It is about time for good news for Florida; with so many people in the Sunshine State who are either uninsured, non-insured or cannot afford current health insurance anymore, the Direct Primary Care ( DPC) Bill passed in the Florida House by 97-10 Vote. This is really great for small and medium-sized businesses as they cannot retain good employees or attract new hires without offering healthcare coverage . The current costly insurance premiums make it almost impossible for small business owners to afford employees, let alone offer other benefits to employees. This will certainly break the bank for small businesses struggling to thrive!
Now, there is another option to choose without going through the insurance bureaucracy, on top of the hassle and ever so rising out of pocket expenses added with paying high premiums already. Direct contracting is great for physicians and their staff avoiding the daily stresses with insurance companies’ denials, paperwork, filling forms (which can consume about 35% of the time that could be spent on taking care of patients). Direct contracting offers personalized service to keep patients healthy so that patients will not go broke with so many expensive bills. Today’s system can become a further nuisance, especially when patients get sick and end up in the Emergency Room or even get admitted to hospital. That is where there is an exponential increase in healthcare costs which will add further stress on patients who are already economically strained.
Governor Scott finally signed DPC Bill into law on 3/23/2018, which comes after many years of perseverance and hard work. The overwhelming majority of law makers agree on its importance and positive impact on all Floridians. The Bill got additional traction after the shrinkage of ACA (Obamacare) and “skinny insurance” that does not cover much as an emplacement.
Some individuals were inspired and took leadership role to sponsor the bill even after many previous failed attempts to pass it. I am personally very proud to be a part of this effort for years; I have made many trips to Tallahassee and talked to several lawmakers to explain the rationale and benefits. I gave an example of a model that we started eight years ago with emphasis on early detection of risk factors and management to prevent future adverse events and save thousands of dollars to patient, millions of dollars to local economy, and billions of dollars to the nation.
The signed HB37 by Governor Rick Scott was to amend the Florida Insurance Code to clarify that the DPC arrangement between patients and physicians does NOT constitute the making of insurance and consequently will NOT be regulated under insurance laws.
Thus, the direct agreement between patients and doctors, while describing the services offered outside the traditional insurance model which is currently going from patient to insurance to provider. However the direct agreement makes it patient to provider directly and keeps the insurance out of it.
This will help to bring back the healthy relationship between patients and doctors, with less cost to patient, better outcomes, and less hassle for both parties. It broadens the access to healthcare by empowering consumers to choose the best service for the best price. Improving accessibility and affordability through direct contracting will enhance the medical experience for both sides; The doctor(s) will spend more time with the patient(s), rather than pushing the patient(s) out under many pressures emanating mainly from insurance-related pressures, and thus creating a more friendly environment at doctor(s) office, as patients pay directly for services they know they are getting with transparent pricing coming directly from the doctor and their staff.
Additionally, DPC will help management of acute and chronic disease with reduced need for costly and repeated emergency room visits, and costly hospitalization admittance and its related procedures. DPC model is certainly very innovative in reducing cost, which is becoming a critical element in healthcare. The rising rate of healthcare cost is much faster than the rate of inflation, which would compel local and state governments to adopt such a model for cost containment. Therefore, DPC is good for all stakeholders, not just patients and doctors. We would certainly welcome the opportunity to collaborate with those who are interested in starting or adopting such a great model for dignified practice of medicine to doctors and patients.
We also have used this model to help promote patient total wellness through education, active engagement, empowerment, and advocacy. That is the way to go Florida!
- Dr Adel Eldin,MD, FACC, FACP
- Board Certified Cardiologist
- President, Clinical Appeals Services
- Founder, CEO
- Affordable Quality Healthcare Program
- Founder, CEO
- Wesley Chapel , Florida
- Tel 877-DR ELDIN
- LinkedIN www.Linkedin.com/in/dreldin
- Twitter. Adel Eldin @LCQHealthCare
- President ,Society of Physician Entrepreneur, Tampa Bay Chapter