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 American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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