AAFP Applauds Senate Introduction of Primary Care Patient Protection Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Wednesday, Nov. 6,  2019

Statement attributable to:
Gary LeRoy, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The Primary Care Patient Protection Act of 2019 introduced today by Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, takes the financial fear away from Americans who seek care from their primary care physicians. The American Academy of Family Physicians welcomes this legislation and we look forward to working with the Senate to support its passage.

“By allowing two no-cost primary care visits each year for Americans with high-deductible health plans, the Primary Care Patient Protection Act helps ensure patients will get the care they need before they develop a condition that requires intensive, more costly attention.

“Families face competing challenges between financial and physical health as deductibles increase. According to a study from the Commonwealth Fund, adults with HDHP and a deductible of $3,000 or more reported problems getting needed care because of cost. In fact, 30% reported that they had a medical problem but did not go the doctor or clinic because of its associated cost. Additionally, 47% reported that they had at least one cost-related access problem and 23% reported that they did not fill a prescription due to its out-of-pocket cost.

“Open enrollment for Healthcare.gov and state health insurance marketplaces began Nov. 1, and many individuals and families looking to secure affordable coverage will elect to enroll in an HDHPs. The Primary Care Patient Protection Act helps to ensure that those enrolled in HDHPs have access to meaningful coverage that enables them to see their primary care doctor when they need to.

“If implemented, the Primary Care Patient Protection Act would enable them to see their primary care doctor for acute care such as an injury or upper respiratory infection without concern over their pocketbook. The legislation also benefits patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, who require regulatory testing and monitoring.

“These are provisions that we all should applaud.”

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


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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.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).