While completing his medical training, Robert Gneiting noted that there was a great cost disparity in the fees paid by people with health insurance versus those who had no medical insurance. People without health insurance, generally, had to pay much more for their services making access to medical care, particularly quality medical care, much more difficult. Frequently, the uninsured were told, “You have to pay $100 down (or more) and we’ll bill you for the rest”, often leaving the patient with a surprise bill of a couple hundred, up to several thousand dollars that would come in the mail a few weeks later. He saw the devastation that those bills caused in the lives of people and the loss of control that the people felt. He noted how the provider-patient relationship changed into an adversarial, master-slave relationship because of the debt owed by the patient, scaring people away from completing or complying with necessary follow-up care. Many individuals with health insurances, particularly those with high deductibles, ended up with the same frustrations as the uninsured. He also observed that a disproportionate number of the people suffering financially only spoke Spanish.
As a result of these and other experiences, Robert resigned his Navy commission and started Seraphine Clinic in February of 2003, a bilingual (Spanish/English) clinic that focuses exclusively on providing lower-cost, affordable, medical care to the uninsured. Since its inception, Seraphine Clinic has provided an estimated savings of more than $15 million to its clients and the community, doing so as a private entity without government money, grants, or outside funding. Due to growth, Seraphine Clinic moved to a bigger location in June 2011.
Since many Seraphine Clinic patients eventually ended up getting health insurance, but still wanted to receive the high quality care and services of its medical providers and staff, Robert added a second clinic in 2009 called Seraphine Med. Seraphine Med exclusively provides service to individuals and families having health or medical insurance. Seraphine Clinic and Seraphine Med, combined, see more than 8600 patients per year and continue to grow.