AAFP Applauds Introduction of Legislation to Support Direct Primary Care

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016

Statement attributable to:
Wanda Filer, MD, MBA
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Family physicians across the country welcome the Primary Care Enhancement Act of 2016, sponsored by Reps. Erik Paulsen and Earl Blumenauer. This bill expands access to primary care by clarifying that direct primary care is not a form of insurance.

“Currently 3 percent of American Academy of Family Physicians members practice in a direct primary care setting and a growing number of medical students and family medicine residents are enthusiastic about direct primary care.

“This bill will allow family physicians practicing in the direct primary care model to treat more Americans who want to receive care under this innovative approach. The bill also will allow patients with health savings accounts to use their HSA dollars to pay for direct primary care.

“The direct primary care model embodies the central principles of the patient-centered medical home and is, at its core, patient-centric. It is a model of care that entirely eliminates fee-for-service, frees family physicians from insurance rules and allows them to focus entirely on patients’ needs. Patients enrolled in direct primary care generally have greater access to their personal physician, longer visits with their physician, access to their physician through electronic communications, in some cases home-based medical visits, and highly personalized, coordinated, and comprehensive care administration.

“Several studies have found direct primary care patients have better patient experience of care and improved clinical outcomes as they become more engaged in managing their own health care.

“The American Academy of Family Physicians fully supports this approach to direct primary care.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Filer, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 6252, or lchampli@aafp.org.








Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).