Direct Primary Care Easily Passes House

Mar 31, 2017

The Florida House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would clear the way for doctors and patients to enter into "direct primary care" agreements.

The bill (HB 161), which passed in a 107-6 vote, is backed by physician and small-business groups. Under direct primary-care agreements, patients would make regular payments to physicians to cover routine care, cutting out the role of insurers.

The bill, sponsored by House Insurance & Banking Chairman Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, would make clear that the agreements are not insurance and are not subject to regulation under insurance laws.

Rep. Mike Miller, a Winter Park Republican who is helping sponsor the bill, said the agreements will help lead to people receiving preventive care.

Opposing the bill were Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach; Rep. Amy Mercado, D-Orlando; Rep. Barrington Russell, D-Lauderdale Lakes; Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton; Rep. Barbara Watson, D-Miami Gardens; and Rep. Matt Willhite, D-Wellington. A Senate version (SB 240) has been unanimously approved by three committees.