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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2015

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Sen. Rob Standridge

Senate passes bill to protect patient-doctor relationships

The House is the next stop for a measure approved Monday by the Senate to protect patient-doctor relationships and make health services more affordable in the state. Sen. Rob Standridge is the author of Senate Bill 560, which will keep direct care arrangements from being subject to state insurance regulation.

“Through either court action or some arbitrary action in some states, it has been misconstrued that a membership fee with a medical provider or a fee for a set procedure is insurance,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “This misunderstanding has driven up the cost of health care services. It has also violated the rights of patients and medical professionals to deal with one another in the same manner as any other consumer type relationship.”

The bill clarifies that payment arrangements between a medical profession and patient for services are not insurance and are not subject to regulation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID). It also clarifies that direct primary care membership agreements between a doctor and patient are not insurance or discount medical plans and are not subject to regulation by the OID.

Several other states, including Louisiana and Michigan, are enacting similar legislation to protect patient-doctor relationships and keep healthcare costs down in their states.

SB 560 has the support of the Free Market Medical Association, the Oklahoma State Medical Association and consumer advocacy organizations.

The measure now moves to the House for further consideration.

For more information, contact:
Sen. Standridge: 405-521-5539

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