During the Oct. 4 membership meeting in Piney Point, Maryland, Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) Administrator Maggie Bowen reported significant progress with efforts to facilitate the physical-exam steps used by SIU members.
“During the past few months, I’m sure that more than a few of you have experienced problems with CHS and the medical exam process,” Bowen said. “We’ve taken steps to rectify the difficulties and are making progress.”
She continued, “Since April 2021, we have received weekly reports of changes in the backlog with the review process. At that time, there were 581 exams waiting for review by the doctor. As of Sept. 14, that number is 114 exams, which is a decline of approximately 80%. This decline is a direct result of our demand that more resources were required to fulfill our agreement with CHS, including adding additional doctors.”
Bowen added that efforts are ongoing to continue reducing, if not ultimately eliminating, any backlogs.
“We’re monitoring the process every day, and problems are brought to the attention of management as soon as they are noted,” she explained. “You can help us in this area by completing any surveys that CHS sends to you. Being honest about the service you receive at the clinics or with CHS directly will go a long way to helping us hold them accountable for providing the service you deserve. I would add that although venting on social media may make you feel better, it does not resolve the problem. If you need assistance with this process, please contact the SHBP Medical department at [email protected].”