Last Updated: Jan 25, 2018
The following is a statement from Theodore Christopher, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Dr. Christopher is also professor and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He reacts to Pennsylvania House Bill 1739, a bill related to a delivery of health care known as direct primary care.
(Harrisburg, Pa. – 1/25/18) Health care must provide value to the patient. And, it should always be high performing and patient responsive.
That’s why the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) supports House Bill (HB) 1739, introduced by Rep. Matt Baker, and believes this bill could help patients concerned about the future of our country’s health insurance structure. In a nutshell, HB 1739 removes certain regulatory hurdles concerning the direct primary care (DPC) model.
As our country faces political uncertainty on our current health care cost configuration, DPC becomes more intriguing and worthy of further investigation and testing. Essentially, DPC is a replacement of the traditional fee-for-service model that most health payment policies are currently structured around.
Under DPC, patients pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee that covers all or most primary care services including clinical, laboratory, and consultative services, and care coordination and comprehensive care management. Because some services are not covered by this fee, patients often acquire a high-deductible policy to cover emergencies and other non-covered services. This model seeks to incentivize both the patient and the provider to seek the most appropriate treatment regimen in the fewest visits without dis-incentivizing the patient from seeking primary care throughout the year.
HB 1739 should be given a chance so that Pennsylvania can become an incubator to test this new health care product.
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The Pennsylvania Medical Society was founded in 1848. To learn more about PAMED, visit its web site at www.pamedsoc.org or follow on Twitter @PAMEDSociety.