|Posted:||July 26, 2017 10:43 AM|
|From:||Representative Rosemary M. Brown|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Lyme Disease Continuing Education for Health Practitioners|
|In the near future, I will be introducing legislation which will require health care practitioners to learn more about Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses as part of their continuing education.
In the last six years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2016, Pennsylvania reported 12,200 cases of Lyme disease, which translates to 122,000 new cases, and about 40% of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania alone.
I continue to hear from constituents on a regular basis about how extremely difficult it is to get diagnosed and the concerns they have over contracting Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. With Lyme disease posing a serious threat to the quality of life of many Pennsylvanians, it is vital that our health care providers receive the most up-to-date education and information in the prevention and diagnosis of this very difficult disease crisis.
In an effort to address this, I am introducing legislation that will require health care practitioners renewing a license or certification to meet a certain number of approved continuing education classes which address Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. Continuing education curriculum will be approved by the appropriate licensing boards, in consultation with key stakeholders. This legislation will not increase the amount of continuing education, rather it only requires that a portion of the current requirement of continuing education hours are comprised of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illness prevention, diagnosis, management and information.
With the increased risk in Pennsylvania for individuals, this nominal education will further assist our health care providers with information on preventing, diagnosing and managing these diseases. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can greatly reduce the risks of continued, diverse and chronic symptoms which can affect every system and organ of the human body and often every aspect of life.
Thank you for your consideration.
Introduced as HB2301