The Kentucky Senate is expected to vote this week on legislation for a newer type of relationship between medical patients and physicians. It’s called Direct Primary Care.
The concept is based on a monthly fee, much like a gym membership, to provide routine medical services.
Currently, doctors interested in such provider-patient arrangements must go through the state department of insurance. This bill removes that requirement.
Crestwood doctor Tracy Ragland says office visits plus access through phone, text, and email are covered for a fee of about $50 a month.
“Unlimited visits as well,” she said. “So, if one month you are sick, you need to see or access your doctor five, six, eight times, it’s the same fee.”
Proponents of Direct Primary Care say the medical service is not health insurance, nor should it replace insurance for hospital or specialty care.
Dr. Ragland says there are a couple dozen physicians across Kentucky using the DPC model now with another half dozen preparing to operate such practices.