescribed?

Answer: No, we are sending out all new and refill prescriptions electronically with two exceptions. One is for controlled substances with a low incidence of abuse (e.g., lorazepam, hydrocodone, testosterone gel). After generating these prescriptions in your EHR, we have to print them out and manually fax them to your pharmacy. The other exception is for controlled substances with a high incidence of abuse (e.g., oxycodone, morphine, Ritalin). We are still required to hand write those prescriptions on "triplicate" tamper-proof prescription blank forms. Currently, there is a movement in many state legislatures to allow prescribers to transmit most of the controlled substances electronically to pharmacies.

Question: How do I obtain prescription refills under the new system?

Answer: Assuming that you have been making regular periodic visits with us for follow-up of whatever condition the medicine is being used to treat, just as before, you would call or email your pharmacy first. If refills are still available on your prescription, the pharmacist will just go ahead and fill it. If there are no additional refills remaining, instead of sending our office a paper fax, the pharmacist will notify us electronically that you are requesting a prescription refill.

Question: But I use a mail order pharmacy. How do I obtain prescription refills from that pharmacy?

Answer: Again, assuming that you have been making regular periodic visits with us for follow-up of whatever condition the medicine is being used to treat, you would contact your mail order pharmacy first. If refills are still available on your prescription, the mail order pharmacy will just go ahead and fill it. If there are no additional refills remaining, the mail order pharmacy will notify us electronically that you are requesting a prescription refill. Sometimes, unfortunately, mail order pharmacies refuse to contact us. In that case you may send us your request via the Patient Portal and we will generate the request from there. Be sure to let us know the exact name of the medication, the dosage (usually in mg), the quantity of tablets or capsules needed (usually for a 90 day supply), and the name and fax number of the mail order pharmacy. It would also be helpful to us if you could provide us with the phone number and address of the mail order pharmacy so that we can see if your mail order pharmacy is already loaded into the athenanet database.

Question: How can I make an appointment with your office?

Answer: For appointments for new patients (including patients not seen in our office since January 1, 2010), you may make an initial appointment either online, after registering first on our Patient Portal or you may contact us via telephone at (415) 861-2400. For existing patients (i.e., those  who have had services rendered by our office on or after January 1, 2010), please arrange your appointment via telephone. If you have health insurance, please have your insurance card ready at the time you call.

Question: Why do I have to use Quest Diagnostics Laboratory, LabCorp or Hunter Labs instead of CPMC?

Answer: CPMC has not been able to provide an electronic interface to our EHR so far. We need to receive laboratory results as discrete data points (so that your labs can be charted over time) so receiving your lab tests back on paper is not a viable option for us. We have been in discussion with CPMC and they indicate that they are working on a regional data exchange solution to this issue. Unfortunately, we do not yet have an estimated date of when this might happen.

Question: But I have always used CPMC for X rays, EKGs, and scans. And I would like to be admitted to CPMC if I ever have to be hospitalized. Will this still be OK with your new EHR?

Answer: You should still use CPMC for Emergency Department visits, hospital visits, and outpatient surgical operations and, if your insurance contract permits it, for other services like imaging and cardiology services. Although the results of these studies also are currently returned to us as paper reports, we are working with CPMC on a solution so that your report will be faxed securely to athenanet, where they will "file it" in the appropriate section of your electronic health record. Your clinicians will review these electronic reports each day before storing them in your EHR.

Question: Do I need to carry a piece of paper to the lab or imaging facility, as before?

Answer: No. We transmit these orders to the labs and imaging facilities directly from your EHR via secure fax. Eventually, athenahealth plans to convert this stage of the ordering process to full electronic transmission as well.

Question: How do I find my labs from my last visit to the office?

Answer: If you had labs done at either LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics and had already discussed the labs with your clinician at the time of your last visit, the laboratory results would be located in your "Patient Care Summary". To find your Patient Care Summary, first log into the Patient Portal. Click on “Appointments” on the left hand side of the screen. Scroll down to “Past Appointments.” Click on the PDF that is below “Visit Summary” Lab test results are found within the Patient Care Summary.

Question: I've heard that President Obama is paying doctors to install electronic records. How much is he giving you?

