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Legislative study committee examines Direct Primary Care

A special legislative study committee examining the issue of Direct Primary Care (DPC) arrangements in Wisconsin held its first meeting Tuesday in the State Capitol. DPC arrangements generally involve a patient paying a monthly fee for unlimited access to primary care services and consultation; it is generally not considered to be an insurance arrangement, and therefore falls outside of state insurance regulations.

The Legislative Council Study Committee on Direct Primary Care is charged with investigating specific aspects of these DPC arrangements:

  • DPCs’ potential impact on the state’s health care delivery system and health outcomes.
  • Whether legislation is needed detailing any requirements for DPC arrangements.
  • Assessing the impact of a DPC pilot program in the state’s Medicaid program.
  • Recommending legislative provisions detailing the parameters of a Medicaid DPC pilot.

Tuesday’s meeting focused on the background and scope of DPC arrangements, including those currently operating in Kansas, Wyoming and Wisconsin. The committee also heard from the state’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, which provided a historical perspective on how it has generally considered DPC arrangements in Wisconsin to not fall within its regulatory realm, while also cautioning that it is keeping a close watch on DPC activities.

Special study committees such as this one are organized by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Council during even-numbered years on topics selected by state legislative leaders. These committees, made up of both legislative and public members, often make recommendations for legislation that could be debated in the next legislative biennium. The state legislature’s Joint Legislative Council then votes on whether those recommendations should be drafted as bills and introduced. You can view the list of this session’s study committees here.

The DPC study committee plans to meet again in late August and hopes to have final recommendations by November. You can access the committee’s roster and materials here.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations Department for more information.

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