Lyme disease and how doctors who treat it are treated

There is a new documentary film that will be released in June called UNDER OUR SKIN There is no treatment for a person like you.

A suspenseful tale of microbes, medicine & money UNDER OUR SKIN investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic with staggering ramifications. Each year thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told that their symptoms are "all in their head." Following the stories of patients and physicians fighting the disease, the film brings into focus a haunting picture of our health care system and its inability to cope with a silent and growing terror, and of a medical establishment all too willing to put profits ahead of patients.

deer tick comparison

One of the stories detailed in the film is about a NC doctor in 2006, Dr. Jemsek, a nationally known authority on both HIV/AIDS and Lyme Borreliosis Complex, who was suspended, sued by BCBS of NC and ultimately put out of business in this state basically because he treated his patients who had Lyme disease.

Diagnoses and treatment of this disease can be both difficult and controversial. Unless caught in the early stages, Lyme Disease may need extended or expensive treatment that insurance companies will do most anything to keep from having to pay. As a result, there are few doctors who will treat patients with the disease now.

Dr. Jemsek has now reestablished his practice in South Carolina and not surprisingly has quite a backlog of patients.


in a lot of ways...

...this reminds me of a mrsa story--the procedures required to shut down mrsa in healthcare settings are expensive, and it can be difficult to get the funding that is needed to make it happen...yet the results are well worth the effort, both from a healthcare and from an economics perspective.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

I'm glad you brought up mrsa

I heard on the radio not long ago that it's been discovered that copper surfaces used in medical facilities could greatly reduce the spread of the disease. Ironically the old brass (alloy of copper) headboards that were once used in hospitals would be much safer if we still had them.

i looked this up...

...before i responded, and much to my surprise the press release describing this at was dated september 2006.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Wow, drag their feet much?

I know they are probably "studying" it 'til they're blue in the face but, it can't cost all that much to replace some hardware.

this will make a good story...

...and the "drag your feet much" aspect deserves to be addressed.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

I have a friend with Lyme

I have a friend with Lyme Disease. It's my understanding that the test for it often gives a false negative. This Doctor diagnoses without a positive test. My friend has had to travel about 150 miles one way for treatments in SC. He can no longer work, is on disability, has a wife and two step children. Insurance will not pay, they have spent every dime of their savings, borrowed everything they can, and are in danger of losing their doublewide. They have no more money to pay for treatments. He is under 50 and walks using a walker. This is a sad, sad case. To the credit of the Doctor mentioned is has said he will not abandon him since he ran out of money.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

That is a sad case

I wonder if it means there are NO doctors left in NC who are not afraid to treat Lyme disease. I wonder if that is true, is it because Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC has bullied all of them?

If this is not proof that insurance companies put profit above patients, I don't know what is.