No additional out-of-pocket insurance copayments or deductables
Why does Christian Healthcare Centers exist?
One of the main reasons CHC exists is to 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. Nearly everyone knows that American health care 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. Christian patients are called to steward their physical, spiritual and mental well-being. Everyone is called to be better stewards of limited financial resources. CHC was founded to provide the Body of Christ with an effective way to fulfill an important part of Christian stewardship. A third driving force behind CHC is our commitment to deepening a greater sense of Christian community among the followers of Christ. We believe Christians must use gifts, abilities, professional expertise and resources to cause others to flourish, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.
What makes Christian Healthcare Centers different from other health care organizations?
Christian Healthcare Centers provides its services through a model that is very 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 Christian physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, chiropractors, nutrition and fitness coaching, counseling and pastoral care (coming in 2018 dentists, optometrists, physical therapists and massage therapist), 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” 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: God is the One who heals and brings wholeness to people, and He may choose to do so with or without a physician. CHC practitioners look 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.
What is MemberCare?
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.
Can I cancel my MemberCare?
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.
Can I cancel my MemberCare and reinstate it at a later time?
A membership cancelled within one year of enrollment can be reinstated within the original enrollment year upon payment of a $300 reinstatement fee. Cancelled memberships that are past one year from original enrollment will be processed as an original enrollment.
Can I enroll in MemberCare even if I currently receive treatment for an ongoing chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, COPD or congestive heart failure?
Yes. CHC does not exclude pre-existing medical conditions.
If I have been diagnosed and treated for a chronic disease, will my MemberCare cost more?
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.
Do members need appointments?
Services are provided by appointment. Usually we can get a member in to see a practitioner on the same day they call or the next day. Urgent care needs are given priority.
What services are included in the monthly MemberCare fee?
CHC MemberCare services include a wide range of preventive care options, acute care and management of chronic conditions. CHC’s patient care model is unique in that it includes primary care medical services, chiropractic care, nutrition and fitness planning/coaching, in-house counseling services and spiritual care. Members received relaxed, extended office visits, same day or next day appointments and 24/7 access to providers.
Among the MemberCare services provided are:
– Routine, acute and urgent care office visits
– Medical management of chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, high cholesterol, depression, etc.)
– Annual wellness assessment
– Physical exams (well child, well woman/pap smears, school/sports
– Medical education (e. g., diabetes/asthma/COPD self-care)
– X-rays for fractures
-Chest X-rays for pneumonia
– Stitches and Splints
– Counseling/pastoral care
– Online, video and home visits whenever appropriate
– Routine laboratory testing and many medications
-Many routine laboratory tests are included and other laboratory tests are available at our deeply discounted pre-negotiated prices
-Many prescription medications supplied conveniently from our dispensary are included in membership and other common prescription medications are available on-site at our deeply discounted wholesale prices.
Among the CAM services provided are:
-Initial Chiropractic Evaluation and Treatment
-Chiropractic therapy, including adjustments
Does CHC provide immunizations?
All routine childhood vaccines are available in our office for children under 19 years old at no additional cost for patients who do not have insurance coverage for vaccines or who have Medicaid. Tdap and Flu vaccine are included in MemberCare for all members. Counseling on specific vaccine recommendations and resources on vaccinations are available for all members.
Does CHC honor requests from members to forego vaccinations or immunizations?
There are differing opinions about the benefit or potential harm of vaccinations and immunizations. As a rule, CHC practitioners believe vaccinations and immunizations are more beneficial than harmful, however, we will respect the right of members 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.
Does CHC membership include prescription medications?
Many generic medications are dispensed through the Center as part of the MemberCare fee. Many other common generic medications will be available at our wholesale cost from our on-site dispensary, allowing our members to obtain prescription medications at prices that are often much lower than a traditional pharmacy. Members who require prescription medications that are not stocked at CHC may request assistance regarding the possibility of obtaining these medications at reduced cost through CHC wholesale sources or through prescription discount programs, as available. Members without prescription insurance coverage and/or whose medication is expensive may request financial assistance from MemberCare Services.
Does MemberCare include laboratory tests?
Over thirty of the most common labs, including routine annuals labs for adults, are included as part of MemberCare. Families will also be given kits to test for strep throat at home. More extensive diagnostic tests will be available at deeply discounted prenegotiated rates for members. Blood draws can be done in the clinic or at affiliated laboratory draw stations for our members’ convenience. You will be informed of the cost prior to the performance of any testing.
