FAQs

Two ladies discussing what is direct primary care.

What Is Direct Primary Care?

What is Direct Primary Care? A direct medical and financial relationship with our clients. No Insurance Necessary Here at Christian Healthcare Centers we are considered

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One of the main reasons CHC exists is fulfill the biblical mandate for believers to care for one another. We do this by providing exceptional medical and wellness services to the Body of Christ and the community. All are welcome at CHC.

Nearly everyone knows that American healthcare is broken. Patients are paying higher deductibles and co-payments, get less time with their physician and pay rising insurance premiums. Doctors are burdened with increasing amounts of paperwork, less time to spend with patients and more regulations that interfere with patient care.

Another important reason CHC exists is stewardship. God calls believers to be good managers of the resources He provides. This includes being stewards of our health, our finances and the gifts and abilities with which we have been equipped. Christian medical professionals are called to steward their medical skills and knowledge. We believe patients need to be good stewards of their physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing. Everyone is called to be better stewards of limited financial resources. CHC was founded to provide patients with an effective way to fulfill an important part of personal and financial stewardship.

A third driving force behind CHC is our commitment to deepening a greater sense of community among both the followers of Christ and non-Christians. We Christians need one another, and we are called to love our neighbors, whether Christian or not. We believe Christians must use their God-given gifts, abilities, professional expertise and resources to cause others to flourish, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Christian Healthcare Centers provides services through a delivery model that is different from the vast majority of medical practices in the United States. Here are some of the ways CHC is different:

Integrated Model of Care: Christian Healthcare Centers provides members with a combination of health-related services not found in most primary care physician practices. We employ a fully integrated, interdisciplinary patient care model that includes dedicated physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pastoral care as a coordinated care team to assess, diagnose and provide the care that best restores or maintains the wellness of patients. CHC focuses on patient wellness, not disease management. CHC provides a comprehensive “one stop shop” or medical “home” for members, which provides a better continuity of care and greater convenience for members.

Insurance-Free: Christian Healthcare Centers does not participate with any insurance plan, which means there is no insurance company or government agency interfering with your health care decisions. It is just you and your doctor deciding what is best for you. Instead of paying high out-of-pocket fees or depending on insurance, patients pay a small monthly membership fee for their care.

Christ-centered.

Christ, the Great Physician, is the One who heals and brings wholeness to people, and He may choose to do so with or without a physician. CHC looks to Christ as Redeemer to push back the effects of the Fall (sin) in sickness, disease, illness and injury through the use of their medical skills and expertise.

Quality Patient Care.

Since CHC practitioners work for their patient, not an insurance company, their focus is providing the highest quality of patient care possible. Each practitioner is free to devote the time, effort and skill that best meets each patient’s needs. CHC practitioners are salaried employees so there is no financial incentive to perform unnecessary tests or procedures.

MemberCare is the affordable membership program for individuals and families, seniors and college students that provides access to high quality primary healthcare services at a local Christian Healthcare Center. One way to think about MemberCare is that it functions like a gym membership where individuals pay a monthly fee for unlimited access. Likewise, MemberCare gives patients access to CHC services without additional co-pays, deductibles, or other obstacles common with insurance plans. MemberCare is not insurance, and it does not lock patients into a long-term contract. We are committed to earn your ongoing patronage by delivering exceptional care.

At initial sign up there is a one-time administrative fee of $50 for an individual and $75 for a family

The ongoing cost for membership is as follows:

Adult (19+): $85 per month

Children (2-18), $15 per month

$30 for infants (0-24 months)

Senior (65+): $75 per month

College student: $35 per month (must be currently enrolled in a traditional undergraduate degree

We anticipate having an open and honest relationship with you, therefore, if you consider cancelling your membership for any reason, we would desire a conversation. If you have a complaint that we cannot resolve together, you may cancel your membership with a 30-day written notice. If you feel the need to cancel your membership because of a financial hardship, please contact MemberCare Services and request information about our MemberCare Assistance Program. We want to do everything we can to ensure continued access to MemberCare services.

A membership cancelled within one year of enrollment can be reinstated within the original enrollment year upon payment of a $300 reinstatement fee. Reinstatement of a cancelled membership past one year from original enrollment will be processed as an original enrollment.

The goal of MemberCare is to provide high quality, affordable care. To ensure that our services remain affordable, individuals that require frequent office visits and services may experience a slightly higher membership fee, however, the fee will be determined on a case-by-case basis that includes the nature of the medical condition, the services and frequency of treatment, and the member’s ability to pay.

Services are provided by appointment. If a member needs care for non-life threatening urgent needs of sickness, we strive to provide same day or next day care.

