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Florida - Ground-Breaking Direct Primary Care Law Effective July 1

Earlier this spring, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed landmark legislation for the provision of health care services in the state.

GavelThe new law, effective July 1, will allow chiropractors, among other providers, to enter into direct agreements with employers to provide primary care services to employees as a benefit. Additionally, providers can make arrangements to deliver care for affordable monthly fees, personalized to a family or individual. However, most importantly, these primary care agreements are exempt from insurance regulation.

The fight for approval of the bill into law was four years in the making, and was led by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and supported by the Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA), and other business groups.

The new law is expected to make it easier for chiropractic physicians in Florida to have a cash concierge-type function within their practices. This function can benefit the doctor and patient in several different ways.

According to National University of Health Sciences (NUHS') vice president of academic services, Randy Swenson, MHPE, DC, it is anticipated the new law will eliminate a doctor's concerns for insurance coverage when treatment is needed and when wellness care, as a form of preventative medicine, could improve or maintain a patient's health. Additionally, the new law will allow chiropractic physicians in Florida to have contact with and serve more of the population within a given locale. The nature of the law and the agreements that a specific doctor creates may also increase patient exposure to other therapies not covered in typical insurance plans, for example, acupuncture and nutritional counseling.

The new law also has important implications for students at NUHS. "It raises the awareness of what we do, or can do. It also provides the opportunity for our graduates to practice to the full extent of their education," said Dr. Stiefel, president, National University of Health Sciences.

"The students NUHS attracts are looking for an education that provides the broadest possible opportunities. Florida has always had a wide scope, but this affords for greater appreciation of what a Doctor of Chiropractic can do to help his or her community," he concluded.

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