Press Release: Let My Doctors Decide Announces New Video Series to Help Patients and Doctors Struggling with Health Insurance Practice Known as ‘Step Therapy’

Experts Share Their Experiences and Advice on Navigating Challenges

DETROIT (June 6, 2018) - Today Let My Doctors Decide, a Michigan-based initiative launched by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), has released a new video series featuring the perspectives of healthcare experts who have first-hand experience with step therapy, a health insurance practice that often results in patients being denied coverage for doctor-prescribed treatments. The series features both a roundtable discussion and individual interviews with doctors, patient advocates, and medical professionals who share explanations about step therapy and advice on how to navigate it.

“Step therapy is having a real impact on patient health and the doctor-patient relationship in Michigan and across the country,” said Virginia Ladd, president and executive director of AARDA. “These videos are just one more resource in the toolbox that Let My Doctors Decide has created to empower patients and doctors who struggle to get needed medication because of the barriers presented by step therapy.”

Included in the series are the following videos which are available online at

  • A two-part roundtable discussion, in which experts first explain how step therapy often results in delayed access to medical treatments and then offer advice on how to navigate step therapy

  • Individual interviews with Dr. Irene Kazmers and Dr. Delfin Santos, Michigan-based rheumatologists who share how step therapy has impacted their respective patients and medical practices

  • An interview with Virginia Ladd, president and executive director of AARDA, who explains how step therapy impacts patient health and the ways in which patients can be their own best advocates

  • An interview with Jay Salliotte, practice manager at Advanced Rheumatology in Lansing, Michigan, who shares how healthcare professionals can help manage the extra paperwork and other challenges that accompany step therapy

Launched in October 2017, Let My Doctors Decide provides patients and doctors with needed tools and resources as they work to access the right medicine at the right time. Through its online platform, Let My Doctors Decide offers resources such as a patient guide with tips on working with doctors and insurance companies, information about appealing health insurance company decisions, and stories from doctors and patients on their experiences with step therapy. The new video series is the latest addition to this collections of resources and soon will be followed by an explainer video with more details on the step therapy process.

Also sharing the videos online are members of the Let My Doctors Decide task force, a group of Michigan-based health care organizations who came together earlier this year to support the initiative. Task force members include The American Behcet’s Disease AssociationAsthma & Allergy Foundation of America, Michigan ChapterHemophilia Foundation of MichiganMichigan Rheumatism Society; and the Scleroderma Foundation, Michigan Chapter.

About Let My Doctors Decide

Let My Doctors Decide is an initiative of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) dedicated to helping patients who have been forced to go through step therapy by their insurance companies. Visit to learn more.


Founded in 1991, AARDA is the only national nonprofit organization focused on addressing the problem of autoimmune disease, the major cause of over 100 serious chronic diseases. Through collaborative efforts in the areas of education, public awareness, research, and patient services, AARDA is dedicated to the eradication of autoimmune disease and works to alleviate both the suffering and the socioeconomic impact of autoimmunity nationwide. To learn more, visit


Let MI Doctors Decide