How lax is this blogger! The years flew by.
Last year (2018), Brenda our beloved billing manager
died suddenly from a stroke and the clinic was thrown into chaos.
Meanwhile, Whitney became an ARNP and began seeing patients.
We skipped by our 10th Anniversary. Also, with Whitney
taking on more clinical work, she had less time for
other clinic duties. Our shortage of medical assistant time
became critical, despite valiant help from our part time
assistants Ainsley, Hailey, and Duncan. Luckily,
Kim's long-time friend Tamie came to the rescue.
After easily learning and taking over billing functions,
Kim is also helping out at the clinic again. On the technical side,
we have added a new layer of telephone technology to
allow for remote workers and transcribed messages (easier to save into charts).
We also made major upgrades to our EHR (Mazing Charts, now version 10),
billing system (now Premier), and our clearinghouse.
While we still will welcome a new medical assistant,
I believe all necessary changes are finally complete.
I hope these changes will bring positive energy to the clinic
and reduce back log.
It's time to bring the new 'Metro' website
online. After today, you will land on the new site
when you go to hometownedoc.com.
However, you can still come here when you click on
'Legacy Site' at the right side of the bottom of the
new home page. This is also where I will still
put my occasional thoughts in this 'Blog' format.
I cannot believe another year has gone
by. My role as Physician Epic Champion for
Highline Medical Center continues, but has become
much less active. That should leave me more
time to work on things, such as this website.
I think I will update it to the 'metro'
look. Stay tuned!
However, there is a
more immediate time-consuming task. Today the
whole country is converting to ICD10, as mandated by
Medicare. ICD10 is a new way of coding for
diagnoses used by doctors, insurances, hospitals,
and pretty much anyone who deals with medical
issues. We will see what chaos ensures.
It seems that we are leaving later every year
for our annual trailer trip. This year we are
leaving on Friday October 23rd and be back for work
Monday November 2nd. We will be visiting Civil
War sites, with a touch of Colonial history in
My last few months were consumed with
being Physician Champion for Highline Medical Center
as it transitioned from MEDITECH to Epic as its
electronic medical record. The death of Dr.
Johnson left even less coverage than usual in the
clinic. A big "Thank you" for my patients for
being understanding with the weird hours and late
evening (night?) appointments. We should be
returning to normal now.
other things postponed, we only had limited time
off. The annual trailer trip has been
postponed as well, and I will leave Thursday October
2nd and return on Monday October 13th. More to
The Affordable Care Act is here! Otherwise
known as ObamaCare, the Act mandates individuals to
be covered by Health Insurance. Each state is
to set up "Exchanges" that allows you to compare
insurances. The national website is
HealthCare.gov, but it direct you to the individual
state sites where applicable, which is
www.wahealthplanfinder.org for Washington state.
You can go there to sign up on October 1, 2013.
Be patient as you try to sign up, because the site
could be overwhelmed by the influx of new
registrations. Which ever plan you choose,
rest assured that our clinic accepts most of them.
There will be federal subsidies to buy insurance
for those reporting lower income. The
Washington State DSHS government-sponsored Healthy
Options program has been expanded and renamed.
Apple Health will offer health care coverage for
individuals with annual income less than $15,864, or
$26,952 for a family of three; so more people can
get covered. Highline will host meetings for
Apple Health Managed Plans (the ones Home Towne
Family Medicine will participate in) beginning
October 1st, 2013. Contact Bonnie Jennings of
the HMSO at 206-724-0869.
And yes, our fall
newsletter is in the print shop. For a sneak
We are 5 years old! I can still
remember the day when this clinic was only an idea
in our heads as we talked about possible futures, in
early 2008. A big "Thank You" for all who have
contributed to our clinic's success, our great
patients, our devoted staff, and various supporting
services! I hope to continue to contribute to
your health as our clinic family continues to grow.
Well, it looks like I am no better keeping
this website up to date. Chalk it up to
spending all my time looking after patients?
However, My wife Kim makes sure that i do rest and
have some fun with vacations, short ones to Sun
Lakes, longer trailer trips to Florida.
