A direct primary care bill that would allow physicians, chiropractors, and group practices to sign direct primary care agreements with patients has been signed into law by Gov. Scott.
“Direct primary has the potential to change the whole health care market. Doctors will work for the patient, not some insurance company. With this good bill we expect that a lot of family practitioners will look at changing their practice model,” NFIB Executive Director Bill Herrle is quoted as saying in the News Service of Florida.
HB 37 amends the state insurance code to make clear that direct primary-care agreements do not violate insurance regulations. According to the News Service of Florida, the bill also requires direct primary care contracts to be in writing and to describe the scope of services that will be covered.
Through primary care agreements doctors are able to charge patients monthly fees in advance of providing services. The patients are then able to access services at no extra charge. HB 37 does not outline how much the patients will be charged or what services would be included in the agreements.
Bill sponsor Rep. Danny Burgess believes that direct primary care will help doctors reduce costs.
“The great thing about direct primary care is that not only does it help restore the relationship between the patient and their doctor, but it is also much cheaper for the patient than a traditional arrangement,” Burgess is quoted as saying in the Heartland Institute. “If we truly want to expand access to quality health care and lower the cost of healthcare, which is a goal shared by people on all sides of the health care debate, then we need to allow for direct primary-care, and other arrangements like it, to flourish without government getting in the way.”