By Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief, The DPC Journal, Contributing Source, DPCC
JUNE 24, 2014 – Over 200 physicians and supporters of Direct Primary Care (DPC) visited Washington, D.C. last week for the Direct Primary Care National Summit. Prior to the Summit on Friday, June 20-21, 2014, participants also had the opportunity to join members of the DPC Coalition Steering Committee at a fly-in and policy summit where we shared the good news with Congress and the Administration about how Direct Primary Care is changing health care cross the country.
PHOTOS and LIVE COVERAGE FROM THE DPC Summit:
A simple request from the front lines of healthcare
“We met with over 24 Members of Congress and key staff and briefed members of the President’s Domestic Policy Council and key health advisors at the White House,” say Direct Primary Care Coaltion (DPCC) sources. “We briefed key staff at the Senate Budget Committee and thought leaders at a prominent think tank. Click the icons below to read through presentations and polcy materials presented throughout the fly-in.”
“This marks a turning point in the Direct Primary Care movement,” says Dr. Garrison Bliss, MD President, Qliance Medical Group of WA PC VP Medical Affairs at Seattle’s own Qliance Medical Management Inc. “With an organized collaborative outreach that can now be focused on policy needs for a national and regional effort to bring high functioning sustainable affordable primary care to all corners of this country.”
One of the topics of the day included:
Congress to IRS: DPC is NOT insurance — IRS asked to clarify HSA rules in letter
On June 17, 2014, Members of Congress wrote Commissioner of Internal Revenue John Koshinen asking for clarification on how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats Direct Primary Care Medical Homes with regard to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). As physicians from around the country were arriving in Washington for the DPC Coalition Fly-In and DPC National Summit, three key Democratic members of Congress wrote IRS Commissioner John Koshinen a letter asking IRS to clarify its guidance to employers, insurers, brokers and providers, and to adopt the definition of DPC used in the Affordable Care Act.
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who authored ACA Sec. 1301 (a) (3), allowing DPC practices to participate in health exchanges with Qualified Health Plans, took the lead on the letter and was joined by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jim McDermott, MD (D-WA), ranking member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. The three WA state lawmakers point out that The ACA rules on the Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans Part I (CMS-9989-F) promulgated by HHS, clearly state that DPC is not health insurance, and that the law has its roots in a provision in WA state law (48.150RCW) defining DPC as a health benefit outside insurance.
As of late, the IRS continues to give guidance that DPC plans are considered health plans under Sec. 223 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which prohibits HSA account holders with high deductible health plans from having a second “health plan.” DPC members have met with officials in the Department of the Treasury and continue to work with the administration and Congress to change the IRS definition so that DPC fees are qualified medical expenses under Sec. 213 (d) of the IRC and can be offered as a benefit complimenting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) paired with high deducible health plans.
“Interestingly, doctors across the country are becoming more transparent about their fees,” says Catherine Sykes, Publisher and Managing Directory of the industry’s trade publication, The Direct Primary Care Journal. “This is all happening at a time when the cost of health care is rising. We have an era coming with more innovation in health care delivery in our country than we’ve had in a decade. The way health care is delivered will radically change and the focus will be on the customer. Employers are on alert as well and are switching to high-deductible health plan policies where employees are now responsible for a higher amount of dollars upfront before the company picks up the cost. As that expands, patients are going to start looking at health care from more of a consumer perspective, become more cost conscious and less reliant on a piece of plastic in their wallets.”
“It is clear that at the core of the DPC movement is the determination of the physicians to respond effectively to the needs of their patients and communities,” says Laurence Bauer, MSW, Med, CEO of FMEC and host of the event.
RELATED LINKS, PRESENTATIONS and DPC & IRS Updates:
Visit us at www.dpcare.org for more information.
“In this time of tremendous upheaval, the implications of this person-centered, effective, efficient, and easy to deploy model of care are powerful,” says Dr. Erika Bliss, a Family Physician at Qliance Medical Group of WA and President/CEO of Qliance Medical Management Inc.
Learn More About The Direct Primary Care Coalition — www.DPCare.org
The Direct Primary Care Coalition supports the advancement of state, federal and private sector policies that advance the Direct Primary Care model and foster the health and wellbeing of both individual patients and the American population. The DPCC believes that Americans of all ages should have access to high functioning, affordable, comprehensive, accessible, personal Primary Care.