Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the issues facing individuals afflicted with Lyme disease. As you well know, untreated or improperly treated, Lyme disease has a devastating impact on individuals over time. I appreciate hearing from my constituents on issues that are of importance to public health.
You may be interested to know that HB 798, was introduced in March 2007 in response to concerns regarding Lyme disease. The bill directed the Department of Health to establish a task force to address the issues surrounding Lyme disease and other tick borne infections. The task force is directed to investigate and make recommendations to the Department regarding the prevention of Lyme disease in the Commonwealth. The Department of Health is also directed to develop a program of public and professional education on Lyme disease in order to raise awareness of the long term effects of misdiagnoses and to develop public information and education on Lyme disease.
HB 798 further provided that a physician may prescribe long-term antibiotic therapy for late stage Lyme disease. The bill requires all health care insurance policies must cover treatment for Lyme disease, including long term therapies, when prescribed by the treating physician.
The bill also established parameters for misconduct proceedings relating to complaints filed by a business entity such as a health insurance company against a physician regarding treatment of Lyme disease.
In September and November 2007, the House Health and Human Services Committee held two public hearings on HB 798 to gather additional information on the issues surrounding Lyme disease. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass out of Committee and expired at the end of the 2007-2008 Legislative Sessions.
Representative Phillips, the prime sponsor of this bill will be re-introducing this legislation in the near future. Please be assured that I will keep your comments in mind as this bill moves through the legislative process in the 2009-2010 Legislative Session.
Thank you again for your comments on this critical public health issue.
John M. Perzel
[ 02-17-2009, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: eric555 ]
Posts: 570 | From philadelphia, pa | Registered: Dec 2008
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