Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monthly Awareness Meeting, 7/28 @ 6 PM: Prevention


The Lyme Alliance of the Berkshires will be hosting our monthly tick-borne disease awareness meeting on Thursday, July 28th, 2016 starting at 6 PM at the Berkshire Athenaeum at 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, MA. The meeting will take place in the ground floor auditorium. Our topic this month will be prevention. The meeting will begin with a powerpoint presentation discussing the basics of Lyme disease and it's related infections, prevention and will also cover the reasons why prevention is so important and what needs to be done to improve the current situation surrounding tick-borne diseases in MA. Following the presentation, the meeting will transition to open discussion. Attendees are encouraged to bring a list of questions. It is not necessary for you to be ill with a tick-borne infection to benefit. Anyone can get Lyme disease and its related infections, no one is without risk. The event is free to the public!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Immediate Action Required: MA Lyme Insurance Mandate in Peril!

 
When the Massachusetts House and Senate sent a Lyme disease insurance mandate to the governor as a budget amendment, it was intended to ensure insurance coverage for Lyme disease treatment beyond 30 days, when prescribed by a licensed physician.

But Governor Baker rewrote that amendment, severely limiting insurance coverage to only those treatments prescribed by infectious disease specialists, rheumatologists, and neurologists. These specialists tend to adhere to the rigid, overly restrictive treatment guidelines established by the infectious Diseases Society of America.  The IDSA guidelines are one of the reasons this mandate was needed in the first place.

Baker’s plan would deny coverage for licensed physicians in family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine and other practice areas, who tend to oversee Lyme disease treatment in the community.  It also would trigger referrals to more expensive specialists and further delay treatment.

In a nutshell, Baker’s recommendations would reinforce the original problem of restricted insurance coverage, not eliminate it.

Fortunately, Governor Baker’s recommendations are NOT binding!  Our state legislators are not done fighting for us. However, they will need the following help from each and every one of us:

The single most important thing you can do right away is to contact your own state legislators and urge them to do the following:

1) Please reject the governor’s damaging recommendations for mandated treatment coverage in the FY’17 Budget!

And:

2) Please restore the language released by the Conference Committee and previously adopted by both the House and the Senate! This is the best language for mandated treatment coverage for Lyme disease.

Contacting your legislators is easy to do with the  
 
Follow the link it only takes a minute! This bill and the Governor's changes don't just affect chronic Lyme patients, it affects all patients, those with acute Lyme and those who will get it in the future. The Governor's move here also could set a dangerous precedent of government setting limits on what types of doctors could be seen for certain ailments, effectively eliminating patient choice!

We also encourage you to leave a comment on this article, letting your voice be heard about your what Governor Baker has done by altering an open-minded bill into an attack on Lyme patients. Share with everyone you know!