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‘Direct primary care' could expand to dentists

Bill sponsored by Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-Jacksonville

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(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The House on Wednesday backed expanding a law that encourages the use of “direct primary care” agreements between patients and doctors.

House members voted 90-24 to approve a bill (HB 7), sponsored by Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-Jacksonville, that would expand the 2018 law to allow such agreements between patients and dentists.

Under direct primary care, patients or their employers make regular payments to doctors to provide primary-care services.

The 2018 law made clear that such arrangements were not regulated under insurance laws, with backers saying they provide another health-care option for patients.

Duggan’s bill would change the terminology to “direct health care” agreements and allow such arrangements with dentists.

A Senate version (SB 1520), sponsored by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, has been approved by one committee and is slated to go before the Senate Health Policy Committee on Monday.