Members are Provided a Key Online Tool, Healthcare Bluebook, to Clearly Lay Out Consumer Costs and Comparisons
October 20, 2020
PEORIA, Ill. — Staying healthy is a priority for all Americans, especially during this time of COVID-19. Today, members of one leading health care sharing ministry know that they can not only choose the best health care for their families, but that they can also find clear and transparent information about the costs of that care—thus helping them have peace of mind as they biblically bear one another’s health care burdens.
Members of Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org) are able to make informed decisions about doctors, hospitals, and procedures thanks to a key online health care shopping solution known as Healthcare Bluebook. Available to Samaritan members without cost to them, it lists patient and skill ratings for doctors and shows clear price comparisons for procedures. Healthcare Bluebook thus delivers value to Samaritan members by helping them find the highest value care.
Jed Stuber, editor of Samaritan’s “Christian Health Care Newsletter,” says, “Ten minutes spent on Healthcare Bluebook allows you to check out hospitals in your area to see quality ratings and see which ones tend to offer better prices. Armed with knowledge, you will be in a better position to make decisions if you are talking to your doctor about the possibility of going to the hospital.”
The Trump administration, whose policies are friendly to health care sharing ministries, has made price transparency a cornerstone of its health care policy. Last November, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order to improve price and quality transparency. Though the American Hospital Association sued to block the order, a federal court upheld it. Price transparency requirements are set to take effect on January 1, 2021—and, when they do, the consumer empowerment already offered to Samaritan members through Healthcare Bluebook will surge.
The Lord is clearly working through Samaritan Ministries for the health and well-being of all its members and staff. Samaritan’s Stuber explains that Dr. Jeff Rice founded Healthcare Bluebook in 2007 after an eye-opening discovery when his own son needed minor foot surgery.
“One provider was charging $15,000 for the surgery and another was charging $1,500—10 times less—for the exact same surgery,” Stuber writes in the September newsletter. “Dr. Rice recognized that providers were concealing pricing information from patients and using deceptive billing practices, so he wanted to level the playing field by gathering data that would allow patients to compare providers, forcing them to compete for their business.”
Similar to the way people consult Kelley Blue Book for market values when they go car shopping, Samaritan members are increasingly turning to Healthcare Bluebook for side-by-side quality and price comparisons.
In just one example of how price transparency can drive down health care costs, an internal Samaritan study revealed that Healthcare Bluebook found savings opportunities equal to $1,468,275 in 108 out of 122 medical visits.
To encourage the continued practice of financial wisdom in health care, for the remainder of 2020 Samaritan is rewarding its members with $250 per health care need for demonstrating that they obtained health care from a facility Healthcare Bluebook rates as a “fair-price provider.”
Unlike participants in health care plans and networks, Samaritan members enjoy patient-physician relationships and freedom, unencumbered by third parties. Advantages include personal contact with doctors, direct-pay arrangements, and exemptions from government mandates, insurance regulations, and obscure insurance policies.
Samaritan Ministries helps more than 272,000 individuals from over 83,000 households obtain health care at fair prices. Through Samaritan’s effective, God-honoring ministry, thisgrowing biblical community shares approximately $30 million in medical needs person-to-person each month. Over the past 26 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $2.3 billion in needs, praying and encouraging one another with notes along the way.
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.