While there still never seems to be quite enough
time to do everything I need. I will get it
together soon for the new fall Newsletter.
For those who missed it, here's the
newsletter from April 2013.
It's time for our
newsletter. Aren't you impressed that I
got it finished so much ahead of schedule?
One of the items mentioned in my Medical Minute is a
"Taste Wirth Dying For" menu I came across in a
hospital-themed grill in Las Vegas. You can
see it on the left. Click on
this link to see a
larger image. The nurse/waitress will offer to
wheel you out in a wheelchair if you can finish the
triple or quadruple bypass, and will give you the
meal for free if you weigh over 350 pounds.
Huh? Are they seriously trying to hasten our
demise? Actual heart attacks in that
restaurant have been reported as recently as
February this year.
Happy 4th Anniversary! Can you believe that
Home Towne Family Medicine has been open for four
years already? Thanks for staying and growing
with us! In the coming years we will strive to
work together to achieve more of your health goals.
It seems that I only have time to update this
website once in a great while. Rest assured
that I am busy looking after patients, having fun
with home improvement, and having great summer
trips. Our long time patients probably have
received the spring mailing, but those who missed it
can read our
newest newsletter here.
For those playing along at home, yes we did
go on our trailer Trip. We began with Fremont
Street in Las Vegas (NV) as we prepped the
Airstream, then on to gorgeous sunsets in Grand
Canyon, Sedona, and Santa Fe. The red rock
canyons of Sedona, with all the vortices, were
especially tranquil. We ended the trip in
Houston, where the Airstream just sweated the whole
time with the humidity. There she sits until
Autumn has arrived, and it's time for another
newsletter. Please see announcements (to the
right) for our technological advances, including a
patient portal and payment online. Read our
newest newsletter here,
but of course you will also receive one in the mail
My staff say that I am a bear sometimes.
That's my excuse for hibernating from updating this
website for the last few months. But fear not,
spring is finally here! Read our
newsletter here, also coming to a mailbox near
Another beautiful summer has come and gone, and now
we are into our lovely fall (flu?) season. For
us allergy sufferers, remember to get a thorough
cleaning of your air ducts and replace the filters
before the furnace kicks on. Also, we are
anticipating a stormy cold winter, so winterize your
home now, and prepare for power outages.
We have already seen many people with the flu.
Because of the early flu season, and because the
current CDC guideline says everyone over 6 months
should be vaccinated, we are going through our flu
vaccine supply quickly. Get yours soon!
Did you get our 2nd clinic
newsletter in the mail? It has a picture
of our vintage Airstream trailer. Click the
link to see it.
recent 25 inches on snow at the passes, spring is in
the air. I am sure most of you have gotten
over the worst tree pollen allergy season in the
last decade. Remember to continue to treat
those allergies to avoid future problems such as
chronic sinusitis. Also, the H1N1 threat does
not seem to be over, with new cases in the
Southeast. Get your H1N1 vaccine if you
haven't done so.
I am sure most of you have
read about health care reform. Scroll to the
right of this screen to see a summary of what
affects you this year and beyond.
A new year, a
To apparently make it less confusing to patients,
residents, and emergency responders, Burien City has
decided to change our address. No, the
building and the clinic did not move, being still on
the corner of 156th and 3rd. However, the address
is now based on 3rd Avenue instead of 156th Street.
Correspondence that is sent to the old address
will still get to us for a little while, but please
change our address in your contact list, iPhone,
Bill Pay, etc. Thank you, and sorry for the
Fall, Flu, Fun
Well, it's fall again, and the leaves are marvelous
this year due to the long fall. It's been
mild, but it seems it's time for flu season.
We have not had any seasonal flu yet, and all tested
cases have been presumably H1N1.
don't have to say much about H1N1 or flu-etiquette,
as you have far too much of that in the news
already. However, let me share our experience
at Home Towne Family Medicine. Like the rest
of King County, we have had our share of the H1N1
virus. The major complication has been
pneumonia, although there has been some sinusitis.
