These Health Care Professionals Love Health Care Sharing, Too
Direct Primary Care Practices Remove Third-Party Interference, Use Transparent Pricing and Bundled Services, and Give Patients Direct, 24/7 Access to Their Physicians
PEORIA, Ill.—Many members of health care sharing ministries are choosing medical professionals who will spend more time with them in the exam room, know their personal medical history, and offer better payment options because they are self-pay patients.
Many members of Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the largest health care sharing ministries in America, are enjoying the fact that they aren’t the only ones who like direct doctor-patient relationships. Doctors like it, too. And both patients and doctors can enjoy this access through direct primary care (DPC), a way of practicing family medicine that removes third-party payments; uses transparent pricing; bundles services like labs, imaging and prescriptions with membership; and gives direct, 24/7 access to a physician through texting, phone or email.
Samaritan Ministries recently profiled several DPC physicians in its member newsletter, and these doctors—each of them also Samaritan members themselves—sing the praises of DPC practices because of their relationships with patients and the simplicity of the model.
Dr. Evelyn Anderson of Anderson Family Medicine in Monroe, North Carolina, says she has the freedom to make sure she spends enough time with each person. She has fewer than 500 patients; conventional medical practices have more than 3,000. Before converting to the DPC model, Dr. Anderson had to see a different patient every 15 minutes during a 10-hour workday “to help make administrative ends meet and keep the practice running in the black.”
Dr. Patrick Rohal of CovenantMD in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, also values the personal touch in his DPC practice.
“Our patients interact with the one nurse and the one doctor that knows them,” Dr. Rohal said. “They get a live person when they call our office, and it’s either their nurse or their doctor, not a chain of command nor a recorded message. Yes, the doctor answers the phone!”
He also appreciates the simplification that direct primary care offers.
“It removes third parties from being the primary payer for the most common, least expensive occurrences in health care,” he added. “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.”
Samaritan members who either currently or formerly worked in the health care industry also appreciate health care sharing through Samaritan Ministries.
“Decades working in the health care industry seeing patients frustrated with the billing and coding games left me a little bit jaded about health care,” wrote Glenn and Sherri of Pennsylvania. “When I started our first Samaritan need, I was nervous about whether it would really work or not. I am so thankful to God for physical healing, for a renewed awareness of stewardship and for the Samaritan community. What a blessing it is, not only to see how it can work financially—I received reasonable discounts—but the notes of encouragement were amazing. My faith toward humanity was restored.”
Rusty from Arizona reported that he and his wife own a home medical supply company and saw that Medicare was covering less and less.
“While we’ve only had to apply for one ‘need’ through Samaritan Ministries, my surgery was met 100 percent, not to mention, my shares are going to other families in need and not a huge insurance company. When you start receiving get-well cards and notes from people you have never met, the entire process has a whole new meaning. Love it.”
Minda from Florida is a retired nurse and her husband is a retired doctor, and they “highly recommend” health care sharing.
“Samaritan Ministries has been a blessing on so many fronts—you become a member of a loving Christian community/family that will take care of you, your monthly shares are a FRACTION of the big insurance premiums and you send directly to a family in need, responsive phone assistance, informative newsletters—just to name a few.”
Miranda from Michigan also shared how her family’s doctor likes working with health care sharing and can actually bill them less.
“I recommend it to family and friends all the time,” Miranda said. “It’s so nice to send money and a personal note directly to someone else, to know that Samaritan really works to eliminate waste and to know that others are in prayer for you and your family when you’re in need. We’ve had one need for my husband’s eye surgery, and we’re in the middle of another as we’re expecting our third child. Our family doctor likes this and regularly bills us less than what she’d have to bill through an officially coded insurance visit. As self-pay patients, for the actual surgery portion of my husband’s eye surgery, it was HALF of what they’d normally bill and all other portions were at least 20 percent less.”
Each month, Samaritan Ministries’ 76,493 member households (248,442 individuals) pray and send notes, cards and monthly financial shares directly to other member families. In this way, Samaritan members share $26 million in medical needs each month through an effective, affordable and God-honoring ministry for Christian families.
In late 2017, Samaritan Ministries added a second membership level, Samaritan Basic, which offers a lower monthly share than the original Samaritan Classic, coupled with a higher initial unshared amount, giving both current and future members another option for choosing what they believe is best for their families—and their budgets. Monthly shares for Samaritan Basic start as low as $100 for one person, $200 for two people and $250 for a family of any size, depending on age. Some guidelines differ between Samaritan Basic and Samaritan Classic; contact Samaritan Ministries for details or visit this link.