Earlier this week we heard the good news that H.R. 365 was finally going to be considered by the House Committee on Ways and Means, bringing the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for Direct Patient Care (DPC) one step closer to reality.
Then we learned “a few small changes” had been made to the bill. Unfortunately the “few small changes” have greatly damaged the legislation.
You can read a copy of the latest bill here: https://goo.gl/B6imgQ.
Under the new language, DPC practices would have to comply with several federal requirements in order to become HSA-eligible. One provision limits the care provided under the agreement to specific CPT codes. Another would prohibit DPC arrangements priced over a certain threshold from being HSA-eligible. Others further limit how the pricing can be structured and what care can and cannot be included. Specialists would be blocked from offering innovative HSA-eligible monthly membership payment arrangements.
To us, these changes are unacceptable and might be worse than no bill at all. If the bill passes in this form it would put practices that don’t comply with the federal rules at a competitive disadvantage to practices that align their model to satisfy DC instead of their patients.
One more problem: these changes were tucked in at the last second barely a day ahead of Wednesday’s mark up session of the Bill in House Ways and Means. That’s right, the new bill is headed to be pushed through committee with little chance for public input.
Today, AAPS sent a letter to every Ways and Means Committee member, and the committee staff, expressing our concerns about this bill and a few other bills the committee will consider on Wednesday, July 11. Overall, we like a number of the bills under review, because they do expand HSA flexibility. But there are several key problems that tilt the playing field to the advantage of corporate medicine. Read more in our letter here: https://goo.gl/XYutr5.
What can you do? Please send the committee a message ASAP before Wednesday at 2pm Eastern. Here are the steps:
1) Copy the following text:
Dear Chairman Brady, Ranking Member Neal, and Members of the House Committee on Ways and Means,
Tomorrow you will be considering replacement language to H.R. 365, the Primary Care Enhancement Act. The addition of improper requirements means the new bill will not accomplish the goal of allowing patients to use their Health Savings Accounts to see the Direct Patient Care physicians of their choice. I encourage the committee to consider adopting H.R. 365 as written, while rejecting the recent changes. In addition I encourage you to please consider AAPS recommendations about this bill and others you are considering today. The AAPS letter to the committee is available at https://goo.gl/XYutr5.
2) Visit https://waysandmeans.house.gov/contact/ and paste the comment in to the appropriate field and modify as desired.
2a) You can also fax your comment to the committee: (202) 225-2610
3) If your representative is on the Ways and Means Committee, email the note to the Health Legislative Assistant for your Member of Congress. A list of committee members and their health staff contact information, sorted by state, is available here: https://goo.gl/8iqw3u.
Thank you for speaking out!