New Rule Undermines Private Practice and Patient Access to Care
ST. PAUL, Minn. —Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) says a new proposed federal regulation from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) goes the wrong way, classifying Direct Primary Care (DPC) and Healthcare Sharing Ministries as “insurance.”
This change in classification could significantly undermine the roughly 1,200 private medical practices nationwide from the independent practice of medicine, and the million-some members of healthcare sharing organizations.
“The practice of medicine, whether paid for with a monthly fee or a per-visit fee is not insurance,” said Twila Brase, president and co-founder of CCHF. “A cooperative where people share the cost of medical bills is not insurance. If these private, cash-based, contractual arrangements are deemed “insurance,” will independent medical practices and healthcare sharing organization find themselves thrust under the regulatory authority of state insurance agencies? This could end these innovative free-market arrangements that patients want.”
“DPC is an innovation that allows people to pay a doctor directly for medical care – no middle man or insurer is involved. DPC is a contract between a willing patient and a willing doctor for a certain set of services at an agreeable price for both. Under DPC, the physician works for the patient – not the government, an insurer or a health plan. It’s an affordable, patient-centered, free-market option for medical care that should be expanded not shut down by wrongful classification,” she continued.
The IRS is accepting public comments until Monday, August 10. CCHF has issued an action alert to warn and engage patients and doctors nationwide.
CCHF maintains a patient-centered, privacy-focused, free-market perspective. CCHF has worked in its home state of Minnesota and at the national level for more than 20 years to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. In 2016, CCHF launched The Wedge of Health Freedom, an online directory of direct-pay practices (JointheWedge.com).
Twila Brase, RN, PHN has been named by Modern Healthcare as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care.” She is the host of the daily Health Freedom Minute radio program heard by over 5 million weekly listeners on more than 800 radio stations nationwide, and the author of the eight-time award-winning book, “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records.”