Archives

D4PCF Asks Trump Administration for Tax Protection of Direct Primary Care Members and Their Employers

ImpactAlert

An 8-page legal letter asks multiple federal departments to recognize DPC membership dues as tax-free medical expenses

WASHINGTON, January 4, 2019 — Last week the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received an official request from the Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation (D4PCF) to recognize dues paid to direct primary care (DPC) practices as tax-free medical expenses reimbursable by employers.

Multiple federal departments ought to clarify “that the monthly fees associated with DPCs are qualified medical expenses which can be offset by HRA funds,” states the eight-page letter, which has 31 footnotes citing federal regulations and court cases.

DPC membership is not a form of insurance, so dues are a legitimate medical expense, D4PCF argues. Consequently, patients should be allowed to submit their monthly membership costs—which range from $40 to $150 per person—to their employers for tax-free reimbursement, if their employers offer health reimbursement accounts (HRAs).

The Trump administration appears amenable to the viewpoint that tax protection for DPC patients is long overdue, according to a statement made by D4PCF Board President Dr. Lee Gross upon filing the letter:

“The direct primary care community has spent many years frustrated by the lack of progress in fixing the HSA issue that has hamstrung the DPC movement for so long. D4PCF recognized an opportunity to advance this initiative through our multiple meetings with the executive branch, while also working through our legislative priorities.

“D4PCF engaged the Washington, D.C. law firm of Foley Hoag to draft a legal basis for allowing HRAs to be used for DPC memberships. This legal argument was submitted as a formal comment to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor during the public comment period for the proposed rule for overhauling the use of HRAs across the country.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Trump administration and Congress to expand access to this affordable care model for all Americans.”

D4PCF filed its letter as a comment on the proposed rule “Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans” (REG-136724-17).

In November of 2018, Gross testified to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that removing barriers to DPC membership would immediately achieve multibillion-dollar savings for patients and taxpayers.

Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) public policy think tank governed exclusively by doctors standing up for the health and freedom of patients and physicians. The D4PCF mission is to preserve the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship, promote quality care, support affordable access to care for all Americans, and protect the patient’s personal health care decisions.

CONTINUE READING

Direct primary care can rein in America’s out-of-control healthcare costs

D4PC_Op_ed

By: Dr. Lee Gross

While Democrats and Republicans debate the merits and drawbacks of reforming America’s broken health insurance system, few policymakers are paying attention to perhaps the biggest reason health insurance is so expensive: The actual cost of healthcare, which insurers have to pay, is out of control.

There are many reasons the cost of providing healthcare has been steadily rising in most sectors of the healthcare industry. One of the most important is that the traditional health insurance model wastes piles of cash. It pays health insurers to act as middlemen between patients and their doctors. Patients continue to use their health insurance to pay for virtually every healthcare service, including those that they could easily pay for on their own, like primary care visits, flu shots, and routine exams.

Insurers’ involvement in nearly every primary care visit is causing healthcare expenses to skyrocket. Patients are being forced to pay extra so insurance companies can facilitate transactions they really don’t need to be involved in. Not only does this cause the cost of primary care services to rise, it also forces doctors to squander time filling out paperwork instead of treating patients. Some doctors choose to hire more staff to handle much of the administrative work, also contributing to the rising cost of providing primary care.

As I recently noted in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, “We don’t expect our homeowner’s insurance to pay for blown light bulbs or routine maintenance. Imagine how complex and expensive it would be to purchase gasoline if we used our auto insurance to pay for fuel. This is what we expect from our health insurance, yet we are surprised that it is expensive, inefficient, and impersonal.”

Fortunately, there is a better way to provide primary care, one that offers high-quality healthcare services for much less money and without inflicting mountains of complicated insurance paperwork and government regulations on doctors.

Direct primary care is a membership-based primary care model that provides patients with a set number of healthcare services in exchange for a flat monthly fee. At Epiphany Health, the direct primary care practice I founded in North Port, Fla., we charge just $65 per month for an adult membership and $25 for one child. (A membership for each additional child is just $10.) A family of four pays only $155 per month.

In exchange for that fee, we offer all of our members the primary care services they need most often, including physical exams, EKG testing, strep and urine testing, blood-thinner monitoring, minor surgical procedures, joint injections, and much more. Patients don’t pay a single penny more for these services beyond the cost of their membership fee.

Read the full op-ed at the Washington Examiner.

 

CONTINUE READING

D4PCF on Hannity National Radio

D4PC_Hannity_2

The National Briefing on Health Care Policy Begins

The frustration over health care policy at the Federal level has moved national radio host Sean Hannity to launch the national discussion with the doctor innovators on the front lines of health care.

Dr. Josh Umbehr and our own Dr. Lee Gross joined Hannity on his national radio show to kick off a regular Tuesday afternoon national briefing on the impact of free market medicine.

CONTINUE READING

D4PC Foundation President Lee Gross, M.D Invited to the White House

IMG_6428

The impact of our years of teaching the benefits of protecting the doctor/patient relationship are fully bearing fruit.

Dr. Lee Gross as invited for a surprise visit to the White House to teach the staff and policy makers about the innovations reshaping the delivery of health care at the ground level all across the world.

This is another step in the fulfillment of President Trump’s executive order to HHS and various departments to do a full analysis of the U.S. Health Care System.  The goals include increasing access, lowering costs, and delivering better medical outcomes.

Direct Primary Care continues to come to the foreground as one of the best solutions for providing low cost and high quality care regardless of health insurance.  Dr. Lee Gross, President of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation, has become the defacto expert in the practice model.

Watch Dr.Gross’s Field Update HERE

CONTINUE READING

Democrat Socialists and Their Single-Payer Healthcare Agenda

35539963605_cf0cee5491_b

There are several irrefutable facts that must be stated together to understand what is happening with healthcare in the US. The first is that the Democratic Party has been split because of the ascension of the Democratic Socialists. Their ideation has significantly influenced the direction of the party as a whole, moving it further left than ever before. The second is that the Democratic Socialists do not like Obamacare any more than those on the right because it is standing in the way of one of their central issues- the creation of a single payer system. The third is that this radical idea is taking hold as part of the Democratic platform and is generating popular support as Obamacare fails and the GOP does nothing to solve this mess.

What was once considered a radical idea and impossible to imagine in any serious discussion about American healthcare, single payer has become very mainstream as a Democrat talking point regarding healthcare. If one doubts this, consider the fact that the Bernie Sanders bill- Medicare for All Act- S1804, has 16 current sponsors, including highly visible names like Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Many of these individuals have been mentioned as presidential candidates for 2020.

Read the full article at Townhall.com. 

CONTINUE READING