HB37 was sign into law on Friday, March 23rd, by Governor Rick Scott.
Previously, the Senate voted unanimously for approval and the House by a 97-10 vote.
The bill essentially clarifies that DPC membership does not constitute health insurance and is therefore not subject to oversight by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
It’s no coincidence that this bill attracted a massive lobbying effort to assure it never reached the Governor’s desk. Success only came after four attempts.
Direct Primary Care is a monthly service option for primary care that is an alternative for the commonly known fee-for-service model which rewards volume vs outcomes. Members pay a subscription fee typically between $60-$100 for unlimited access to their physician. Same day or next day visits are usually guaranteed as well as 24/7 contact via text or cell.
By limiting a practice to usually no more than 600 members, physicians can focus most of their effort on care, not endless administrative duties. Members don’t have to worry about copays, deductibles or insurance claims for a visit.
Typical visits last 40 minutes and annual visits can be as long as 90 minutes. Members with chronic conditions especially benefit from this longer engagement. Extended interaction without the pressures of a packed waiting room allow the focus to be on the root cause.
Claims for self-insured employers who offer this arrangement on a voluntary basis see major reductions in per employee per year costs. Urgent care and emergency room utilization are reduced significantly.
Another benefit of the expansion of DPC is reduced burnout among physicians as well as a new influx of practitioners that can focus on what they do best. Care.