Physicians Sound Alarm on Lawsuit Jeopardizing Vital Preventive Care

By News Release

 

Led by the American Medical Association (AMA), dozens of top medical organizations expressed concern that a federal court case could cause millions of Americans to lose access to preventive services. These organizations represent physicians providing vital preventive health care services to millions of patients with private health plan coverage.

Kelley v. Becerra, a lawsuit before a federal district court judge in the Northern District of Texas, threatens the section of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring insurers and group health plans to cover more than 100 preventive health services at no cost to consumers. One of the ACA’s most popular and widely recognized benefits, the provision resulted in an estimated 151.6 million people receiving free preventive care in 2020 alone.

“With an adverse ruling, patients would lose access to vital preventive health care services, such as screening for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, heart disease, diabetes, preeclampsia, and hearing, as well as access to immunizations critical to maintaining a healthy population,” the organizations wrote. “Our patients cannot afford to lose this critical access to preventive health care services. Rolling back this access would reverse important progress and make it harder for physicians to diagnose and treat diseases and medical conditions that, if caught early, are significantly more manageable.”

The joint statement sounding alarms about this threat to preventive services was signed by 61 organizations.

The full statement is below:

The undersigned medical associations and societies represent practicing physicians who provide vital preventive health care services to millions of patients. We are extremely concerned that a case before a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas could significantly jeopardize the coverage of preventive health care services for millions of Americans with private health insurance and reverse positive trends in patient health achieved by the early detection and treatment of diseases and other medical conditions.

The Court scheduled a July 26, 2022, hearing to determine the constitutionality of section 2713 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for preventive health care services without patient cost-sharing. For more than a decade, expanded coverage of preventive health care services has made an enormous positive impact on patient health. This court case jeopardizes that progress.

With an adverse ruling, patients would lose access to vital preventive health care services, such as screening for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, preeclampsia, and hearing, as well as well child visits and access to immunizations critical to maintaining a healthy population.

Research shows that, since the enactment of the ACA, millions of patients have benefitted from increased access to preventive health care services without cost-sharing. For example, a January 2022 report from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that more than 150 million people with private insurance – including 58 million women and 37 million children – can receive preventive services without cost-sharing under the ACA. Additionally, the report showed the ACA increased colon cancer screening, vaccinations, use of contraception, and chronic disease screening and studies have shown a reduction in racial and ethnic disparities in the use of preventive care since the ACA was enacted.

Our patients cannot afford to lose this critical access to preventive health care services. Rolling back this access would reverse important progress and make it harder for physicians to diagnose and treat diseases and medical conditions that, if caught early, are significantly more manageable.

Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Inc.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy

American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

American Association of Clinical Urologists

American Association for Physician Leadership

American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Association of Clinical Endocrinology

American Association of Public Health Physicians

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

American College of Cardiology

American College of Emergency Physicians

American College of Gastroenterology 

American College of Lifestyle Medicine

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

American College of Osteopathic Internists

American College of Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

American College of Radiology

American College of Rheumatology

American College of Surgeons

American Epilepsy Society

American Gastroenterological Association

American Geriatrics Society

American Medical Women's Association

American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society

American Osteopathic Association

American Psychiatric Association

American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

American Society for Radiation Oncology

American Society for Surgery of the Hand

American Society of Addiction Medicine

American Society of Dermatopathology

American Society of Echocardiography

American Society of Hematology

American Society of Neuroradiology

Association for Clinical Oncology

Association of Academic Physiatrists

Association of American Medical Colleges

Endocrine Society

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality

Infectious Diseases Society of America

National Association of Medical Examiners

Obesity Medicine Association

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

Society for Pediatric Dermatology

Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography

Society of Critical Care Medicine

Society of Hospital Medicine

Society of Interventional Radiology

Society of Thoracic Surgeons

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Physicians Sound Alarm on Lawsuit Jeopardizing Vital Preventive Care.  Appl Rad Oncol. 

By News Release| July 26, 2022
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