Finally, Some Good News for Healthcare
BILL PROTECTS INNOVATIVE PRIMARY CARE ALTERNATIVE
America’s healthcare system often leaves consumers burdened with high costs and limited choices. This is the result of numerous regulations on medical professionals and facilities, many of which are imposed by the state. For instance, doctors in South Carolina are forced to navigate 30 different state-imposed coverage mandates.
H.4643 would allow doctors and patients to bypass all of this. The bill would protect one-on-one arrangements between a patient and their doctor from burdensome insurance regulations. These direct primary care (DPC) agreements consist of a simple monthly fee (usually ranging from $50 to $100) to cover a range of agreed-upon services, which are available 24/7.
DPC agreements are already operating in South Carolina, but H.4643 eliminates the threat of legal pushback by defining DPC agreements as outside the realm of insurance. This, in turn, would encourage more providers to offer this affordable, accessible method of care.
This approach would benefit both the patient and the provider. A low monthly rate would allow as many office visits as needed, leading to better doctor/patient relationships, better follow-up, and continuity of care for those with preexisting conditions. Additionally, doctors will no longer be required to schedule as many visits as possible or be burdened with insurance paperwork, so office visits may be more lengthy and comprehensive. This attention to patient care is gratifying, and often why primary care doctors choose to practice medicine in the first place.
DPC agreements are not the best fit for every single practice or patient – nor should they be. Government’s role is not to develop a “one-size-fits-all” healthcare blueprint, but rather to reduce barriers to the innovation of healthcare solutions. H.4643, if passed, would do just that by allowing a patient-focused method of care to flourish. Patients and their doctors could work directly, without insurance companies operating as the middle-man. Additionally, those who may not have otherwise had access to primary care would find it affordable, accessible, and central in their ability to receive proper diagnoses and treatment. This bill would protect one much-needed healthcare option from both insurance meddling and government regulation.