Tick Bite And Lyme Disease Testing
In Massachusetts we share our beautiful environment with some not so friendly insects and ticks seem to be the most common ones that we see at our clinic. Tick bites can cause infections often taking weeks of recovery time so it is best to be cautious when outdoors. Ticks can also be a nuisance to even household pets such as cats and dogs. Luckily, in most cases a tick bite is not a medical emergency requiring a visit to the ER. Tick bites and associated rashes can cause a lot of stress and anxiety and that is why our urgent care clinic is open late to ensure that you can get tested and treated immediately if you get bitten.
Touched By Lyme: A Program That Can Help You Pay For Lyme Treatment
Prescription Hope offers a way for patients with financial hardship to obtain low-cost prescription medications.
One of the biggest financial challenges facing many Lyme patients is the high cost of prescription medications. Some people have no insurance coverage for drugs in the first place. Others may have some, but benefits can run out before the need for them does.
More than 180 drug companies offer patient assistance programs, which offer free or low-cost drugs to people who cant pay for them, including many of the drugs commonly prescribed for Lyme patients. But all these companies have different rules and paperwork requirements. Tracking them down and dealing with complex application forms can be beyond the capability of a person who is extremely ill Its been reported that only 3% of the patients who apply on their own to these programs ever receive benefits.
I recently found out about a program that can help you, if you fall into certain income categories. Prescription Hope can help you obtain any of about 1500 brand name prescription medications. They do the legwork and the paperwork for you, matching your prescriptions with the correct pharmaceutical company. They work with your doctor to obtain signatures and any information needed. They complete and submit all paperwork directly with each drug company. They manage the process of refilling your medications and/or changing the dosage.
Get Financial Help For Lyme Disease Today
There may not be a definitive end to chronic Lyme disease, but a healthier future is definitely possible with the right care and treatment. If the thought of seeing a Lyme-literate doctor without insurance is daunting, or if youre wondering how to get help with bills, GoFundMe can help. to create a Lyme disease fundraiser and begin healing today.
Also Check: Antibiotics Used For Lyme Disease
A Small Bite Could Mean More
Bites from these tiny insects can sometimes transmit Lyme disease or other infections. If you or your children spend time outside, its important to regularly check for ticks on skin, clothing, and any belongings that youve carried with you. The CDCs website has great tips on preventing tick bites.
Its also important to familiarize yourself with Lyme disease so you can recognize the symptoms when you see them. This is particularly important because treating Lyme at the first onset of symptoms will help to lessen the duration of the disease and possibly reduce future complications.*
^MedExpress Urgent Care is honored to have earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval® for Ambulatory Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with The Joint Commissions performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects our commitment to providing safe and quality care for our patients. If you have a quality of care or safety concern, please utilize the contact form on our website so that we may work to provide resolution. If we are unable to resolve your concerns, you may contact The Joint Commission on their website.
Boy Gets Help To Pay For Lyme Treatment
Max’s wheelchair is parked, folded against the wall of his parents’ living room. The 13-year-old doesn’t need it at the moment.
The vertigo is manageable, but he’s still nauseous. His joints ache. His back creaks with sudden movement. His head throbs. He’s tired. And he has a low-grade fever.
This is what chronic Lyme disease, left undetected, feels like. It ravages the body. In Max’s case, he hasn’t seen the inside of a classroom since last October.
“I miss school. I miss my friends. It’s very difficult being isolated a lot of the time,” said Max, a former straight-A student.
In search of answers, his parents, Maria and Douglas Wheeler, took Max to a barrage of doctors and specialists — 18 to be exact. A pediatrician. A neurologist. A rheumatologist. An oncologist. None got to the bottom of what was making Max waste away, losing weight and muscle density and the ability to focus.
It wasn’t until his parents brought him to his 19th specialist, Dr. Charles Ray Jones, that Max tested positive for Lyme Borreliosis, Bartonella and Ehrlichiosis.
