Lyme patients file lawsuit against IDSA and insurers over treatment denials

Excerpted from LymeDsease.org :  (11/14/2017)

TEXARKANA, Texas (CN) – Twenty people claim in a federal antitrust lawsuit that Lyme disease victims are being forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment because health insurers are denying coverage with bogus guidelines established by their paid consultants, who falsely say the disease can always be cured with a month of antibiotics.

Suffering from migraine headaches, an irregular heartbeat, hearing problems and nerve pain, lead plaintiff Lisa Torrey says in the lawsuit filed Friday in Texarkana, Texas federal court that she visited 36 doctors, some of whom misdiagnosed her with multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia and said her symptoms “were all in her head,” before she was properly diagnosed with Lyme disease.

People get the disease from the bites of infected ticks and many break out with a large red rash around the bite that looks like a bullseye.

There were more than 28,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the United States in 2015, 95 percent of which came from  14 states in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency estimates that 300,000 people are infected with the disease each year.

Torrey – represented by lead attorney Eugene Egdorf with Shrader & Associates in Houston – lays part of the blame for her lack of health insurance coverage on the Infectious Diseases Society of America, or IDSA, a medical association whose 11,000 members research diseases and lead panel discussions about them. IDSA also develops clinical practice guidelines.

Torrey claims in her lawsuit that several major health insurers decided in the 1990s that treating Lyme disease was too expensive and bad for their bottom lines, so they paid IDSA-affiliated doctors – who were researching, not treating, Lyme disease – to establish arbitrary guidelines in 2000 that said the disease could be treated with 28 days of antibiotics.

“These doctors knew that short term antibiotics of twenty-eight days failed to treat up to 40 percent of patients with Lyme disease.  This means more than 100,000 Lyme disease patients every year would be untreated if the IDSA guidelines were followed,” the lawsuit states.

For more: https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-patients-sue-idsa-insurers/

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~ by Rob on November 16, 2017.

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