Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lyme bill passes in Maine!

Today, LD422, An Act To Improve Access to Treatments for Lyme Disease, silently passed into law. The Governor took no action on it and it has passed its required waiting period since Enactment by the House and Senate. Yes, indeed, it is law. It still needs to wait its required 90 days from the adjournment of the Legislature before it fully takes effect.
I want you to fully absorb what this means. The very first time we introduced a doctor protection bill in Maine, this group was able to shepherd that bill through Committee (boy, was that a battle), through the House, and through the Senate with overwhelming victories in both bodies of the Legislature. 
The Legislative Working Group, made up of 8 women from around the state, along with tremendous help from our bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Deb Sanderson, a tremendous idea from Rep. Ryan Michael Fecteau, in consultation with Rep. Sanderson, to get the bill out of Committee, and with help from our lobbyist friend, Bill Whitten, passed this bill into law by overcoming MaineHealth (the Maine consortium of hospitals), Maine Medical Association (loosely speaking, Maine doctors "union"), Infectious Disease doctors in Maine (effectively, IDSA of Maine) and Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. We appreciate all the contact that the public made with your legislators. You most certainly made a difference. 

Today, David beat Goliath!

-The Legislative Working Group

Here is the language that was in the final draft.......ND's, PA's and NP's were negotiated out of the language.


2. Lyme disease treatment. A physician licensed under this chapter may prescribe, administer or dispense long-term antibiotic therapy for a therapeutic purpose to eliminate infection or to control a patient's symptoms upon making a clinical diagnosis that the patient has Lyme disease or displays symptoms consistent with a clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease. The physician shall document the clinical diagnosis and treatment in the patient's medical record. The clinical diagnosis must be based on knowledge obtained through medical history and physical examination only or in conjunction with testing that provides supportive data for the clinical diagnosis.

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