A week long intensive collaboration between LLMP’s (Lyme Literate Medical Physicians) and Insurance Companies yielded major results. 2015 marked the year that Lyme Physicians finally got sick of listening to their patients bitch and complain about insurance issues and the fact that they won’t accept any. None. At all. Not a single plan. Making the decision to put their heads together and come up with a workable option, the doctors met at an undisclosed luxury resort for rounds of golf, bottomless glasses of martinis and a half-hearted group meeting with the heads of America’s top Insurance companies.
Not much was accomplished until day 3, while hungover, imbibing on the hair of last night’s dog and a sense of impending doom of yet another year of listening to broke, angry, sick people they were able to work out an acceptable arrangement for all. The LLMP’s agreed to stop using Lyme Disease billing code ICD-9-CM 088.891 and to only use going forward the following codes:
Lupus ICD-9-CM 715.090
MS ICD-9-CM 340.767
Fibromyalgia ICD-9-CM 729.122
Parkinson’s Disease ICD-9-CM 332.122
Alzheimer’s ICD-9-CM 1354.999
Rheumatoid Arthritis ICD-9-CM 714.001
There were several more codes on the allowable usage list but were soon forgotten during the 1950’s dance off jitterbug competition. (I won’t name name’s but one very famous California Lyme Physician won and will be displaying his trophy proudly on his desk!) A few of the doctors were heard chuckling while the insurance CEO’s patted their backs saying “Lyme, ALS, MS? Who cares what we call it as long we’re getting paid? This should keep them happy.”
What does this mean? Yes, treatments will FINALLY be covered if you are willing to assign a false diagnoses for insurance but once again, Lyme patients are denied the right to proudly announce and acknowledge “I has Lymes Disease.” Will those poor Lyme folks ever received the recognition they deserve? Probably not.