Senate Backs Direct Primary Care Bill

Feb 22, 2017

A Senate committee Tuesday approved a measure that would clear the way for "direct primary care" agreements between doctors and patients — and raised the possibility of using such agreements in the Medicaid program.

Broadly, direct primary care involves patients making regular payments to doctors, who then provide routine health-care services. The agreements cut out the role of insurers. The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday approved a bill (SB 240), sponsored by Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, that would make clear such agreements are not subject to insurance regulations.

At Lee's urging, the committee also approved an amendment that could lead to direct primary care being used in the Medicaid program. The amendment calls for the state Agency for Health Care Administration to seek approval from federal health officials to incorporate direct primary care into Florida's Medicaid managed-care system.