One of the questions people typically have is what we do if a member of CHC needs a referral to a specialist, diagnostic imaging or surgery.
Our staff can connect members with trusted medical providers for virtually any need they have that exceeds CHC’s scope of service. Our goal is to help our members navigate the complex healthcare system and secure the most timely, affordable care possible. For the most part, we can make timely referrals and schedule appointments with providers who also offer non-traditionally insured CHC members a pre-negotiated discount on fees. In the first eight months of operation, CHC has saved members over $240,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Here are a few examples:
General Surgical Needs
Dr. Ted VanderKooi is a veteran general surgeon who sees patients here at the Center to provide low-cost consultations and, whenever possible, performs simple in-office procedures. Although fees for these services are not included in regular MemberCare, the cost is significantly lower than standard surgical services fees. For example, the average cost of a typical surgical consultation is $200 for a 15-minute visit. CHC’s fee is $125. The cost for removing a lipoma or small cyst with insurance typically averages $500 – 1500 per lipoma/cyst in many doctors’ offices. Some dermatologists charge a little less, depending on the size and complexity of the lipoma/cyst. CHC’s fee is based on how long the procedure lasts, which is typically 30 minutes or less. If it took Dr. VanderKooi 30 minutes to remove one or more lipomas, the cost would be $250. It does not matter if he removes one or five at the same time; the cost is the same.
For general surgery needs requiring an outpatient surgical facility, Dr. VanderKooi maintains privileges at a state-of-the-art surgical center that offers reduced bundled pricing. He also can perform surgeries that require an in-patient stay.
Imaging and Screening Services
Many basic x-rays can be performed right in our Center, at no additional cost to members. When further diagnostic x-rays or other imaging is needed, CHC has collaborative relationships with several providers for diagnostic ultrasound, screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies, CT and MRI who also offer discounted fees. Timely appointments with these providers can be secured on behalf of CHC members through our staff. Depending on the type of imaging needed, members can usually realize substantial savings. For example, our members can obtain timely appointments for MRIs at a cost as low as $125 for a limb MRI or $450 for a brain scan with contrast. Compared to the average hospital facility MRI cost of $1500 – $3,000, this represents a significant savings.
Christian Healthcare Centers makes every effort to control the cost of prescriptions and includes many of the more common acute care and health maintenance medications in our dispensary as a benefit of MemberCare. The medications we stock and dispense are listed on our website. For medications not listed, we often secure them at a cost lower than commercial pharmacies and pass the savings on to our members. In some situations, we can provide members with guidance in accessing the patient assistance programs of manufacturers or provide discount cards that can lower the cost from commercial pharmacies.