Bill to Expand Access to Direct Primary Care Services in MI Passes Senate Committee

Michigan launched the first retaliatory salvo against the so-called Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) this week as legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Colbeck(R-Canton) to assert that Direct Primary Care Services should not treated as an insurance product was reported out of the Senate Insurance Committee. The purpose of the bill (SB 1033) is to assure physicians who convert their practice to a Direct Primary Care Service model that the administrative burden associated with insurance regulations will not interfere with their treatment of patients.

Colbeck asks, ""When was the last time you went to a Doctor's office and knew how much the visit was going to cost before going there? Physicians who provide Direct Primary Care Services simply provide specified services for a specified monthly subscription fee. This transaction model is commonplace in most consumer purchases, but not in healthcareat least not yet."

On Tuesday, the Senate Insurance Committee, chaired by Senator Joe Hune (R-Fowlerville), heard testimony on behalf of SB 1033 from Dr. John Blanchard(Premier Private Physicians), Dr. Matt McCord (Docs4Patient Care), Tom Valenti(Forthright Health), and Annie Patnaude (Americans for Prosperity). Written testimony was submitted by Dr. Lee Gross (Epiphany Health Care) and Dr. James Grant (Michigan State Medical Society).

The promotion of Direct Primary Care Services (DPCS) is important because this service delivery model has been proven to improve care while significantly lowering costs. "It is a sad commentary on today's administration-intensive healthcare system that it has strayed so far from actually caring for patients that it is now possible to improve care by actually cutting costs not by spending more, " Colbeck said.

DPCS redirects the focus of healthcare away from government mandates, regulations and fee schedules back to the simplicity of the doctor-patient relationship. It is estimated that 50% of the time a primary care physician spends working is actually spent on overhead activities that detract from patient care.

"Widespread adoption of this care model could potentially turn the tide on primary care physician shortages in our state. It would yield an effective doubling of the capacity of current primary care physicians and expand access to care in rural communities. Doctors would finally be able to spend more time with individual patients and effectively put an end to 'fast food' health care," Colbeck continued.

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