The majority of people with pneumonia were children
or younger adults. Remember, when you have flu
symptoms, you should be tested and treated within
the first 48 hours, if you have severe symptoms or
if you can spread it to the very old, very young, or
those with chronic conditions.
Ready for some
winter fun? Make sure you get all you flu
vaccinations wherever you can, because we sure have
not been able to get any vaccines, either from our
supplier or the government!
Anniversary! Today is the first
anniversary of the opening of Home Towne Family
Medicine. We are excited to have been
able to serve our patients and the community for the
past year. We have seen growth in number of
physicians, staff, and patient base.
In the new year, we endeavor to continue to provide
excellent health care to our patients. As we
move toward a new national model of healthcare, we
will endeavor to be a true medical home for
is here. Can you believe the 30 days of no
measurable rain in Seattle? It sure made
everyone's allergies worse. Remember to take
your Zyrtec, but come in if your allergies are not
controlled despite Zyrtec, or if you feel anything
else such as sinuses flaring up.
Summer is a great time to catch up on your health as
well. Go cycling, hiking, and enjoy yourself!
Get some fresh summer produce at the market.
When you get bored with that, you can always come in
for your annual check-up and physical.
welcome to Dr. Johnson and his team, Regina and
Jeanine. Both Regina and Jeanine were
with Dr. Johnson in his Tukwila practice, so they
will work as a cohesive team as before, just in a
As a Doctor of
Osteopathy, Dr. Johnson will continue his practice
of manipulative medicine as well as family medicine.
We will gain his vast experience in medicine and
osteopathic skills. He and his staff will gain
support of a larger office, with cross coverage for
both clinical and office functions. Together,
we will both prosper.
officially move into a recession, many companies are
cutting their health benefits. Worse yet, some
are cutting actual jobs. However, health
experts warn that one should not neglect health
during these tough economic times. If
possible, keep tail coverage with COBRA. Also,
new economic realities may bring new opportunities
for various programs, especially children.
Thank god for the
recent signing of the State Children's Health
Insurance Program (SCHIP). See
covertheuninsured.org for great
At Home Towne Family Medicine, we will continue
to do our part in keeping you healthy. Will
will track health indices, performs screenings, and
treat chronic conditions so that your health is
optimized. Together, we will do more than
Year: Christmas and New Year has come
and gone. I hope you all have had a good
holiday season. Luckily, everything is getting
back to normal after the snow and rain storms.
It's time to look at your New Year resolutions
and see how we can help you achieve your health
Hours: Christmas is coming, and Santa is
trying to make it all white for the Pacific
Northwest. During this winter storm and
through 12/31, we will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or
until the last patient is seen. We will also
be open until the last patient is seen on Christmas
Eve. We will be closed Christmas Day and New
Years Day. Enjoy the snow!
Christmas and a Happy New year to all. It's
been 4 months since we have started. Many more
patients have found our new clinic. The
response to the new environment has been positive,
and a lot of people found the evening hours really
convenient for those who work. A big thank you
to all the staff for making the clinic a big
success. especially through the last few days of
Here we are,
almost one month from our grand opening. Many
patients have found us, even with the confusion of
the wrong phone number in the letter. Stay
well, but come in when you need us !
We had a
great Grand Opening. Many of our friends,
family, and patients showed up to wish us well.
A big thank you to all our friends who made this
opening day a special success. We even got flowers! Everyone loved the decor,
the cucumber water, and the entertainment. If
you haven't done so, why don't you come on in and
excited? We are! The clinic is all
painted, and now we just have to furnish and
starting to build our website. If there is
something you like to see, please
send us a message!
|news archive | subscribe me|
Home Towne Family Medicine is a new
style of clinic that combines the latest
technology, up-to-date medicine,
comfortable surroundings, and attention
to personal service. To make it easy,
we offer evening hours, and can usually
accommodate you on the same day if you
call in the morning.
Want to read more about our philosophy? Click here
- Central Burien location
- Comfortable atmosphere
- Convenient evening hours
- Personalized service
- State-of-the-art medicine
2/8/14 - Farewell Dr.
