Direct Primary Care Bill Easily Passes First Hurdle

Feb 7, 2017

An effort to expand direct primary care sailed through its first committee meeting Tuesday in the Florida statehouse. The healthcare model allows patients to pay doctors monthly fees in exchange for basic services. Proponents say the system cuts out insurers, and lowers costs and wait times. David McKalip represents the Florida Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

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“We should be able to have that arrangement so that patients can see us, if all they can afford is a small monthly fee, rather than very expensive insurance,” McKalip said.

Similar measures failed in the past two legislative sessions, but the bill filed this year by Senator Tom Lee of Brandon does carry the support of various physician associations. The measure specifies that direct primary care is not insurance, and does not meet statutory requirements for insurance. But at a time when the future of Obamacare is uncertain, supporters say direct primary care could be a safety net for the poor and underinsured.