Insurance Coverage For Lyme Treatment Becomes Law
The state legislature has adopted a new bill requiring insurance companies to cover long-term antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease, despite considerable pushback from the medical and health insurance communities, and from Gov. Charlie Baker, who twice remanded the bill in the final weeks before the legislative session closed in July.
In covering the long-term treatment of Lyme disease, insurance companies must now cover experimental drugs as well, including for off-label use, as long as the drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Governor Baker, a former health insurance executive, vetoed the bill in late July, citing a lack of medical evidence to support the mandate, and raising concerns about the coverage of experimental drugs. But the House and Senate held fast to their original language and adopted the bill almost unanimously in the last two days of the session.
Chronic Lyme has been the subject of much debate in the medical community, with two general camps emerging in the last 10 years. One argues for the treatment of Lyme symptoms for however long they last, while the other argues that long-term antibiotic treatment is ineffective and unproven to work. The new bill, which received final approval by the House on July 31, builds on an existing law that allows doctors to prescribe long-term treatment without censure.
Rep. Tim Madden and Sen. Dan Wolf, who represent the Cape and Islands, were among the more than 140 lawmakers that co-sponsored the bill.
Touched By Lyme: When You Cant Afford To Pay For Lyme Medications
NeedyMeds.org provides information about patient assistance programs for medicines and other health care costs.
NeedyMeds.org doesnt supply medicine or financial assistance. Instead, its an information service about programs available for people who cant afford to pay for medications or other health care. Theres no charge to access their information.
From the NeedyMeds website:
Patient Assistance Programs
Programs called PAPs, which are created by pharmaceutical companies, provide free or discounted medicine to people who are unable to afford them. Each program has its own qualifying criteria.
To find a PAP that you may qualify for:
Look for all of your medications, not just the most expensive ones. If your medicine does not appear on the Brand Name or Generic Name lists, then it is not available through a PAP. Click here to learn about options if this is the case.
Additional NeedyMeds Resources:
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Biologic Markers Of Antibiotic
Badawi and colleagues noted that Lyme disease may result in substantial morbidity, primarily from persistent LA that could develop into A-RLA. These researchers evaluated a range of biomarkers for their potential predictive value in the development of A-RLA. They conducted a systematic review of studies examining biomarkers among patients with A-RLA from Medline via Ovid, Embase and Web of Science databases and identified a total of 26 studies for qualitative analysis. All studies were of patient populations from the USA, with the exception of 1 from Europe. These investigators identified an array of biomarkers that are commonly modulated in the A-RLA compared with subjects with antibiotic-responsive LA. These included a range of inflammatory markers , factors along the innate and adaptive immune response pathways and an array of miRNA species . The authors concluded that the evidence base of biologic markers for A-RLA is limited. However, in the small set of studies conducted to-date, a range of promising biomarkers have been identified. Cytokines and chemokines related to Th17 pathway together with a number of miRNAs species may be promising candidates in the prediction of A-RLA. These investigators stated that within well-powered and properly designed studies, a panel of multiple biomarkers may yield clinically relevant prediction of the possible resistance at the time of LA first diagnosis.
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Noras Lyme Disease Treatment
When Noras health began to rapidly decline more than a decade after she was bitten by a tick, she suspected she might have Lyme disease. With a sense of humor and plenty of determination, Nora started an online fundraiser to pay for treatments at a reputable Lyme disease center in Idaho. She raised over $22,000 that put her on the path to recovery.
How Will Pregnancy Affect Treatment For Lyme Disease
Early treatment of Lyme disease during pregnancy is important. Thats because if Lyme disease is untreated, it can affect the placenta. According to the CDC , transmission of Lyme disease from mother to fetus is possible, though rare.
For pregnant people, treatment includes a round of antibiotics. Certain treatments for Lyme disease may not be used, as they can affect the fetus. If you suspect that you have Lyme disease, talk with a healthcare professional immediately.
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Does Lyme Make Horses Spooky
About 10% to 15% of the horses in my practice area become dangerously spooky when infected with Lyme. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it may be due to one of the different strains. Sometimes Lyme appears along with or before/after cases of equine protozoal myelitis , particularly in older horses.
What Happens During Lyme Disease Testing
Lyme disease testing is usually done with your blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
For a Lyme disease blood test:
- A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
If you have symptoms of Lyme disease affecting your nervous system, such as neck stiffness and numbness in hands or feet, you may need a test of cerebrospinal fluid . CSF is a clear liquid found in your brain and spinal cord. During this test, your CSF will be collected through a procedure called a lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap. During the procedure:
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The Swiss Agent: Long
Lyme disease is a serious problem here in the United States and we really need to find solutions to some of the limitations that we have, particularly in diagnosing this infection, said Claudia Molins, a microbiologist at the CDC. We want a test that can be used within the first two weeks of infection and that does not rely on antibody production.
