PA 09-128—sHB 6200
Public Health Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTICS FOR THE TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE
SUMMARY: Beginning July 1, 2009, this act allows a licensed physician to prescribe, administer, or dispense long-term antibiotic therapy to a patient for a therapeutic purpose that eliminates the infection or controls the patient's symptoms if (1) a clinical diagnosis is made that the patient has Lyme disease or has symptoms consistent with such a diagnosis and (2) the physician documents the diagnosis and treatment in the patient's medical record.
Also beginning July 1, 2009, the act prohibits (1) the Department of Public Health from initiating disciplinary action against a physician and (2) the Connecticut Medical Examining Board from taking disciplinary action solely because the physician prescribed, administered, or dispensed long-term antibiotic therapy to a patient clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease. The physician must document the clinical diagnosis and treatment in the patient's record.
The act specifies that, subject to the limits on discipline of physicians treating Lyme disease established by the act, it does not limit the ability of the Connecticut Medical Examining Board to take disciplinary action for other reasons against physicians, including entering into a consent order, for violations of existing law concerning their practice of medicine.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009
LYME DISEASES DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
The act defines “Lyme disease” as the clinical diagnosis, by a state-licensed physician, of the presence in a patient of signs or symptoms compatible with acute infection with borrelia burgdorferi; with late stage or persistent or chronic infection with borrelia burgdorferi, or complications related to such an infection; or such other strains of borrelia that, beginning July 1, 2009, are recognized by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a cause of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease also includes an infection that meets the surveillance criteria of CDC, and other acute and chronic manifestations of such an infection as determined by a physician according to a clinical diagnosis based on medical history and physical examination alone, or in conjunction with testing that provides supportive data for the diagnosis.
“Long-term antibiotic therapy” means administering oral, intramuscular, or intravenous antibiotics, singly or in combination, for periods exceeding four weeks.
This is the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The bacterium belongs to a small group of bacteria, called spirochetes, whose appearance resembles a coiled spring.
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