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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Resources
 

Patient’s Rights on Health Care Reform

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) believes you have the right to know about the potential far-reaching effects of health care reform. As highly-trained specialists dedicated to providing the finest quality care to our patients we want to share our ideas about health care reform with you. ACAAI believes in a patient-centered approach to health care reform. We support the following principles:

 Awareness of specialty services
 Less government
 Less paperwork
 Excellence of care
 Reasonable cost
 Guaranteed access to specialty care
 You choose your doctor

Let's look briefly at each of these principles.

Awareness of specialty services

As specialists, we are advocates for our patients. We believe all physicians play an important role in the health care delivery system. But when you or your children have allergies or asthma, your health may depend on the special skills of an allergist. We are specialists who are dedicated to providing excellent care for disorders such as asthma, rhinitis (hay fever), sinusitis, recurrent otitis, anaphylaxis, allergic skin disorders, including eczema, hives, and contact dermatitis, adverse reactions to drugs, foods, chemicals and other environmental agents, and immunologic disorders.

Less government

Thomas Jefferson said, "That government is best that governs least." Politicians across the political spectrum are now saying that government-run medical programs waste money and interfere with the relationship between doctor and patient. As allergists, we believe that government bureaucracy is part of the problem, not the solution. ACAAI believes that our nation's health care system should be designed to suit patients, not politicians.

Less paperwork

As patients, you should not have to deal with countless forms and red tape from insurance companies. As doctors, we want to spend more time providing specialty care for our patients and less time on paperwork and administration to satisfy the insurance companies. We ask our patients to join us in our efforts to greatly simplify the insurance claim process so that doctors and patients can spend more time talking to each other, and less time talking to insurance companies.

Excellence of care

Medical advances in this century have been spectacular. Medicine has become so sophisticated that it is not possible for a doctor to be an expert in all areas of medicine. That's why so many doctors specialize-so they can focus on one aspect of medicine and develop the advanced skills necessary to provide the best care for their patients. Excellence of care is achieved when achieved when informed patients seek out the best trained doctors, and when those doctors are allowed to utilize their special skills to treat those patients.

Reasonable cost

Health care should be reasonably priced, and patients should get a good value for their dollar. ACAAI believes that free market competition helps hold down medical costs, and government mandated price controls may ultimately increase costs. We encourage patients to ask questions about fees and make informed decisions when they purchase health care services. Regarding insurance coverage, ACAAI believes in universal access to care, "portable" insurance that patients can take with them when they change jobs, and a safety net that protects a family's savings in the event of catastrophic illness. In addition, ACAAI believes that insurance should be there when the patient needs it, regardless of preexisting conditions. The penalty for using medical insurance shouldn't be losing medical insurance.

Guaranteed access to specialty care

Some health care reform proposals are attempting to limit your access to specialty care. ACAAI believes that preventing illness is better than having to treat afterwards. When treatment is indicated, allergists are specialists who can administer the appropriate medications and thus avoid needless days lost from work or school. ACAAI believes that you should be able to choose a specialist for complex conditions such as allergies and asthma.

You choose your doctor

Patients should have the right to choose their doctors. Period. This principle is very important. Some health care reform plans seek to limit your choice of doctor. ACAAI strongly believes that you should be able to select the doctor--including the specialist-of your choice.

Working together as a team, specialists and patients can form closer relationships and improve our nation's health care system, which already provides the highest quality health care in the world.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology supports the American Medical Association's Protocol on Health Care Reform. We believe health care reform should:

Preserve patients' freedom to choose their own doctors-including specialists-no matter which health plan provides coverage; 

  • Improve the quality of life for our patients by using the unique skills of allergists and immunologists;
  • Provide universal access to and coverage for health care services through a program where payment responsibility is shared by employers, individuals, and government;
  • Establish a standard package of health benefits for every American citizen and legal resident of the United States;
  • Guarantee that the quality of patient care in the future remains at least as high as today;
  • Keep decisions about patient care in the hands of doctors and their patients; and
  • Reduce medical care cost by enacting meaningful professional liability and antitrust reform.

For more information, please contact:
American College of Allergy, Asthma &Immunology
85 West Algonquin Road, Suite 550
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 427-1200