So Molins and her colleagues are focusing on metabolomics an approach that, rather than testing directly for the immune response to the infection, instead looks for a wide spectrum of collateral damage.
Specifically theyre looking for so-called metabolite biosignatures: the litany of sugars, peptides, lipids, amino acids, fatty acids, and nucleotides normally present in the blood.
Infections like Lyme, the thinking goes, change the levels of these things and they do so in a predictable, measurable way.
Molins and her team tested that hypothesis by tapping a unique CDC resource freezers filled with well-characterized blood serum samples. They used serum from 89 early Lyme patients, within the first month of infection, and 50 healthy controls to develop an algorithm to detect Lyme blood signatures.
The researchers then tested that algorithm on a larger sample of serums and found that they could diagnose 88 percent of early Lyme cases, and could differentiate Lyme from other diseases 93 percent of the time. The results were published in a 2015 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Cpt Codes Covered If Selection Criteria Are Met:
0041U Borrelia burgdorferi, antibody detection of 5 recombinant protein groups, by immunoblot, IgM 0042U Borrelia burgdorferi, antibody detection of 12 recombinant protein groups, by immunoblot, IgG 0043U Tick-borne relapsing fever Borrelia group, antibody detection to 4 recombinant protein groups, by immunoblot, IgM 0044U Tick-borne relapsing fever Borrelia group, antibody detection to 4 recombinant protein groups, by immunoblot, IgG 84181 Western Blot, with interpretation and report, blood or other body fluid 84182 Western Blot, with interpretation and report, blood or other body fluid, immunological probe for band identification, each 86617 Borrelia burgdorferi confirmatory test 86618 Immunofluorescence, per specimen initial single antibody stain procedure 88350 Immunofluorescence, per specimen each additional single antibody stain procedure 96365 Intravenous infusion, for therapy, prophylaxis, or diagnosis initial, up to 1 hour + 96366 each additional hour, + 96367 additional sequential infusion, up to 1 hour + 96368 concurrent infusion 96369 Subcutaneous infusion for therapy or prophylaxis initial, up to 1 hour, including pump set-up and establishment of subcutaneous infusion site + 96370 each additional hour + 96371 additional pump set-up with establishment of new subcutaneous infusion site 99601 Home infusion/specialty drug administration, per visit + 99602 each additional hour
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What Do The Results Mean
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a two-test process of your sample:
- If your first test result is negative for Lyme disease, you don’t need any more testing.
- If your first result is positive for Lyme disease, your blood will get a second test.
- If both results are positive for Lyme disease and you also have symptoms of infection, you probably have Lyme disease.
Positive results don’t always mean a Lyme disease diagnosis. In some cases, you can have a positive result but not have an infection. Positive results may also mean you have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
If your lumbar puncture results are positive, it may mean you have Lyme disease, but you might need more tests to confirm a diagnosis.
If your health care provider thinks you have Lyme disease, he or she will prescribe antibiotic treatment. Most people who are treated with antibiotics in the early stage of disease will make a complete recovery.
The Blood Tests Can Have False Positives
The blood tests can trigger false positives, suggesting that you have the disease when you really dont. This can happen in up to one out of four tests.
This can lead to unnecessary treatment with antibiotics. These drugs are usually safe, but they sometimes cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. In rare cases, they can even cause dangerous allergic reactions.
Using too many antibiotics can also lead to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. This means that bacteria in your body may get stronger and more difficult to treat with antibiotics in the future.
A false positive can also lead to more unneeded blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and doctor visits.
If you have a false positive, you may not get treated for the real cause of your pain. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes joint pain. It can lead to permanent and severe joint damage if you do not start taking the right medicines as early as possible.
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How Will My Lyme Disease Diagnosis Affect My Health Insurance
Have you ever checked for ticks after going for a hike or walking through tall grass? If so, youre probably familiar with the risks of Lyme disease the most common vector-borne illness in the United States. Every year, over 30,000 people in America will contract Lyme disease from tick bites, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that the actual number is probably much higher, around 476,000. So, is Lyme disease covered by health insurance?
The effects of Lyme disease can differ in severity for those who contract it, depending on a variety of factors like age and preexisting conditions. If youve received a Lyme disease diagnosis, you might be wondering how it will affect your health insurance and what treatment will be covered by your provider. Read on to find out!
How Much Does Lyme Disease Cost To Treat
The price of antibiotics for pets and humans has been increasing in recent years a two-week dose of doxycycline can cost $400 in some areas. Ask your veterinarian if they use a compounding pharmacy, which can help manage cost.
