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LYME DISEASE: ISSUES IN DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FOR UNDERSERVED AND RURAL COMMUNITIES. Presented to the California Senate Committee On Health And Human Services February 25, 2004 Steven Harris, MD.
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LYME DISEASE: ISSUES IN DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FOR UNDERSERVED AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
Presented to the California SenateCommittee On Health And Human ServicesFebruary 25, 2004Steven Harris, MD
Rural and underserved populations already feel a loss of control in their lives. Lyme Disease solidifies their powerlessness.
LYME DISEASE IS HAVING A PROFOUND IMPACT ON THE RURAL & UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS
Tick bite w/
rash: Fort Bragg, CA
Athletic, successful, thriving CPA practice
Loss of bladder control
Loss of balance, slow body movements
Diagnosis of ALS after seeing several
specialists from UC Davis and UCSF
, severe fatigue, weakness and use
of a cane
ALS specialist in Michigan changes
Use of walker, slurred speech, body jerks out
CPA practice cut down to 15 hours / week
Falls frequently with walker, very minimal control
of movements, speech almost unintelligible,
CPA practice cut down to 5 hours / week
Patient health deteriorated unnecessarily due to physicians
unwillingness to consider
as the diagnosis.
Patient health deteriorated unnecessarily due to physicians unwillingness to consider long-term antibiotic treatments at higher than ‘normal’ dosages.
CASE STUDY #2: Patient Receives Inadequate Treatment
Tick bite: Kern CountyHealthy Communications Engineer
Back to 100% HealthFinished antibiotics
Symptoms Return w/in 1 month
Diagnosed with Lyme24 days of antibiotics given
Worsening fatigue, depression and arthritis
Severe arthritis, abdominal pain, inability to concentrate, failure at work
Treatment That Patient Received
Treatment Patient Should Have Received
Patient health deteriorated unnecessarily due to insurance provider’s unwillingness to consider Lyme Disease as chronic and therefore unjustified as a medical need for treatment.CASE STUDY #3: Patient Treatment Disrupted Due To Insurance Denial Of Medical Necessity
Tick bite: Fallbrook, San Diego County
Trial of medicine stoppage for assessment & testing purposesRapid relapse
Insurance denial of IV treatmentRapid Relapse
IV medication begins rapid recoveryInsurance only pays for 1 month
70% Vision Loss, loss of balance, loss of bladder controlDiagnosed with MS
Vision normal after 2 years of treatment
Begins to recover after restarting oral meds
Out of pocket medical payments with medical assistance from RocheIV Treatment started again
Lyme Diagnosis and Treatment
Patient health deteriorated, becomes unable to work and becomes a major drain on family and state resources.CASE STUDY #4: Patient Becomes Another Statistic In State Assistance and Disability
Tick bite w/ bullseye rash
California can once again lead the nation in healing the sick and save money!
CALIFORNIA CAN IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT FOR LYME DISEASE PATIENTS IN RURAL & UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS