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Legislative Notes

Direct Patient Care expands access to affordable health care

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If the past year’s challenges posed by the pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that Montanans in all corners of the state need increased, more affordable access to healthcare, and my bill moving through the state legislature will do just that.

I’m sponsoring Senate Bill 101 to authorize Direct Patient Care in state law and expand access to affordable healthcare for Montanans all across the state. 

Direct Patient Care is a system where patients pay their doctors directly for a variety of healthcare services instead of going through an insurance company. DPC is often paid for through an affordable, flat monthly subscription fee.

Direct Patient Care provides an alternative healthcare model that improves the doctor-patient relationship and simplifies the system to speed up the process of receiving care. Under Direct Patient Care, Montanans who are uninsured can enjoy access to the healthcare they otherwise would not be able to afford or receive. 

Direct Patient Care cuts out the middle man to provide Montanans with increased access to quality healthcare, more affordable care, greater transparency in pricing, and better, more personalized care options. While it’s still a good idea to have health insurance at least for serious medical events like hospitalization, cancer or major surgery, Direct Patient Care can affordably take care of Montanans more routine medical needs. 

Establishing Direct Patient Care in Montana has been a years-long effort. Back in 2015, current Congressman Matt Rosendale sponsored a bill to authorize DPC as a state senator. In 2017, I also proposed similar legislation to allow Direct Patient Care. Democrat Governor Steve Bullock vetoed both bills. To Congressman Rosendale’s credit, he issued an advisory memo in 2017 while serving as State Auditor to authorize Direct Patient Care. 

Since then, eight Direct Patient Care clinics have opened in Montana, in Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Kalispell, Polson, Whitefish and Helena, where patients’ reactions to their services have been overwhelmingly positive. Now, it is time to officially put the system into law, give clarity to the Direct Patient Care industry and help DPC clinics become commonplace in Montana. 

As healthcare becomes more expensive each year, it’s clear that we must finally take the necessary steps to lower costs. That’s why I’m proudly taking action to build a stronger, healthier Montana by moving SB 101 forward. Now, with Governor Gianforte at the helm, I am confident these efforts will not go to waste. 

The tremendous opportunity to finally expand access to affordable healthcare by making SB 101 Montana law has arrived. My Republican colleagues and I are ready to lead the legislature’s charge to deliver results for Montanans and make this necessary change in our health care system become a reality. 

 

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