Authorizes long term antibiotic treatment for certain patients with Lyme disease and provides that physicians shall not be subject to disciplinary action for such treatment.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to authorizing long term antibiotic treatment for certain patients with Lyme disease
PURPOSE: To authorize the usage of antibiotics as a therapeutic long term treatment for chronic Lyme Disease.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill amends the public health law to add a new article relating to the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. This new article defines Lyme disease to include infection which meets the surveillance criteria set forth by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other acute and chronic manifestations of such an infection as determined by the physician. In addition, it sets forth that licensed physicians may prescribe, administer or dispense long-term antibiotic therapy for a patient with Lyme disease.
This new article denies the right of the medical board to deny, revoke, or suspend the license of a physician or discipline any physician who prescribes, administers or dispense long-term antibiotic therapy for therapeutic purpose for a patient clinically diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
Finally, the article sets forth that nothing in this section denies the right of the board to deny, revoke, or suspend the license of any physician who prescribes, administers or dispense long-term antibiotic therapy for non-therapeutic reasons, or fails to monitor a patient receiving such treatment or who fails to maintain complete or accurate records.
Section 2 sets forth that this bill shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: Cases of Lyme Disease, which are often caused by bites from deer ticks, have grown tremendously in New York State in the past decade. While many cases are treated within 14-28 days after symptoms erupt and are successfully eradicated, chronic Lyme Disease can occur if treatment is not sought immediately. The symptoms can range from flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, chills, fever, and headache, to swelling of the joints, and heart and central nervous system problems if left untreated.
Currently, there is no definitive testing or treatment for chronic Lyme Disease. Doctors are left to treat patients in the best way possible, Prescribing antibiotics, a standard prescription for Lyme Disease, for therapeutic long term treatment of symptoms. However, because of the lack of consensus surrounding treatment and diagnosis for chronic Lyme Disease, and the cost of such treatments for insurance companies, these doctors are being investigated by insurers and licensing boards, with the possibility of losing their medical license. This legislation allows doctors to prescribe long term antibiotic therapy to a person with symptoms of chronic Lyme Disease if the diagnosis and treatment plan is documented in the Physician's record for the patient, and if the physician monitors the ongoing care of the patient receiving treatment. This will not only protect
doctors, hilt also ease the main of Patients who continue to suffer with this debilitating disease.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5520 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 16, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GIPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to authorizing long term antibiotic treatment for certain patients with Lyme disease THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 27-I to read as follows: ARTICLE 27-I TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE SECTION 2798-A. DEFINITIONS. 2798-B. DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE. S 2798-A. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOW- ING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: 1. "BOARD" MEANS THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CONDUCT; 2. "LYME DISEASE" MEANS THE CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS BY A PHYSICIAN OF THE PRESENCE IN A PATIENT OF SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS COMPATIBLE WITH ACUTE INFECTION WITH BORRELIA BURGDORFERI, OR WITH LATE STAGE OR CHRONIC INFECTION WITH BORRELIA BURGDORFERI, OR WITH COMPLICATIONS RELATED TO SUCH AN INFECTION. "LYME DISEASE" INCLUDES INFECTION WHICH MEETS THE SURVEILLANCE CRITERIA SET FORTH BY THE US CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC), BUT ALSO INCLUDES OTHER ACUTE AND CHRONIC MANIFES- TATIONS OF SUCH AN INFECTION AS DETERMINED BY THE PHYSICIAN; 3. "PHYSICIAN" MEANS PERSONS LICENSED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE OF THIS CHAPTER BY THE BOARD; 4. "THERAPEUTIC PURPOSE" MEANS THE USE OF ANTIBIOTICS TO CONTROL A PATIENT'S SYMPTOMS DETERMINED BY THE PHYSICIAN AS REASONABLY RELATED TO LYME DISEASE AND ITS SEQUELAE;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11023-02-3 S. 5520 2
5. "LONG TERM ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY" MEANS ADMINISTRATION OF ORAL, INTRA- MUSCULAR OR INTRAVENOUS ANTIBIOTICS, SINGLY OR IN COMBINATION, FOR PERI- ODS OF GREATER THAN FOUR WEEKS. S 2798-B. DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE. (A) A LICENSED PHYSICIAN MAY PRESCRIBE, ADMINISTER OR DISPENSE LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY TO A PATIENT FOR A THERAPEUTIC PURPOSE THAT ELIMINATES SUCH INFECTION OR CONTROLS A PATIENT'S SYMPTOMS UPON MAKING A CLINICAL DIAG- NOSIS THAT SUCH PATIENT HAS LYME DISEASE OR DISPLAYS SYMPTOMS CONSISTENT WITH A CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS OF LYME DISEASE, PROVIDED SUCH CLINICAL DIAG- NOSIS AND TREATMENT ARE DOCUMENTED IN THE PATIENT'S MEDICAL RECORDS BY SUCH LICENSED PHYSICIAN. NO PHYSICIAN SHALL BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION BY THE BOARD SOLELY FOR PRESCRIBING, ADMINISTERING OR DISPENSING LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY FOR A THERAPEUTIC PURPOSE FOR A PATIENT CLINICALLY DIAGNOSED WITH LYME DISEASE, IF SUCH DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT PLAN HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED IN THE PHYSICIAN'S MEDICAL RECORD FOR THAT PATIENT. (B) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION DENIES THE RIGHT OF THE BOARD TO DENY, REVOKE, OR SUSPEND THE LICENSE OF ANY PHYSICIAN OR DISCIPLINE ANY PHYSI- CIAN WHO PRESCRIBES, ADMINISTERS, OR DISPENSES LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY FOR A NON-THERAPEUTIC PURPOSE, OR WHO FAILS TO MONITOR THE ONGO- ING CARE OF A PATIENT RECEIVING LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY, OR WHO FAILS TO KEEP COMPLETE AND ACCURATE ONGOING RECORDS OF THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF A PATIENT RECEIVING LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.