Direct Primary Care Gets Approval In Senate

Feb 2, 2016

With the backing of physician groups and small businesses, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill aimed at clearing the way for "direct primary care" agreements in Florida.

The Senate Health Policy Committee approved the measure (SB 132), sponsored by Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring.

A House version (HB 37), filed by Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, has sailed through committees and is ready to go to the full House. Under direct-primary care agreements, patients or their employers would pay monthly fees to doctors or other health providers to cover routine medical care.

The agreements would carve out the role of insurers in such care. The Senate and House bills would make clear that the agreements are not insurance and are not subject to insurance laws, a move supporters say could help lead to the use of the agreements.

Physician groups, including the Florida Medical Association, support the bill, as does the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small-business owners.

The Senate committee added an amendment Monday that also would apply the bill to chiropractors.