Lyme Time

Patients: Know Your Rights

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 10:00am

Believe it or not, there are still doctors who claim that Lyme is nothing more than mass hysteria ~ even with statistical data showing confirmation of the rise in new cases. How can this be? How can medical professionals still deny that Lyme is a serious health risk here in Maine? How can they argue with patients who present with information in hand about research, testing and treatment? And they do argue with the patients. They argue when a patient asks for their bloodwork to be sent to Igenex, the leading tick-borne disease laboratory for over 25 years (located in California). Patients have the right to have their bloodwork sent anywhere and yet they are being denied this option because providers use whoever their facility is networked with. Interesting…

Medical providers tell patients that Igenex scams patients and pays doctors for their usage. This is not true but I am beginning to wonder, by denying a patient the right to use whatever lab they want and by only using the lab that their medical office is contracted with, who’s scamming who here? Many providers don't trust Igenex just because they don't take insurance. To those providers I ask,” then why aren't you using the tick-borne disease experienced labs that do take insurance??” Daily, I get call calls and emails from patients asking what tests should their PCPs be using, which is why patient AND provider resources and educational links are on our website.

They say that Igenex is not FDA-approved. Laboratories are not required to be FDA approved. They are, however, required to be CLIA approved. The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulate laboratory testing and require clinical laboratories to be certificated by their state as well as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) before they can accept human samples for diagnostic testing. In general terms, the CLIA regulations establish quality standards for laboratory testing performed on specimens from humans, such as blood, body fluid and tissue, for the purpose of diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease, or assessment of health. Igenex, MDL and Galaxy Labs are just a few of over 260,000 US labs that are CLIA-approved and offer highly reliable tests sand panels tarting at $495.

This is a smoke screen practiced by doctors who a) do not understand how labs work and are federally regulated and b) do not support the new evidence-based scientific research. And why? Why is this still so controversial in 2020?

Did you know that vitamins and supplements are not FDA approved? They are regulated by the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Now you know and does that change how you feel about taking that One A Day vitamin or Melatonin before bed? I didn’t think so.

Medical providers who do not fully understand tick-borne disease will use this argument every time and it back fires, every time. It only shows their patient what they don’t know. Medical providers who continue to spread “fake news” about how other medical providers and labs work, well folks, that is the real scam and it goes to show what they don’t know.