How do I pay for prescriptions or laboratory tests provided by CHC?
Any charges for prescriptions or laboratory tests will be added to your preferred method of payment or you can pay for them at the end of an office visit.
How do I get my prescriptions filled?
Many of the most common non-narcotic and psychotropic medications are dispensed through our dispensary as part of MemberCare. Other medications can be obtained at discounts through our purchasing arrangements with suppliers or through the prescription programs of pharmaceutical companies. We will help our members secure their medications in the most cost saving manner possible.
Does CHC offer assistance to low income individuals, especially seniors on fixed incomes or those receiving disability benefits?
Christian Healthcare Centers was founded to provide access to medical care that is affordable. For this reason, we included in our organizational bylaws the provision that 10% of our revenue would be set aside to assist low income members in maintaining their membership. Our MemberCare Assistance Program is designed to assist such individuals. Contact the MemberCare Services Coordinator to apply for assistance.
Are there any hidden fees, co-pays or other costs beyond the monthly MemberCare fee?
Since our goal is to help members control their out-of-pocket medical costs, there are no additional fees or co-pays associated with routine MemberCare services. Many routine, generic prescription medications and routine laboratory tests are part of MemberCare. More expensive medications and laboratory tests will be provided at our cost, with any additional costs disclosed prior to the provision of those services. Common durable medical goods such as splints, nebulizers and spacers will also be available at our wholesale cost for our members’ convenience.
What if I need medical attention and live a significant distance from a CHC clinic, am away from home or out-of-state?
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 smart phones and other technology, many conditions can be diagnosed and treated via a simple conversation by phone or video call using a webcam, Facetime, Skype or Zoom. 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 a manner most convenient for the member. Telephone, online or virtual visits are provided at no additional cost to members.
I have a high deductible health plan and an HSA.
Legislation has been introduced in Congress to change the HSA regulations that would eliminate current confusion over using HSA funds to pay for membership in a direct primary care organization like CHC. Several tax experts have told us that HSA funds can be used since federal and state law specifically declares that a DPC membership is NOT a second health plan.
Will my personal or medical information be shared with insurance carriers or government agencies?
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. Only medical information required by law for health providers to report such as certain communicable diseases or immunizations given will be reported to government agencies.”
What if I need medical attention and live a significant distance from a CHC clinic, am away from home or out-of-state?
If you experience a medical emergency that is serious and life-threatening, you should go to the nearest emergency facility. In an age of smart phones and other technology, many conditions can be diagnosed and treated via a conversation by phone or a video “virtual home visit” (through a patient’s smart phone or computer) with a medical provider. This is particularly convenient for elderly members, families with several small children or members with ambulatory difficulties. Whenever appropriate, we will locate the nearest pharmacy and order medication most suited for your circumstance. Telephone, online or virtual visits are provided at no additional cost to members.
Do CHC providers make house calls?
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.
Is MemberCare insurance?
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 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, prescription medication or laboratory testing costs to your deductible as they might for services provided by any other out-of-network provider.
Does MemberCare meet the individual insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act?
No. Since MemberCare is NOT insurance it does not satisfy the individual insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which requires individuals to have coverage for hospitalization, surgery or what is otherwise considered major medical coverage. We urge members to acquire coverage that satisfies that 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.
If I have medical insurance through my employer or obtained insurance individually, can I still enroll in MemberCare?
Absolutely. Most insured individuals and families still have a large deductible before their insurance begins to pay for medical expenses. 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.
What if I am on Medicare?
Christian Healthcare Centers has chosen to not participate in the Medicare program, therefore, we do not submit claims to Medicare for reimbursement. Medicare Part A is the hospitalization portion of Medicare and anyone over 65 has this coverage. Medicare Part B is an optional part of Medicare that covers the types of health care services provided in a physician’s office. MemberCare provides many of those same services. A person may enroll in MemberCare as a substitute for Medicare part B as long as they understand that fees paid to CHC are not reimbursable through their Part B plan.
Do other clinics operate successfully by this membership model?
Yes! “Direct Primary Care” is a model of medicine in which patients directly pay medical offices for medical care, typically by a membership fee. Direct Primary Care is sweeping our nation as patients realize the improved quality of health care at lower costs they often receive through this model. There are now hundreds of very successful DPC clinics across our nation and the number is rapidly expanding. CHC is unique however in that we are the only Direct Primary Care clinic nationwide that is a Christian non-profit.