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Protecting DPC from Washington’s Trojan Horse

ImpactAlert

HR 365 Replaced by HR 6317 Expanded Government Regulatory Control of DPC through YOUR HSAs

Official Statement from Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation:
We are pleased to report that we were successful in removing the critically flawed language that would have dramatically restricted and regulated independent DPC practice.

The issue of CPT coding has been eliminated.

This is still generally not a great bill, but it is no longer critically flawed. We are now in a better position and feel comfortable supporting it with the understanding that other important issues will be able to be addressed in the Senate.

Thanks to an incredible team of dedicated physicians and staff that were able to pull off this big accomplishment in such a short period of time!

– Lee Gross, M.D.
President, Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation

Read the Amended Legislation HERE.

Background:  Direct Primary Care is the only major medical service offered by doctors you are forbidden to pay for with YOUR Health Savings Account (HSA) dollars.

The IRS in 2014 issued a lettter defining DPC as a health plan and disqualified from HSA dollars (like health insurance). HR 365 was a simple piece of legislation designed to fix the problem.

Without debate, the legislation was replaced with HR 6317 in the House Ways and Means Committee and passed out of committee.

OUR analysis finds the bill creates regulatory control that is precisely what DPC doctors seek to avoid, undermining the very freedoms that have made the practice model succeed.

This Bill will be hailed for finally allowing HSA dollars to be used for DPC.  It is a Trojan horse bringing the worst of Obamacare to DPC.

This bill creates the regulatory foundation, price fixing, and centralized control that is at the heart of the problems in American health care.

Dr. Lee Gross filmed a video analysis in his weekly update from Epiphany Health well worth the time.
Watch HERE.
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Legislation Allowing Patients to Use HSAs for DPC at Risk

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From AAPS:

Earlier this week we heard the good news that H.R. 365 was finally going to be considered by the House Committee on Ways and Means, bringing the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for Direct Patient Care (DPC) one step closer to reality.

Then we learned “a few small changes” had been made to the bill. Unfortunately the “few small changes” have greatly damaged the legislation.

You can read a copy of the latest bill here: https://goo.gl/B6imgQ.

Under the new language, DPC practices would have to comply with several federal requirements in order to become HSA-eligible. One provision limits the care provided under the agreement to specific CPT codes.  Another would prohibit DPC arrangements priced over a certain threshold from being HSA-eligible. Others further limit how the pricing can be structured and what care can and cannot be included. Specialists would be blocked from offering innovative HSA-eligible monthly membership payment arrangements.

You can read a full summary of the legislations status at AAPS.

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Stop the IRS from Blocking Patients’ Use of Health Savings Accounts for Direct Primary Care, Doctors and Patients Tell Congress

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The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) sent a letter today, signed by 1,125 doctors and patients, to the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees encouraging expeditious approval of H.R. 365 and S. 1358. These bills would allow patients to spend their own Health Savings Account dollars on Direct Primary Care arrangements. The IRS currently prohibits this use.

In the letter, AAPS Executive Director, Jane M. Orient, M.D. writes:

The whole purpose of HSAs was to expand patients’ freedom to choose how to spend their own money for medical care. More and more patients, including Medicare beneficiaries, are choosing DPC, which often includes primary-care services, basic diagnostic tests, and commonly used prescription drugs at a package price. They like the up-front, affordable price and the prompt access to a doctor they know and trust. Yet the current IRS interpretation of Internal Revenue Code will not allow patients with HSAs to use their own HSA funds for DPC agreements nor permit them to make tax-deductible contributions to their HSA if they have a periodic DPC arrangement.

DPC is lowering costs for both patients and taxpayers. Prescription drugs accounted for $110 billion in Medicare spending in 2015, 17% of all Medicare spending. With DPC dispensing, the cost of pharmaceuticals can be as much as 15 times lower than pharmacy prices. And $17 billion was spent on potentially avoidable hospital readmissions. DPC patients have fewer hospital admissions because of prompt, consistent, personalized care of chronic conditions, and fewer expensive emergency department visits because of 24-hour access to a physician who knows them.

It is improper for the IRS to be picking winners and losers in medical financing and care arrangements. It is counterproductive for a tax collection entity to discourage arrangements that save federal dollars while improving medical care.

DPC also addresses the shortage of primary-care physicians by retaining physicians who would otherwise leave primary care practice or the profession altogether owing to “burn-out” from inability to serve their patients well under other practice models.

Please expedite consideration of S. 1358 / H.R. 365 and, if it cannot advance as a stand-alone measure, look for opportunities to include the language in other upcoming budget bills.

The full letter and list of signers can be viewed at: http:aapsonline.org/dpchsa. AAPS is also welcoming supporters who haven’t yet signed to add their names.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in virtually all specialties and every state. Founded in 1943, AAPS has the motto “omnia pro aegroto,” which means “all for the patient.”

SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

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