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Senator Tom Lee, District 20 — Press Release


January 4, 2017

CONTACT: Sarah Schwirian, (813) 653-7061

Senator Tom Lee Files Bill to Give Patients Greater Flexibility and Access to Quality Primary Care

Brandon, FL —

Senator Tom Lee (R-Thonotosassa) announced today the filing of SB 240, designed to improve access to direct primary care by giving physicians and their patients an alternative to the traditional third party, fee-for-service system.

In a direct primary care model, patients receive access to their physician for a flat monthly fee. A full range of comprehensive primary care visits and services are included under this contract, ranging from acute and urgent care to regular checkups, labs, preventative care and chronic disease management. SB 240 recognizes these arrangements, establishes protections for both the physicians and the patients, as well as defines them as outside the scope of state insurance regulation.

“Direct primary care offers an innovative solution and greater efficiency to a healthcare system plagued by exorbitant costs and a lack of accessible, quality care for the uninsured and underinsured,” Senator Lee said. “This type of free-market approach grants patients greater flexibility and expands access to concierge-level healthcare that was once available only to the wealthy.”

Direct primary care practices allow patients to establish a personal relationship with their doctor, diminishing the dependence on expensive surgeries, urgent care, emergency rooms and other preventable hospitalizations. Physicians are able to spend more time caring directly for their patients and significantly reduce operating expenses by cutting out the hassle and costs associated with billing a health insurance company.

“These arrangements empower Florida families by giving them more control and choice in how they pay for the care they need,” Senator Lee added.