If you watch television or listen to radio, you know it is open enrollment season for health insurance. All the ads for health plans talk about coverage. Let’s be clear: coverage is a card in your wallet. Healthcare is access to a doctor when you need one. When someone enrolls with CHC, what do they have; care or coverage?
MemberCare focus is health care: CARING for the WHOLE PERSON.
What do you have when you have MemberCare?
Any parent knows that sooner or later one of the kids will need a doctor. Before joining CHC, the Berger family (not their real name) had taken their rambunctious 8-year-old son to the emergency room two separate times to get stitches resulting from falls, costing them $2,000 each time. Joining CHC didn’t slow down their son, but mom and dad didn’t have to spend another $2,000 the third time he fell and needed stitches. Their CHC membership provided for an after-hours visit to get him sewn up, with no additional cost. The $2,000 savings for this one incident is nearly the cost of MemberCare for a family for an entire year.
As a CHC member, you have your doctor’s cell phone and email. When you get sick, are traveling out-of-state and develop a mysterious rash or develop symptoms of illness, you can directly connect with your doctor. Many times, your doctor can take care of your needs without the hassle of an office visit. If you need to be seen by your doctor, we do everything in our power to provide a timely visit. If you need an hour with your doctor, you can get an hour with your doctor. There may even be times when the doctor needs to come to you.
Recently, the daughter of a CHC family who lives more than 100 miles from the Center needed to be seen by a doctor, but her parents could not make the trip to Grand Rapids. Our pediatrician was vacationing near the family’s home, so she made a home visit, providing tremendous relief for mom and daughter. We cannot always guarantee one of our doctors will be able to make a house call, but we do our best when needed.
MemberCare means having someone who knows the healthcare system and can navigate it on your behalf. One example is a CHC member whose self-breast exam discovered a lump. She contacted the office and was told to come right in to the office to be seen. Her CHC physician did an ultrasound and confirmed there was a suspicious lump, which led to our patient advocate, Marisa, contacting the top breast cancer surgeon in West Michigan. Our patient was able to be seen the very next day (usually takes weeks). A biopsy was performed during this visit (almost never happens), a pathology report revealed the lump to be malignant, so surgery was scheduled for five days later (rarely happens that fast). The member did not have to make any calls to facilitate her treatment; Marisa handled it all on her behalf. We do the calling, price negotiating and scheduling so you don’t have to.
Our care-giving is not limited to providing medical services. Some people are physically well, but their quality of life and wellbeing is being disrupted by other concerns that, if left alone, will ultimately have a negative impact on health. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Our doctors do not limit their attention to your physical needs. They don’t rush out of the exam room once the medical stuff is done. They don’t just treat diseases or organs; they care for people. Their concern extends beyond the physical needs of members. They want to keep you at your best, not simply see you at your worst. They take the time to listen to what is most important to you. Praying with you, sharing biblical principles, encouraging you and even on occasion scolding you for making some wrong choices is all part of caring for you. Without disclosing personal information, the CHC staff prays for members. That is part of being an advocate for you and your family.
We want MemberCare to feel more like having a doctor in the family than mere professional relationship. That may strike you as odd, given the hurried pace of modern medicine and waiting rooms crammed with sick people waiting to be seen. We strive to know everyone in the family and to make each office visit feel like the doctor is caring for a family member, not just another patient. We haven’t “arrived” by any means, but member comments like the following suggest we’re making progress:
“I feel like our whole family is known, loved and cared for personally, from the moment we walk in the door and greet the receptionists, to the friendly nurse taking vitals, to the doctor who never seems rushed, and through to the check-out process. After the first appointment, the word we keep using about this model of healthcare is “refreshing.”
Article by: Mark Blocher, CEO and Founder