Dr. Karl Johnson,
D.O. died 2/8/14 of an infection while
recovering from spinal surgery. He
is survived by his loving wife Marion
and daughter Julie.
Dr. Johnson and Dr. Choi enjoyed a
great collegial relationship and
friendship since he joined Home Towne
Family Medicine in 2009; after he
retired from Highline Medical Group.
Dr. Johnson's expertise in
musculoskeletal medicine will be missed
by his patients. Dr. Choi will try
to fill in the void for non-osteopathic
needed, along with help from local
Doctors of Osteopathy (DO) for OMTs.
8/18/13 - Goodbye
Tiffany, Hello Maddie
After years of service as our main
billing person, and later Dr. Johnson's
Medical Assistant and scribe, Tiffany
has decided to move on to other
opportunities and challenges. I
would like to thank her for her service
to this clinic and her devotion to the
patients, and to wish her well in future
endeavors. We will miss her.
To fill the void left by Tiffany, Dr.
Johnson has a new Medical
Assistant (MA) Madeline, a.k.a. "Maddie".
Billing functions will be taken on by
Brenda. Whitney, who has become
the clinic manager, will also share in
Dr. Johnson's MA duties. A big
thank you to all for helping us through
8/18/12 - Welcome Dr.
We are excited to be chosen by Dr.
Griffith to be one of the clinics where
his patients can go after his impending
retirement. We might has seen some
of you over the years, as we have been
in his call group for years. For
the rest of you, we extend an
enthusiastic welcome. While our
style of practice may differ, we will
strive to help you as Dr. Griffith did
all those years. To help the
transition, we have been getting charts
as new patients are seen. Because
our clinic is fully electronic, the
first visit may involve a lot more
typing of data and flipping of the old
chart. This is better done by Dr.
Choi, who is a little faster in his
keyboard pecking. For those who
are not yet ready or needing a visit
with the doctor, you are welcome to come
to our clinic, look around, have a
beverage, and chat with our patients and
staff. If you want, you can even
grab one of the doctors to say hello and
Our clinic is at the northeast corner
of 156th Street and3rd Avenue in Burien.
From Hwy 509, there are exits at both
148th and 160th. Head to 156th on
1st Ave. From 1st Ave, turn left
at 156th Street if are heading north
from 160th, or turn right if are heading
south towards 160th. At 3rd Ave,
unfortunately, there is no sign other
than the clinic name "Home Towne Family
Medicine" at the corner, in amongst
dentist names. Turn right at 3rd Avenue,
and the driveway is the first to your
right. Enter off parking lot.
More detailed instructions and pictures
are at the
7/16/12 - Welcome
She's still our same old Whitney, but
she has a new title.
As of 7/16/12, she is now a bona fide
Registered Nurse in the state of
Washington. Congratulations on
this important milestone! We
recognize what hard work and dedication
went into this honor. We wish her
every success in her future endeavors,
on her way to becoming an Advanced
Registered Nurse Practitioner and
From the Washington State Nursing
"The registered nurse performs acts
that require substantial knowledge,
judgment and skill based on the
principles of biological, behavioral,
health, and nursing sciences."
Please see WAC 246-840-705,
Functions of a registered nurse and a
licensed practical nurse.
9.26.11 - Our Sympathies to
a great pregnancy, Whitney gave birth to
a 7-pound baby Mason. Unfortunately, a
few days after his birth, Mason fell
ill. Despite the best efforts of the
pediatric intensivists at Swedish, he
passed away at ten days of age. We were
all shocked and dismayed as we share in
Whitney’s sorrow. We will miss our
little angel who gave all of us great
joy for such a short time. Our hearts
and prayers go out to our dear Whitney
and her family.
9.1.11 - Online
We have changed to a new vendor,
Solveras, for merchant processing. These
are the folks who process your debit or
credit card payments for us. With
this new vendors comes new capabilities
to accept payments over the phone and on
line. If you want to use the
online payment option, please click the
Online Payment link at the right bottom of this page.
Currently, Solveras can only accept
Visa, MasterCard, or Discover.
8.15.11 - UpDox Patient
For those patients who use the
internet and email, we now have a secure
method of sending you messages and
attachments, such as lab results.
