Would you go to a mechanic to treat your chronic psoriasis, or your favorite barista for a customized treatment program for your chronic illness? This may sound absurd, but a similar situation is occurring across the nation. Insurance companies — not doctors — are making decisions about patient treatments primarily based on financial considerations. It’s called step therapy, and it’s causing patients to suffer.

Under step therapy, patients must try and fail on one or more drugs selected by their health plans before coverage is granted for the drug prescribed by the patients’ health-care providers.