Lawsuit Settlement Prohibits Alleged Attempts by the Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society to Limit Patient Access to Immunotherapy Treatment
SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 22, 2013 / — United Allergy Services ™ (UAS), a leading healthcare services company empowering family physicians and health systems to deliver safe and effective allergy testing and customized immunotherapy services, today announced that the Travis County District Court in Austin, Texas entered an agreed injunction that preserves a patient’s right to receive allergy testing and immunotherapy treatment from a highly qualified primary care or family physician. The agreed injunction is part of a broader settlement between UAS and the Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society and five of its allergist members.
The UAS lawsuit alleged that a group of board–certified allergists and the Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society were attempting to restrict patient access to allergy testing and treatment by family physicians that contract with UAS. UAS’ claims in the lawsuit included antitrust violations, defamation, business disparagement and tortious interference with contractual and business relations by the allergists and their society. As part of the agreed injunction, the allergists cannot advise insurance companies against reimbursing primary care or family physicians who use UAS services or to institute a different price or specialty listing for non-allergist physicians. Furthermore, the Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society and its member physicians are enjoined from advising any physician, physicians’ group or physician organization not to do business with UAS.
The agreement will benefit the hundreds of thousands of Texans who suffer from airborne allergies by protecting their right to receive allergy treatment from a primary care or family physician. The need for allergy treatment in Texas far exceeds the capabilities of the state’s approximately 300 practicing allergists. By prohibiting the Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society and its member physicians from attempting to restrict patient access to allergy testing and immunotherapy, this agreement will help more Texans receive effective allergy care, in both cities and rural areas.
“We are pleased that this lawsuit has come to an amicable conclusion to the benefit of allergy sufferers across Texas,” said Nicolas Hollis, president and CEO of UAS. “There is a clear disparity between the number of specialists and the number of allergy sufferers in the state that has left far too many patients untreated. UAS is committed to partnering with primary care and family physicians to ensure that allergy testing and immunotherapy is available and affordable to all.”
United Allergy Services is represented by Casey Low, Dillon Ferguson and Marty Hopkins of Andrews Kurth LLP.
About United Allergy Services
United Allergy Services ™ (UAS) brings effective and convenient allergy testing and immunotherapy to primary care physicians; pulmonologists; ENT physicians; pediatricians; internal medicine physicians; and healthcare systems that treat the vast majority of patients with seasonal and perennial allergies. UAS’ complete service line features in-office UAS Certified Clinical Allergy Specialist staffing and training; quality assurance and regulatory compliance; and supply and inventory management. By empowering physicians to safely administer allergy testing and immunotherapy treatment, UAS has effectively expanded access to immunotherapy to more than 60 million U.S. residents currently suffering from seasonal and perennial allergies.