In order to use this service, make sure
you give your email address to the
reception staff next time you come in.
Once you receive your email from us, we
will email you to activate your UpDox account and
start receiving messages and documents
from us. You will be notified by
email each time we post a message for
you in UpDox.
At this time, we will not be
monitoring UpDox for incoming messages.
For administrative matters, please email
our director at
clinical matters, please call and leave
messages for our medical assistants.
3.1.11 - Annual Wellness Visit
This year, Medicare is providing an
opportunity for Medicare recipients to
review their preventative care.
This benefit, called the Annual Wellness
Visit, provides a planning opportunity
for covered preventative services.
These visits may stand alone, or can do
done in conjunction with a
problem-focused visit. If you have
not already done so, book yours today!
9.1.10 - Welcome, externs!
We have partnered with area schools
such as PIMA Medical Institute as a site
to provide much-needed real-clinic experience
after the completion of their classroom
learning in their medical assistant
certificate program. We hope this
will help with this area's medical
4.9.10 - Health Care Reform:
Have you read all the pages of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, signed in to law by President
Barack Obama on March 23, 2010?
Here's the link if you want the
entire bill, or
summary. If not, here's the
short version of how will impact
It bars health insurance companies
from denying coverage to individuals
with pre-existing conditions – the ban
takes effect for children six months
after enactment, and for all others
starting in 2014;
Within six months after enactment, it
will prohibit health insurance companies
from dropping people from coverage when
they get sick;
Within six months after enactment, it
bans health insurance companies from
placing lifetime caps on coverage;
It eliminates cost sharing on
recommended preventive services
delivered by Medicare and all insurance
plans available in the Health Insurance
It begins to close the Medicare Part
D coverage gap for Medicare
beneficiaries who have surpassed their
prescription drug coverage limit;
It establishes 50 state-administered
insurance marketplaces to allow small
businesses and people without employer
sponsored coverage to buy insurance that
meets new federal standards; and
It expands Medicaid to cover
everyone earning less than 133 percent
of the federal poverty level, or $29,327
for a family of four.
11/11/09 - A New Phone System
with Voice Menus
Those of you who called recently
might have noticed a change - a new
phone system. I know, it's always
nice to have a real person answer the
phone. However, since we are a
small family-style clinic, the one
person who sits in the front is often
busy doing the other real-person thing -
helping actual patients in the clinic.
That means that she is often interrupted
if she has to answer every phone call,
even if just to transfer it. And
of course, we do not like to be put on
So, the compromise is that we have
installed a new phone system with
initial voice menu to direct the call to
the appropriate person. We hope
this initial triage will lessen the
load for the front person, so that she
can better serve both in-clinic patients
as well as those who truly need her
services. If you know the number
for the person you wish to speak to, you
can press it as soon as you hear the
menu, so you should not be much delayed.
Thank you for your understanding and
The Patient-Centered Medical
Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)
model of healthcare call for us primary
care physicians to do more than treat
today's problems and serve as gateways
to specialist care. Instead, we
will partner with our patients to adopt
a strategic approach to guiding patient
care, in a coordinated and holistic
manner, with quality enhanced by
evidence-based guidelines and
appropriate use of information
technology. Home Towne Family
Medicine is built on the same
principles, and has been acting as the
medical home for many patients who
believe in the same philosophy.
Together, we will usher in a new era in
click here to go to the National
Center for Medical Home Implementation
is ready for the
are already using an Electronic Health
Charts) and electronic prescribing (DrFirst
We use and share health information from
Highline Medical Center. We hope
to help bring more clinics in our
community to the same functionality by
Dr. Karl Johnson,
D.O. and his patients have settled into
our new clinic. They enjoy the
fresh new look, friendly atmosphere, and
Dr. Johnson and Dr. Choi are also
enjoying a great collegial relationship.
Dr. Choi likes to work in metabolic
medicine and psychiatry, whereas Dr.
Johnson is expert in musculoskeletal
medicine. Hallway consults are
common. Their patients also often
visit the other doctor to get the best
of both worlds.