Doctors Who Are Members Value Samaritan Ministries’ Health Care Sharing
Medical Professionals Who Are Samaritan Members Themselves Appreciate the Affordability, Transparency and Direct Pathway to Genuine Patient Care
May 5, 2020
PEORIA, Ill.—In the current challenging health care situation, medical professionals who are members of Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the leading health care sharing ministries in the country, are able to enjoy the same advantages as their patients who are members of Samaritan.
Samaritan Ministries Vice President of External Relations Anthony Hopp says that, as the ministry continues to interact with medical professionals, it is evident they appreciate health care sharing through Samaritan Ministries for many reasons.
“Doctors who are Samaritan members often operate practices that use the direct primary care (DPC) model, which is a pathway for affordability, transparency and a deeper patient-doctor relationship,” Hopp said. “Members of Samaritan Ministries tend to take ownership of their health care and are well-informed about pricing, resources and health trends. This aligns with the fact that our membership base includes many doctors and nurses, and they love that they and their families can enjoy the same advantages of health care sharing through Samaritan Ministries.”
Among the many medical professionals who value health care sharing through Samaritan is Dr. Eric Potter, who leads Sanctuary Functional Medicine in Franklin, Tennessee. Potter and his staff focus on personalized care of the whole person, delivered via longer visits and combined with easy access to medical care by phone and email.
“With these longer visits and other interactions,” Potter says, “I can also integrate the best of natural remedies with the best of conventional medicine while educating patients on how to care for their own health.”
By not participating in the Medicare and Medicaid systems, Potter is able to spend more time with his patients, face to face, getting to know them on emotional and spiritual levels.
“I don’t spend my time attempting to comply with confusing and burdensome programs,” he said. “I am then free to guide care based on what is best for the patient rather than what bureaucrats say should be done. Less time arguing with bureaucrats means more time with patients.”
Dr. Kevin Hearon, practicing in Boise, Idaho, has been a Samaritan Ministries member since 2004 and agrees with Dr. Potter on the positives of health care sharing.
“I am a doctor, and I know the ins and outs of insurance and the health care industry,” Dr. Hearon said. “It is a mess and very unfriendly to patients as well as doctors. Samaritan Ministries has been a breath of fresh air, and I recommend it to my patients and church. It has a very low cost while qualifying for the Affordable Care Act exemption.”
Hearon turned 65 last year and has continued with Samaritan Ministries as his choice of health care, even though he is now eligible for Medicare.
“I choose to depend on fellow Christians into whatever age the Lord takes me,” he said. “You have been there when I needed you, no matter which medical doctor I choose.”
Another Samaritan member, Dr. Patrick Rohal, said he is able to maintain a smaller staff at CovenantMD in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because there are no insurance-billing responsibilities and the practice can give more individual attention to a smaller number of patients.
“Our mission is to put a fresh focus on the primary care patient/doctor relationship, a focus that has waned in this era of large, busy practices,” Rohal said. “Our patients enjoy a very simple primary care cost structure, with very transparent pricing for lab tests, medications and radiology. Because we do not bill health insurance, we do not need to employ a large office staff dedicated to all the nuances of insurance reimbursement. That means our patients interact with the one nurse and the one doctor that knows them. They get a live person when they call our office, and it’s either their nurse or their doctor, not a chain of command or a recorded message. Yes, the doctor answers the phone!”
Another Samaritan member from the medical community is Dr. Devin Penny of Wichita, Kansas. He and his wife are both physicians and have become increasingly disappointed with the current health care system, mostly because of their experience dealing with the cost of managing third-party payments.
“We try to manage the best we can, but the overhead for coders, collections and other parties with ever-increasing requirements is frustrating,” Penny told Samaritan Ministries. “With Samaritan, I was extremely satisfied even before submitting the need, simply because of the ability to get fair prices for cash payment—from the clinic to the for-profit hospital.
“Receiving all the checks and wonderful cards representing prayers felt a little like seeing the Kingdom come—just a glimpse,” he continued. “The family of God voluntarily giving to our need was such a reminder of God’s provision. There is an interesting mix of feelings of undeserved blessing and ‘this is the way it should be.’”
Every month, Samaritan’s 82,500 member households (more than 270,000 individuals) pray and send financial shares directly to other members, along with notes and cards of encouragement, through this effective, God-honoring ministry, sharing approximately $30 million in medical needs person to person each month. In fact, over the past 25 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared over $1.8 billion in health care needs.
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.