The Healthy Paws plan covers Lyme disease treatment as long as it is not a pre-existing condition and the 15-day waiting period has passed before it is contracted. The insurance does not cover vaccines or preventive treatment.
Blood tests usually run around $80, depending on the methods used. Pet parents also must pay the veterinary exam fee, which is $40 to $100+, depending on your location. However, a pup diagnosed with Lyme is looking at hospitalization and chronic condition treatment. For example, Seans claims for Paisley included emergency treatment, hospitalization, and ongoing medications totaling $6,969, of which hes been reimbursed $6,004 .
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Investigation Of Suspected Neurological Lyme Disease
The diagnosis of neurological Lyme disease can only be confirmed by examination of the CSF and a paired serum. A definite diagnosis is based on the presence of a pleocytosis in the CSF, demonstration of intrathecal synthesis of specific antibodies to Borrelia species in CSF by comparison to serum and the presence of neurological symptoms. It is not possible to confirm intrathecal synthesis and hence definite neurological Lyme disease without a paired serum .
In 2018 RIPL is introducing a service for the detection of intrathecal synthesis of Borrelia-specific antibodies which is summarised in this flow diagram.
Clinicians may ask for guidance on laboratory testing of CSF from RIPL if required.
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Why It Is Done
A Lyme disease test is done to diagnose Lyme disease in people who have symptoms of Lyme disease. Symptoms may include:
- An expanding red rash with a pale center. This is sometimes called a “bull’s-eye” rash.
- Extreme tiredness.
- Headache and stiff neck.
- Muscle and joint pain.
Symptoms of chronic Lyme disease infection include joint pain, stiffness, and problems with the heart, brain, or nerves.
Testing is most accurate when you have risk factors for Lyme disease or symptoms of the disease.
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What If Your Lyme Disease Test Is Positive
Its important to note that a positive result doesnt mean you have a diagnosis of Lyme disease. The tests will show that antibodies are present in your blood, but a doctor will need to order another type of test before you get an official diagnosis.
If someone gets a positive at-home test, definitely see your doctor, says Dr. Puja Uppal, a board certified family medicine physician and the chief medical officer at Think Healthy.
Alpha Lipoic Acid Or Healing Detox Drips Testing For Other Tick
0316U Borrelia burgdorferi , OspA protein evaluation, urine 78608 – 78609 Brain imaging, positron emission tomography metabolic or perfusion evaluation 78811 – 78816 Amino acids, 2 to 5 amino acids, quantitative, each specimen 82533 Hydroxyindolacetic acid, 5- 83520 Immunoassay for analyte other than infectious agent antibody or infectious agent antigen quantitative, not otherwise specified 84260 Complement antigen, each component 86161 functional activity, each component 86162 total hemolytic 86171 Complement fixation tests, each antigen 86332 Immune complex assay 86353 Lymphocyte transformation, mitogen or antigen induced blastogenesis 86355 B cells, total count 86357 Natural killer cells, total count 86359 T cells total count 86360 T cells absolute cd4 and cd8 count including ratio 87230 Toxin or antitoxin assay, tissue culture 87449 Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique, , qualitative or semiquantitative multiple-step method, not otherwise specified, each organism 96372 Therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic injection subcutaneous or intramuscular 99183 Physician attendance and supervision of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, per session
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Crowdfunding For Lyme Disease
Without the help of insurance to pay for expensive treatments, thousands have turned to crowdfunding to offset Lyme disease costs and pay for out of pocket medical expenses. Crowdfunding allows people to tap into their network for support during difficult times. By launching an online fundraiser, you begin finding financial relief right away.
GoFundMes fundraising platform means you can keep more of the donations you receive, and its simple to withdraw your funds right when you need them. And if you need help getting started, our blog offers fundraising tips and a medical crowdfunding guide that offers advice specific to medical fundraising.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness, and the most commonly prescribed treatment is an oral antibiotic regimen. More severe cases such as occasions when Lyme is left untreated for too long might require three to four weeks of treatment, whereas other cases can be resolved in as few as 10 days. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America , most Lyme disease is treated within a few weeks. However, outcomes vary, and many people who contract Lyme find themselves battling symptoms long after the antibiotic regimen has ceased.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases states that long-term symptoms can include persistent pain, joint and muscle aches, fatigue, impaired cognitive function, or unexplained numbness. These symptoms exist despite the fact that the antibiotic treatment has finished and no more evidence of an active Lyme infection can be found in serological testing.
Its also important to note that Lyme disease is commonly misdiagnosed because the bacteria is difficult to detect using the current blood tests. Fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, and viral infections can all be misdiagnosed as Lyme disease because they exhibit similar symptoms. Its important to discuss different possibilities with your doctor to ensure that you are receiving the proper treatment for your condition.
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