AARDA is proud to launch a new initiative: “Let MI Doctors Decide.” Let MI Doctors Decide will help Michigan patients who are going through step therapy. This health insurance tactic often requires patients to try and fail on drugs before their insurance plans will cover the costs of doctor-prescribed medicines.
A recent poll conducted by Lake Research Partners found that seven out of 10 Michigan consumers have an unfavorable opinion of step therapy. That same poll found that ninety-eight percent of Michigan consumers believe that a doctor should have the final say over an insurance company when treating a patient with an autoimmune disease.
“With chronic health problems, time is of the essence,” said Virginia Ladd, AARDA President, and Executive Director. “Forced step therapy delays access to necessary treatments and can cause diseases to progress. Patients need the right medication when a doctor prescribes it. Let MI Doctors Decide is a necessary resource that can help patients at any stage of the step therapy process.”
“We need to put an end to this practice now,” continued Ladd. “Step therapy risks patient health, undermines the expertise of doctors and their relationships with patients, and contributes to financial waste in our health care system despite insurers touting it as a cost-saving measure. It should only be used when a doctor decides it’s best. In short, Michigan consumers say, ‘let my doctors decide.’”
“Based on our polling, there isn’t any ambiguity whatsoever on this issue,” said David Mermin, a partner at Lake Research Partners. “Michigan consumers, across every demographic and region of the state, want treatment decisions left up to patients and doctors, not health insurance companies.”
The initiative’s website, www.letmidoctorsdecide.org, has resources such as a patient guide with tips and advice, information about appealing insurance company decisions, and stories from patients and doctors who have had to navigate the step therapy process.