As President Trump’s Executive Order Opens Door to Huge Savings, Members Find Fair Prices at Healthcare Bluebook
September 8, 2020
PEORIA, Ill. — In light of President Trump’s recent executive order requiring hospitals to “publically post standard charge information” before patients decide on treatment, members of Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), a leading health care sharing ministry, are already saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by using an online tool to discover the fair market value of the health care services they obtain — and by expecting providers to compete on price.
A federal court recently upheld the president’s order, which the American Hospital Association had sued to block. The price transparency requirements will take effect on January 1, 2021. When they do, the consumer empowerment that Healthcare Bluebook — an online guide for comparing provider prices and quality — offers Samaritan members will surge.
Jed Stuber, editor of Samaritan’s “Christian Health Care Newsletter,” says Dr. Jeff Rice founded Healthcare Bluebook after an eye-opening discovery when his 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.”
By consulting Healthcare Bluebook before obtaining health care services, Samaritan members can avoid paying many times more than they should.
“Healthcare Bluebook’s data shows that it is very common for billing in an area to vary by as much as 400 percent,” Stuber writes.
The total savings that result from choosing fair-price providers mounts quickly.
“Be aware that there could be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake when dealing with a large hospital bill,” Stuber writes. “We really do see cases where a $200,000 bill is settled for $20,000. Again, that’s a lot of Shares that have to come from other members.”
“Shares” are monthly checks Samaritan members send one another, along with encouraging notes and prayers, to help shoulder the financial and spiritual burden arising from health care needs.
Through Samaritan’s effective, God-honoring ministry, thisgrowing Biblical community shares approximately $30 million in medical needs person-to-person each month. In fact, over the past 25 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $2.3 billion in needs, praying and encouraging one another with notes along the way.
When Samaritan members make informed health care purchases and obtain fair prices, they practice good stewardship of all members’ resources, lightening the load for everyone.
“Ten minutes spent on Healthcare Bluebook allows you to check out hospitals in your area to see quality ratings and which ones tend to offer better prices,” Stuber writes. “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.”
For the remainder of 2020, Samaritan is rewarding 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.”
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.