How the ministry shares your medical bills
Editor’s note: This information was published in the September 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.
CHM staff has five tasks when your bill arrives: scan it into our database; review it for errors; authorize it correctly according to the CHM Guidelines; make sure that you receive the best possible price through healthcare provider discounts; and share it as soon as possible.
Your medical bills are received by CHM’s Member Records dept. Medical bills and forms can be sent via mail, fax or the online Member Portal. Please do not send bills via email because it’s an unsecure method. As bills arrive, staff members sort and organize them for processing by the date we received them.
Your bill then goes to Data Entry. Almost all medical bills display information in different ways and places. For that reason, each bill’s data must be keyed in by hand into CHM’s medical bill processing database. In addition, Data Entry staff members verify that there are no duplicate charges (a common occurrence) or other billing mistakes made by your healthcare providers.
The next department your bill visits is Authorization. Here, staff members categorize bills according to illnesses and incidents and authorize them for sharing according to the CHM Guidelines.
After that, your bill travels to the Member Advocate dept. Bills are reviewed to make sure the maximum discount is obtained and often verifies these discounts with your healthcare providers. (Editor’s note: Please make sure to promptly notify CHM of any discounts you receive, especially if there is a discount deadline.)
Your bill’s last stop is Member Reimbursement. Staff members perform a final audit on your bill and then release funds for sharing from the audited CHM bank account. Your check is issued and mailed to you.
The bill sharing “clock” begins the day that CHM receives your bills, not that date that they’re incurred or the date you mail them. The range of time it takes to share medical bills is broad. Many bills are shared in well under 120 days. However, some bills can take 120 days or slightly longer. CHM shares your eligible bills as quickly as possible and we continually work to shorten sharing time.
How to prevent sharing delays
There are a number of things that can lengthen sharing time:
- A medical bill isn’t itemized and we’ve contacted you about submitting an itemized bill. Itemized bills have the patient’s name, the date and place of service, the procedural (CPT) code and the charge for each service rendered.
- One or more medical bill processing forms are missing and we’ve reached out to you to complete them and send them to us. These forms are: the Checklist of Understanding; Member Bill Processing Form (also called the Needs Processing Form); Worksheet; Medical Release Information (HIPAA) Form; and the Letter of Explanation. If your condition is deemed pre-existing according to the CHM Guidelines, we must also have the Prayer Page Request Form to share your medical bills through the Prayer Page ministry.
- CHM staff is waiting to hear back from your healthcare provider regarding discounts, financial aid approval, etc.
- CHM is waiting to hear from your healthcare provider regarding your medical records. To authorize your bills correctly, it’s sometimes necessary for us to obtain copies of your official medical records.
- If you have insurance like Medicare, Medicaid, auto insurance or Worker’s Compensation, we may be waiting to hear from them on how much they will pay. It may be helpful or necessary to send CHM any explanation of benefits form you’ve received from another party. CHM is always secondary to all other payment sources.
Please know that as you wait for your check, CHM staffers are busy making sure that everything is correct and that you received the best possible discounts—which are instrumental in keeping CHM monthly financial gifts low. We’re here to serve you and that includes making the sharing process seamless and thorough.