Legislation to Allow a New Model of Medical Care Goes Into Effect Today

In May, the General Assembly passed legislation that gives Missourians more freedom to choose the health care plan that best suits their individual needs. House Bill 769, filed by Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, and handled by Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, sets up the Direct Primary Care model for health care delivery in the state.

The measure allows for medical retainer agreements, which work as a contract between a physician and an individual patient, and in which the physician agrees to provide certain health care services for an agreed-upon fee and period of time. The Direct Primary Care model works the same way a client would keep an attorney on retainer. When coupled with a low-cost “catastrophic” insurance policy, this new legislation can provide a very cost-efficient way for Missourians to take care of their health care needs.

“This is a Missouri plan that offers quality direct primary care that is efficient, effective and affordable,” said Onder. “Unlike the Obamacare plan, which is really just insurance reform not health care reform, this plan restores the power of health care decisions to you and your doctor. It’s also a way to fight against increasing government control in our health care system.”

The measure will help lower skyrocketing medical costs for those patients and physicians who take advantage of it through a transparent retainer agreement that outlines costs to cover preventive and primary care needs. This option helps return the focus of health care to the well-being of patients and the patients’ relationships with physicians.

“The direct primary care option helps to transform the doctor-patient relationship in Missouri by giving consumers the option to choose more personalized care. It also gives physicians the ability to get back to the business of creating relationships and providing close personal care to their patients,” said Sen. Onder. “I’m hopeful Missourians will take advantage of this option.”

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