Albany, New York, (November 27th, 2001) ---Lyme disease patients from many states across the country will be traveling to Albany to attend a New York State Assembly Health Committee hearing focusing on the issues surrounding chronic Lyme disease.
Lyme patients have been actively advocating public hearings to discuss the scientific/medical controversy about Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment, a controversy that centers primarily on symptoms that persist beyond the cookbook standard treatment for the disease. The medical controversy has given rise to disputes about insurance reimbursement and allegations of professional misconduct.
Patients have charged that the Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), the licensing board for New York physicians, has inappropriately taken sides in this controversy by targeting and attempting to revoke the licenses of doctors who are diagnosing and treating chronic Lyme disease patients based on clinical evaluations of individual patients. According to patients, 70% of physicians who treat chronic Lyme disease in New York State have come under the scrutiny of the OPMC.
Newly emerging science, particularly the confirming of multiple infectious organisms in the ticks that transmit Lyme disease, lends credence to case-by-case treatment methodology by Lyme disease physicians, since symptom intensity and number of diseases varies in each patient.
Some of the early stage characteristics of Lyme disease include flu like symptoms, skin rashes, or joint inflammation. Diagnosis is difficult due to a painless bite often not producing a rash, symptoms which mimic other illnesses, and unreliable tests for the disease. Consequently, misdiagnosis of this disease is common, and delayed treatment may result in disease that produces chronic or long-term central nervous system, cardiac, and ophthalmologic manifestations.
The hearing will take place before the Assembly Health Committee at 10 AM in Albany at the Legislative Office Building, Hearing Room B, 2nd Floor.
Eva Haughie 631-878-6657
Kay Lyon 978-468-6336