2005 SB 596‎ > ‎

Fiscal/Policy Note

SB 596 

Department of Legislative Services 

Maryland General Assembly 

2005 Session





Senate Bill 596 (Senator Colburn, et al.) 

Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs and Finance Health and Government 



State Board of Physicians - Information Regarding Lyme Disease and Other 

Tick-Borne Illness 

This bill requires the Board of Physicians to develop and disseminate a document to all 

licensees regarding the most recent diagnosis and treatment information for Lyme 

Disease and other related tick-borne illness. The document must include the most recent information regarding the use of long-term antibiotic or antimicrobial therapy and be distributed annually. 

The bill takes effect July 1, 2005 

Fiscal Summary 

State Effect: The distribution of information regarding Lyme Disease and long-term 

treatment could be handled with existing Board of Physicians budgeted resources. No 

effect on revenues. 

Local Effect: None. 

Small Business Effect: None. 


Background: Lyme Disease is an infection that spreads throughout the whole body. 

The disease begins when a type of bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi enters the skin

SB 596 / Page 2 when a person is bitten by an infected tick. The bacteria can spread through skin and blood to reach parts of the body far from the tick bite. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic treatment for 

three to four weeks with doxycycline or amoxicillin is generally effective in early 

disease. Some patients with Lyme Disease develop chronic symptoms that do not 

disappear. These symptoms can include arthritis, nerve pains, and concentration and 

memory problems. Later-stage Lyme Disease, particularly with objective neurological 

manifestations, may require treatment with intravenous ceftriaxone or penicillin for four 

weeks or more, depending on disease severity. In later-stage disease, treatment failures may occur and retreatment may be necessary. 

Incidences of Lyme Disease occur mainly in the northeastern states. Maryland has the 

seventh highest infection rate in the nation, with 17.4 cases per 100,000 residents. 

Current Law: None applicable. 

Additional Information 

Prior Introductions: None. 

Cross File: None. 

Information Source(s): Lyme Disease HHS Programs and Resources (June 2001), 

U.S. General Accounting Office; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 

National Institutes of Health; Office of Administrative Hearings; Department of Health 

and Mental Hygiene (Board of Physicians); Department of Legislative Services 

Fiscal Note History: 


First Reader - March 8, 2005 

Revised - Senate Third Reader - April 4, 2005 

Analysis by: Susan D. John Direct Inquiries to: 

(410) 946-5510 

(301) 970-5510

Fiscal and Policy Note

Original Bill Was Gutted by Andy Harris/Paula Hollinger in the Maryland Senate Health Committee after passing the House.  It had to be killed to protect patients and doctors.