CHC MemberCare services include a wide range of preventive care options, acute care, urgent care and management of chronic conditions. CHC’s patient care model is unique in that it includes primary care medical services, in-house counseling services and spiritual care. Members receive relaxed, extended office visits,  and 24/7 access to providers. Among the services provided are:

a. Routine, acute and urgent care office visits

b. Management of chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure,

thyroid disorders, high cholesterol, depression, etc.)

c Annual wellness assessment

d. Physical exams (well child, well woman/pap smears, school/sports

physicals)

e. Medical education (e. g., diabetes/asthma/COPD self-care)

f. X-rays

g. Stitches/Splints/Casts

h. Counseling/pastoral care

i. Online, video and home visits whenever appropriate

j. Routine laboratory testing

k. basic OB/GYN services

CHC respects the right of patients/parents to make their own medical decisions, including vaccinations. This includes childhood and adult immunizations. Patients will not be discharged from CHC membership if they choose to alter the vaccination schedule, select some immunizations but not others, or choose to not accept any immunizations. As a participant in the Vaccines for Children program, childhood immunizations are available at CHC for uninsured and members of cost-sharing organizations. Insured patients desiring immunizations will be directed to secure immunizations using the provisions in their insurance plan.

There are differing opinions about the benefit or potential harm of vaccinations and immunizations. Although  CHC practitioners generally believe immunizations are more beneficial than harmful, we will respect the right of patients to make their own healthcare decisions concerning vaccinations and immunizations. We also research the components of vaccinations and immunizations to ensure that there is no conflict with our sanctity of human life commitment.

For the convenience of members, CHC provides access to laboratory testing in the office. The cost of annual blood tests is included in the MemberCare fee. The list of tests included in MemberCare can be found on the website under the Services tab. Laboratory tests not included in MemberCare are provided to members at CHC cost. CHC staff will always provide patients with the CHC discounted cost of any lab test not included in MemberCare prior to collecting a lab specimen.

If a patient is self-pay,  charges for laboratory tests will be added to your preferred method of payment or you can pay for them at the end of an office visit. Insured patients may have labs billed to their insurance.

ince our goal is to help members control their out-of-pocket medical costs, there are no “co-pays” associated with routine MemberCare services. Laboratory testing will be provided at our cost, with all additional costs disclosed prior to the provision of those services.

Our patients may see any provider they choose. As an organization, CHC has a directory of specialists and ancillary service providers with whom we have negotiated preferred rates for our members. MemberCare does not pay the fees for services provided by non-CHC providers. These costs are the responsibility of the member, their insurance carrier, or medical expense sharing cooperative such as Samaritan Ministries or MediShare.

Patient privacy is an important aspect of the CHC MemberCare model, therefore, we will never share your personal or medical information with any third party unless you request in writing that we do so or if CHC is subject to a subpoena or search warrant. Our electronic medical records system is not accessible to any insurance company or government agency.

If you experience a medical emergency that is serious and life-threatening, you should go to the nearest emergency facility or dial 9-1-1. In an age of smartphones and other technology, many conditions can be diagnosed and treated via a simple conversation by phone or video call using HIPAA telemedicine technologies. This is particularly convenient for elderly members, families with several small children or members with ambulatory difficulties. Whenever appropriate, we will strive to provide our services in a manner most convenient for the member. Telephone, online or virtual visits are provided at no additional cost to members.

Yes. There are occasions when an in-home visit is necessary. When appropriate, an appointment will be scheduled and a CHC clinician will travel to the member’s residence. In most cases, the cost of the visit is included with the MemberCare fee. Depending on distance and other factors, there may be an additional cost, which will be disclosed when the appointment is scheduled.

No. CHC is direct pay primary care. The monthly fee only pays for those services provided by CHC. The Center does NOT bill any insurance carrier for the medical services provided to patients, and MemberCare monthly fees are generally not reimbursable by any health insurance company, and may NOT be applied to any insurance plan deductible. You may request that your insurance carrier apply the membership fee or laboratory testing costs to your deductible as they might for services provided by any other out-of-network provider.

No. Since MemberCare is NOT insurance it does not satisfy the individual insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which requires individuals to have minimal essential coverage for hospitalization, surgery or what is otherwise considered major medical coverage. We urge members to acquire coverage that satisfies the federal mandate and we can refer to insurance carriers that offer competitive premiums and to Christian agencies that offer low-cost alternatives to traditional medical insurance.

Absolutely. Most insured individuals and families still have a large deductible that must be satisfied before their insurance begins to pay for medical expenses. Since most insured patients receive all of their medical care from a primary care physician, they pay out-of-pocket.  Most people never meet their deductible amount in a given year. CHC exists to help people gain control over their out-of-pocket medical expenses through its MemberCare program. For example, the average U.S. family of four spends $3500 annually for health care, with the majority of that cost associated with the kind of services CHC provides. MemberCare rates for families will provide the same care at an 20-40% cost savings per year. On average, CHC saves an individual patient about $420 per year they would otherwise pay out-of-pocket. 

Christian Healthcare Centers doctors do not participate in the Medicare program; therefore, we do not submit claims for Medicare reimbursement, nor can CHC members submit claims on their own. Medicare-enrolled members who also subscribe to CHC MemberCare sign a waiver acknowledging this. Although some CHC seniors have chosen to forego enrolling in Medicare Part B (the part of Medicare that covers regular doctor visits and other outpatient services), CHC makes no recommendation about MemberCare being a substitute for Medicare Part B or Medicare supplemental plans. Seniors enrolled in Medicare who also enroll in CHC MemberCare do so as a quality of care preference, not as a replacement for any part of Medicare coverage.

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