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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 8, 2019 11:26 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 re-introducing legislation which will require health care practitioners to learn more about Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses as part of their continuing medical education.

In the last seven years, Pennsylvania has ranked highest in the country in the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease. In 2017 alone, Pennsylvania reported 11,900 new cases. This is approximately 40% of the nation’s cases in Pennsylvania. Further, a 2015 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection study was published confirming a high risk of Lyme disease in every county of the Commonwealth verifying that every Pennsylvanian, from Philadelphia to Erie, must take precautions to prevent the spread of Lyme disease and tick-borne illness.

I continue to hear from constituents on a regular basis about how extremely difficult it may be 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 these very difficult diseases.

In an effort to address this, I am re-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, focusing them on pertinent up to date information to help prevent, diagnose, and manage 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 HB96