Sherry Hatcher, Cedar Hill, TX

Total eligible bills
$63,722
Provider discounts
$1,850
Total bills shared
$53,349

I joined CHM in 2014 and was familiar with the ministry because my parents were members for seven years.

I have congenital and degenerative spine conditions and experienced varying degrees of success with minimally invasive treatment. One day in 2015 I was rearranging furniture and felt pain that made it impossible to stand up straight or walk comfortably.

My doctor recommended epidural steroid injections. The CHM staff helped with my questions about submitting the resulting medical bills and, thanks to their guidance, I was able to negotiate discounts on most of my bills.

Unfortunately, the injections provided only temporary relief; I underwent spinal fusion surgery in December 2016.

A patient advocate from my doctor’s office helped reduce the hospital bill 55 percent and CHM’s Member Advocate team did a superb job negotiating the surgeon’s fees. The total cost of my bills was $246,010 before reductions and $111,872 after discounts were applied. The remaining balance of over $100,000 was shared through CHM’s programs for pre-existing conditions.

The hospital originally proposed I pay $3,000 per month for two years. They were familiar with CHM but not with the Prayer Page program. After I explained how it works, they agreed to accept the amount I received each month from Prayer Page donations.

During my recovery I received many cards, notes and encouraging emails from CHM members. These acts of kindness inspired me to do the same for other members facing a medical challenge. I have gained a greater level of empathy for others who find themselves in similar situations, and I want to “pay forward” what my family members, friends and fellow CHM members did for me.

Every CHM employee I spoke with has been courteous, understanding and helpful. I especially thank Mayly Mancari in the Member Advocate department and Vicki Benek in the Needs Processing department.

I’m thankful for many other things: I’ve been able to choose my own doctors and course of treatment. I feel peace knowing I’ll be okay if a catastrophic health event occurs because I’m a Gold member with Brother’s Keeper.

I’m thrilled to report that since my surgery I’ve been pain-free for the first time in over a decade! I have resumed all normal activities and have “gained” two inches in height.

Thank you, CHM members and staff, for all you contribute financially and in Christian love.

*Editor’s note: For suggestions on negotiating a payment plan, see member Rhonda Barfield’s article in the CHM October 2017 newsletter at chministries.org/newsletter.

©2019 Christian Healthcare Ministries. All rights reserved.