http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs. ... /206250313
Lyme disease treatment faces scrutiny
By Cynthia Mccormick
June 25, 2012
The state Lyme disease commission is exploring obstacles that sufferers face to obtaining insurance coverage for recommended treatments, according to a spokesman for one participant.
Many constituents complain that insurance companies routinely deny antibiotic care, especially long-term care, said Seth Rolbein, senior adviser to state Sen. Dan Wolf, D-Harwich. Wolf serves on a subcommittee that is looking into whether legislation is needed to force insurers to accept physician diagnoses and treatment plans for tick-borne diseases, Rolbein said.
"The more we dive into it the more we realize there needs to be a legislative remedy," he said.
He said Wolf's subcommittee is preparing a draft of recommendations in time for the Massachusetts Lyme Commission's next meeting in mid-July.
The commission was established last year by the state Legislature to explore the reasons behind the under-diagnosis and reported under-treatment of people with Lyme disease.
The driving force behind the creation of the commission was state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, whose son had Lyme disease.
Wolf was co-sponsor, Rolbein said.
The 21-member commission's Cape representation also includes Brenda Boleyn, a biologist and retired Cape Cod Community College professor, and Dr. Sam T. Donta, a Boston University infectious disease expert who has an office in Falmouth.
The commission is scheduled to make a full report to the Legislature by April 1.
It is charged with looking into the cost of screening for Lyme, including among schoolchildren, developing educational materials and educating the medical community about acute and chronic cases of Lyme.
The Cape and Islands were ground zero for the Lyme disease epidemic in Massachusetts, but the disease, transmitted by deer ticks, has spread all across the state.