Someone has finally concluded that Lyme Disease (especially under treated) is very expensive. It turns out Lyme Disease costs the US Healthcare system between $712 million and $1.3 billion a year—or nearly $3,000 per patient on average. 3,000 a person doesn’t sound to bad until you consider that if a patient is diagnosed correctly and quickly after the tick bite they can be cured with a $4 bottle of antibiotics. I’ve addressed this issue a few times before here and here.
Study author Emily Adrion said, “Regardless of what you call it, our data show that many people who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease are in fact going back to the doctor complaining of persistent symptoms, getting multiple tests and being retreated. They cost the health care system about $1 billion a year and it is clear that we need effective, cost-effective and compassionate management of these patients to improve their outcomes even if we don’t know what to call the disease.” NEWSFLASH if you ignore the fact that somebody is sick they don’t magically improve, they get sicker!
Being sick is expensive and having Lyme is even worse because insurance rarely covers it. The study found Lyme patients were 87 percent more likely to visit the doctor and 71 percent more likely to visit the emergency room within the year following diagnosis. They were nearly five times more likely to have any PTLDS-related diagnosis—fatigue, nerve pain, joint pain, cognitive troubles—within that year and were 5.5 times more likely to have a diagnosis of debility and excessive fatigue. So maybe, just maybe these numbers tell us that Lyme patients are not being adequately treated. If Lyme patients are 87% more likely to visit the doctor, is it possible that not every single one of them are faking this illness? Maybe doctors could actually learn something from this? I know that’s expecting a lot, but I live to dream. /sarcasm