FAIR Health Spotlights Lyme Disease

November 21, 2019

Lyme disease is a matter of growing national concern. After presenting a webinar on the tick-borne bacterial infection to a federal panel in October, FAIR Health plans to issue a white paper on the subject later this year.

As part of the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, Congress established the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group to provide subject-matter expertise and review federal efforts related to tick-borne diseases, to help ensure interagency coordination and minimize overlap, and to examine research priorities.1 The Working Group became aware of FAIR Health’s past research on Lyme disease, which had been published in the form of an infographic and article. FAIR Health’s repository of over 29 billion privately billed healthcare claim records—the nation’s largest—provides a unique window into Lyme disease. At the invitation of the Working Group’s Subcommittee on Training, Education, Access to Care and Reimbursement, FAIR Health presented a webinar on October 18, 2019, offering new findings on Lyme disease for consideration by the subcommittee.

FAIR Health will soon present those findings to a wider audience in a white paper on Lyme disease. Comparing Lyme disease to other tick-borne diseases, the white paper will examine recent trends and patterns in national, rural and urban areas. Aspects to be studied include monthly distribution, state distribution, age and gender, places of service, procedures, and other diagnoses occurring in patients who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Among the findings to be included:

  • Claim lines for Lyme disease accounted for 94 percent of claim lines for tick-borne diseases in 2018.
  • From 2007 to 2018, claim lines with diagnoses of Lyme disease increased nationally 117 percent.
  • Growth in Lyme disease claim lines from 2007 to 2018 was more pronounced in urban than rural areas.

FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd stated: “We are pleased to have supported the efforts of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group Subcommittee, and we look forward to the release of our white paper to help advance the work of researchers around the country.”

1. This article does not reflect the opinions of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group Subcommittee. FAIR Health is solely responsible for the content and conclusions herein.