Saturday, August 7, 2010

Physicians harrassed for treating Lyme patients

A North Carolina physician, Dr. Kovacs is reported to be harrassed for treating Lyme patients.  Below are excerpts from a story entitled, "N.C. doctors conceal Lyme disease expertise" by Caitlin Coaklye published in News fro the Mecklenburg Times on 8/6/10.
"Jemsek treated patients like Kovacs with long-term courses of oral and intravenous antibiotics, often for years at a time. The unusual and arguably dangerous methods attracted the attention of the North Carolina Medical Board in 2005.

By diagnosing the disease without laboratory tests or evidence like Lyme’s signature bull’s-eye rash — which one in four patients never develop — by prescribing the long courses of antibiotics and by failing to inform his patients that his methods ran outside generally accepted practices, Jemsek had, the board ruled in August 2006, engaged in unprofessional conduct. The board suspended Jemsek’s license with stay for 12 months.

Jemsek declined to comment for this story. According to his website, shortly after the board’s notice, the dominant insurance provider for the North Carolina market, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, withdrew insurance reimbursement for Jemsek’s services from late 2005 onward. The withdrawal immediately put the Rosedale Medical Clinic, which Jemsek opened in February 2006, in debt and, Jemsek claimed, led to his personal and professional bankruptcy.

A Blue Cross spokesman would not confirm or deny whether insurance reimbursements were withheld from Jemsek’s clinic nor answer questions relating to the policies for Lyme disease coverage, including the claim that there’s no medical benefit to IV antibiotic therapy for longer than four weeks, that were released in March 2006."

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