Answer: The cost associated with setting up EHR is pretty expensive. There is the immediate cost of hardware, peripherals, and network costs. There is a continuing monthly cost for the billing, medical records, and patient communications software which is determined as a fixed percentage of all of our monthly revenue. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, has a provision for assisting physicians with the implementation of EHR for providers who accept patients with Medicare coverage, up to a total of $44,000 spread out over several years. However, the law as it pertains to physicians in the Medicare program prohibits upfront payments. Rather, providers applying for reimbursement under the HITECH Act must show that they are meeting "Meaningful Use".

Question: So what are the goals of "Meaningful Use"?

Answer: The goals of Meaningful Use include the following:

The criteria for how providers must meet Meaningful Use are listed on the Center for Medicare Services website.

Question: My telephone calls to your office, even during normal business hours, keep getting routed to voicemail so I hang up before the outgoing voicemail message is finished. How can I speak to a real person in your office?

Answer: Ideally, during our normal business hours, your call will be answered by one of our office staff. At other times you will reach our voicemail system. For routine medical problems, feel free to leave a message after the tone, and be sure to leave your full name and telephone number. You should disconnect only after your voicemail message to us is complete. Because of reduced staffing during our conversion to electronic health records, we have had to utilize voicemail  more often than would otherwise be optimal. Please know that our staff is checking voicemail approximately every hour for urgent messages and that all messages left will be returned in their order of priority.

Tip: You may bypass the outgoing message at any time and go directly to record your voicemail message to us. Simply press the pound (#) key during the outgoing message.

Question: What if I have an urgent medical problem that is serious enough that I cannot wait for your staff to return my call. What should I do?

Answer: If you have an urgent and serious medical problem, but not an emergency, please call our answering service at +1 (415) 376-7661. An operator will page the physician on call. Again, be sure to tell the operator your name, telephone number and the nature of your call. 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 do exist to reach out to us, our staff kindly ask that you choose only one method to contact our office (e.g., voicemail message only OR Patient Portal message only). One of our staff members might be checking voicemail messages, while another staff member is checking Patient Portal 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.


+1 (415) 861-2400
+1 (877) OWENMED [+1 (877) 693-6633] (toll-free)

answering service

Note: Please use our answering service only for very urgent issues that cannot await a return call from our office.

+1 (415) 376-7661


Leave us a voicemail from your computer - FREE!*
*requires Adobe® Flash™

Just click on the button to the left, enter your name, U.S. phone number and then touch "Connect". Our voicemail will call you back and you may leave a message. Our staff will return your call during our normal business hours.


Note: Please use our fax number only for medical documents and forms that relate to you as a new or existing patient

+1 (415) 861-8733

postal address

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

electronic mail: standard & secure

standard (non HIPAA-compliant) email

(for prospective patients & general information from our 2 providers):
bill at owenmed dot com or carl at owenmed dot com.

standard (non HIPAA-compliant) email

(to contact our staff about a non-clinical question):
office at owenmed dot com

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. You may communicate with us via secure email by signing up for the 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. Read the Q&A above for more information.

online consultations

Regrettably, as of March 1, 2006 we have discontinued our participation in the Medem online consultation service. However, we are exploring whether certain types of appointments might lend themselves to online consultations under the athenahealth electronic health record (EHR). In the meantime, please call our office for an appointment.


New patients

Requests for appointments for new patients may be made via the Patient Portal after signing up for the Portal and registering as a new patient. New patients appointments may also be made via telephone. See the instructions for making appointments for existing patients via telephone, which follows.

Existing patients

Note that appointments for existing patients should continue to be made via telephone at +1 (415) 861-2400, not via standard email. Leave a brief message with the reason for your appointment and telephone numbers where you can be reached. Our office staff checks messages at least every hour during normal business hours and will get back to you shortly. Simply disconnect after your own voicemail message is complete. To bypass the outgoing message and go directly to voicemail, press the pound (#) key at any time during the outgoing message.

prescription refills

Requests for refills should be submitted directly to your pharmacy. 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.

[Home][Profile][Hours][Directions][Map][Hospitals][Groups][Insurance][Payment][Contact][resume][Carl's cv][Calendar][Services][What's New]

[physical][pelvic][anoscopy][stool blood][sigmoexam][vaccines][travel][impotence][lab tests][HIV test][research]

Send mail to bill at owenmed dot com or carl at owenmed dot com with questions or comments.
Last modified: August 24, 2014