Jones is considered controversial in the medical community because he treats Lyme and other tick-borne diseases as chronic conditions in need of long-term antibiotics.
Read Also: Do Ticks In Florida Carry Lyme Disease
What Is The Treatment
Most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated with 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotics. Depending on the symptoms and when you were diagnosed, you may require a longer course or repeat treatment with antibiotics.
Some people experience symptoms that continue more than 6 months after treatment. Research continues into the causes of these persistent symptoms and possible treatment methods.
Example: Health Insurance Didnt Cover Chronic Lyme Treatment
In 1993, Reagan first came down with the flu-like symptoms that signify Lyme disease. She suspected that it was Lyme and was diagnosed by a doctor who immediately gave her a standard two-week regimen of oral antibiotics. Her symptoms dissipated, but not entirely, and she was down and out for nearly two months after being bitten.
Since then Reagans life has been punctuated by long, arduous relapses, with symptoms including nausea, extreme fatigue, short-term memory loss, depression and debilitating joint pain, just to name a few.
For the last two years in particular, I have had no quality of life, Reagan says.
Last August, Reagan experienced her worst relapse ever. So she searched for a nearby physician who specializes in Lyme disease .
The doctor put Reagan on an aggressive IV antibiotic treatment schedule in November that shouldve lasted six months. But after just one month of treatment her health insurance provider, United Healthcare, stopped paying, informing her that further treatment was deemed experimental and would not be covered. For the next two months Reagan spent more than $6,000 out of pocket for her treatment, but eventually the money ran out. She had no option but to stop.
The bottom line is if you suffer from chronic Lyme disease and dont have the money for treatment, youre screwed, Reagan says.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Booster Shot For Dogs
Treating Lyme Disease While Pregnant
Treatment for pregnant women with Lyme disease is similar to that of non-pregnant adults. However, certain antibiotics, such as doxycycline should not be used as it can affect your unborn child.
Research shows that there are no life-threatening effects on the child when a pregnant woman receives appropriate antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease.
How To Save Money On Lyme Disease Treatment
One of the most common questions we get asked is: How can I save money on my treatment? This is an essential question, because being able to afford necessary medications, supplements, and herbal therapies is key to achieving successful treatment outcomes. Whats more, you shouldnt have to choose between, say, buying groceries or paying your rent or mortgage and obtaining the tools you need to improve your health.
We understand that treating chronic Lyme disease can place an enormous financial strain on patients and their families. Although we probably cant entirely solve this problem for you, hopefully we can offer suggestions for easing some of the financial burdens associated with an illness that often comes with a high cost.
To help you, weve rounded up our five best money-saving strategies so that you can focus more on healing your body and less on how youre going to pay for your recovery.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If You Get Lyme Disease
Is Lyme Disease A Preexisting Condition
Because chronic Lyme disease is not officially recognized by the CDC, it is not considered a preexisting condition by insurers. But under the Affordable Care Act, it is illegal for health insurance companies to discriminate against anyone with preexisting conditions, regardless of what that condition is. A Lyme disease diagnosis, whether short-term or chronic, cannot cause your insurance rates or coverage to change.
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.
Don’t Miss: Fda Approved Lyme Disease Test
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 To Pay For Lyme Disease Treatment In Germany
Many US patients decide to travel overseas to Germany to get treated for chronic Lyme disease. For some, it remains the only option to get cured as Germany is one of the forerunners in Lyme disease treatment and offers therapies not available elsewhere or within the US.
However, collecting funds still remains one of the biggest challenges for such individuals for undergoing treatment abroad can easily add up to expenses of around $25,000 per patient.
Hopeful patients therefore need to find quick and effective ways to collect the finances needed for their treatment. And since the treatment is not government supported, many individuals have to resort to personal effort and assistance from family, friends and willing strangers to donate to their cause.
Just like any other type of disease, collecting funds for Lyme disease treatment can be carried out by the following ways:
You May Like: Can Lyme Disease Cause Jaw Pain
Should You Get A Test For Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is treated soon after a tick bite, the outlook is great. Most cases of Lyme disease respond to a 2- to 4-week round of antibiotics.
