I've been trying to learn more about this bill and found the following analysis. It has passed in the House of Representatives and now heads to the senate. It would take effect July 1, 2009.
sHB 6200 (as amended by House “A”)*
AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF LONG-TERM ANTIBIOTICS FOR THE TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE.
Beginning July 1, 2009, this bill 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 bill 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 bill specifies that, subject to the limits on discipline of physicians treating Lyme disease established by the bill, 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.
*House Amendment “A” (1) specifies that the physician'<!--’-->s prescribing and administering long-term antibiotic therapy must be for therapeutic purposes that eliminates the infection or controls the symptoms; (2) specifies that a Lyme disease determination by a physician must be (a) based on a medical history and physical examination alone or (b) in conjunction with testing supporting the determination; (3) clarifies that the bill allows the Medical Examining Board to take disciplinary action against physicians for other reasons; and (4) makes technical changes.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009
LYME DISEASES DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
The bill 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; or with late stage or persistent or chronic infection with borrelia burgdorferi, or with 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. Borrelia are very small and cannot be seen without a microscope.