If Lyme disease goes untreated, it can be more difficult to eliminate. For some, it can lead to inflammation of the joints, heart, and nervous system. Progression of the disease, and its severity, can vary from person to person.
Lyme disease is staged in categories: acute, early disseminated, and late disseminated. Later stages of Lyme disease may involve multiple systems in the body.
The most common sign of Lyme disease is an erythema migrans, or bulls-eye rash. The rash often appears after a delay of 3 to 30 days after the tick bite, according to the
Research from 2014 suggests that the bulls-eye rash may last for 3 to 4 weeks. About 80 percent of people with Lyme disease have a single erythema migrans rash. But the bacteria can spread and lead to multiple rashes, indicating disseminated Lyme disease.
While a rash is the most common symptom of Lyme disease, it isnt the only one.
With disseminated Lyme disease, symptoms can also include neurologic conditions, such as cranial nerve palsy and meningitis that mimics aseptic meningitis. Heart inflammation can also be a sign of Lyme disease.
If youre experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, an at-home test may help you identify Lyme disease. With the click of a button, a test can be shipped to your front door.
To select the best tests, we look at studies and user reviews.
What If Lyme Disease Goes Untreated
If Lyme disease goes untreated, it can affect other systems in the body. According to the , common symptoms of later stage Lyme disease include:
- severe headaches and neck stiffness
- additional erythema migrans rashes on other areas of the body
- facial palsy, which is a loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face
- arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and other large joints
- intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat
- episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
- inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- nerve pain
- shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
Also Check: How Do They Test For Lyme Disease
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 Will Pregnancy Affect Treatment For Lyme Disease
Early treatment of Lyme disease during pregnancy is important. Thats because if Lyme disease is left 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.
Recommended Reading: What Are The First Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Why Is Lyme Disease Not Covered By Insurance
As the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic that swept across the globe, another pandemic is lurking in their backyard. Tick season is here and thousands of families will begin to experience the impacts of forgotten tick bites received during the spring and upcoming summer months only to begin a journey of education and acceptance.
Unaware of the potential complications and financial resources required, thousands of families will begin to visit dozens of doctors that will span over the course of years and potentially decades to pursue alternative treatment that is often stigmatized by the medical community and not covered by insurance companies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Lyme Disease is the fastest growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the United States, overtaking Zika Virus and West Nile Virus, with the number of cases reportedly increasing annually nearly 25-fold since reporting began in 1982.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are currently 300,000 new cases of Lyme Disease each year, but they state there are no accurate tests to quantify the number of new cases, which could well be in the millions.
A tick bite and bulls eye rash are the two most common physical markers for an infection of the spirochete bacteria known as bacterium borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks.
Lyme Disease Test Overview
A Lyme disease test will detect antibodies to the Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi in the blood, according to WebMD.com.
An antibody test can either be drawn from the fluid within the spine or joints, or it can be via a simple blood test however, if your blood is drawn, it can take up to two months after becoming infected before the antibodies are detected. Once these antibodies form, they can stay in your system for years, even after a treatment plan is developed.
An antibody test often starts with the ELISA test, as mentioned in the table above and recommended by the CDC, followed by the Western blot test to confirm the positive results of an ELISA test. Both of these tests work in the same way as that of a blood test. At your local doctors office or lab, a blood sample is drawn from your upper arm and sent off for analysis.
Test results are readily available within one to two weeks.
Don’t Miss: Where Can You Get A Lyme Disease Test
You Do Not Usually Need Tests To Show That You Have Lyme Disease
In most cases, theres a clear sign of Lyme diseasea painless, spreading rash that often grows to look like a bulls eye. If you have this rash, and you recently had a tick bite or were in an area known for Lyme disease, you dont need a test. Instead, your doctor can just start treating you with antibiotics, as appropriate.