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07/16/2013 08:21 AM

LLMD in ND (North Dakota)

Posts: 5
New Member


Our whole family (2 adults, 3 kids)is being treated for Lyme by our local Dr. and he has been open to treating us as per the ILAD/Burrascano guidelines.

So I am very grateful as the closest LLMDs I found on a search (that you can do only 3 times in 30 days) are in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Though it is not super far, it would be quite an expensive trip and esp. with all 5 of us.

However, I am concerned about coinfections (esp. Babesia) and know that my Dr. has limited info. and the most up to date is what I have given him from these manuals.

So I am wondering if there might possibly be a closer LLMD to our area. We are in eastern ND, closest 'bigger' towns/cities are Grand Forks and Fargo.

Thanks for your help/advice in advance!

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07/16/2013 02:53 PM
Posts: 32240
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Leaders, close this pls; thx, bettyg

WELCOME! so sorry, NONE IN ND/SD!!

sending you minn. is closest for you.

Check your private messages LEFT side for llmd names.

print off dr. burrascano's lyme treatment guidelines from top of LYME FACTS; 37 pages; take to dr. with you please.

please go to LYME FACTS FORUM, click on forums above here, facts are half way down.

go to INDEX for lyme facts.

1st to links shown are SYMPTOMS: 1st a chart; then text only; PRINT THEM BOTH OFF. mark all symptoms you have now, had previously and take that to a dr. with you.

Text has a BABY/TODDLER'S LIST COMPILED BY GENEAL, print that off for yourself IF APPLICABLE.

a primary dr, etc. can make a CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS based upon your symptoms from what i asked you to print ok.

go to FACTS home page, print off 37 pages dr. burrascano's lyme treatment guidelines; read daily to become familiar and with terminology.


go to my beginner's links found in my signature line; copy/paste to white address line.

skim over the other links as time permits.

great one there on FINANCIAL RESOURCES half way down.


Yes, it is typical that a lyme doctor does not accept insurance. The cost of the first visit is often extremely high.

You pay for the visits and the Igenex blood tests at the time of the visit. You can put the charges on a credit card. That's what everyone does.

You can then submit a claim to your insurance company and see how much they reimburse you. Generally, it is not much.

Why the lyme doctors do this is most likely because they have to in order to make any money. I never was in business as a doctor, but it makes sense that they can't make any money, and in fact will lose money, if they take insurance and treat lyme patients.

You see, the first visit with a lyme patient often takes 1 hour to 1.5 hours of the doctor's time. Yet, insurance will reimburse him very little for this.

Lyme is complex to diagnose and treat, but the insurance companies don't treat a lyme patient as needing any more time than the patient that comes in with the flu.

That's why insurance taking doctors can only spend 10 minutes with each patient. Did you ever notice that that is, on average, how much time they give you? If they want to make money and not lose money, that is what it comes down to.

Medicare reimbursement is even lower than regular insurance reimbursement, so many doctors are no longer taking Medicare patients. They have to in self defense.

• This is eventually going to become a crisis in this country. Many doctors (not lyme doctors) limit the number of Medicare patients they will accept into their practice since they lose money on every one they take.

The first visit with a lyme doctor will probably have you in the office for about 3 hours. That includes the interview with the doctor and the doctor's staff's time--the blood draw for Igenex, and the paperwork before the interview.

The doctor has to factor the cost of his staff's time into the charge for your first visit and all other visits.

Another consideration from the doctor's point of view is likely the insurance company oversight of his treatment.

My second lyme doctor took insurance. He said to me at my first appointment,

• "I'd put you on IV but the insurance company would give me a fit." Therefore, he put me on oral medications. I didn't understand what he was talking about at the time. But, now, looking back, I do.

So, that tells you that if the doctor takes insurance, he is not free to treat the lyme patient the way he wants to treat.

• If he doesn't take insurance, then he can treat the patient in the best way he knows and not worry about whether or not the insurance company agrees to pay for it.

In general, insurance companies will fight the lyme doctor if he tries to put the patient on IV for more than 30 days. The patient who needs IV needs it for much longer than 30 days. 30 days does nothing.

Also, some insurance companies fight the doctors on the high doses of antibiotics that the lyme patient needs, and the combos of antibiotics that the lyme patients need.

• The lyme doctor can raise red flags in the insurance company office for these meds and can get hauled up on charges with his state medical board and ultimately lose his license to practice medicine.

That has happened to many lyme doctors. So, the best way for them to operate is to make you the person who deals with the insurance and pays what the insurance refuses to pay. Now, that way, you can get good lyme treatment.

In my experience, my first two lyme doctors took insurance and they could not get me well. I spent 2 years, which I now consider wasted, with these doctors.

• Then, I switched to a lyme doc who did not take insurance and got cured in one year.

In general, not even talking lyme doctors now, the best doctors don't take insurance. We have learned this in my family.

• So, my husband's internist does not take insurance, neither does his psychiatrist (hardly any of them take insurance), and neither does my endocrinologist.

I heard a doctor say on the radio about 10-15 years ago that he now had to see twice as many patients as he used to in order to make the same money. That is how insurance controls the health care in this country.

Not talking lyme doctors now--when you go to a non-insurance taking doctor, he generally will spend at least 1/2 hour with you if not more at each visit.

• He can talk leisurely with you, listen to you without interrupting, and teach you things because he doesn't have to watch the clock so that he doesn't lose money on you.

My husband's internist (doesn't treat lyme) told us that his brother (also a doctor) has a rule in his practice that if the patient takes more than 3 medications, he cannot be his patient.

That is how he limits his practice to the easy to treat patients who will not take much of his time. All this is to keep the doctor from losing money.

• They lose money if they spend more than 10 minutes with you. They have done the math, figuring all of their overhead and staff salaries, and that is what it comes down to every time.

My husband's doctor (doesn't take insurance, doesn't treat lyme) told us that he is losing money treating the old fashioned way--spending time with the patient, as much as the patient needs, and educating the patient. So,he has to try a new business model to make a decent living. He refuses to give up practicing medicine the way he believes is right.

He is moving to a membership only practice. To see him, you pay a high membership fee up front at the beginning of the year.

So, just know that there is a major upheaval going on in the world of doctors in private practice. They are really scrambling to make a living, having to run faster and faster on the treadmill set up by insurance company reimbursement schedules, just to make a decent living.

• That is why many Americans are no longer going into medicine and many, many people from foreign countries are filling the doctor vacancies in the U.S.

About 10 years ago I talked with a man who quit his medical practice due to insurance companies dictating to him how he would treat patients. So, this is being told to me by many, many doctors over at least the last 10 years.

So, get to a good lyme doctor and pay for his expertise. Don't let insurance concerns get in the way of you getting your health back.

• These doctors are legit. No rip off. Good for you for wanting to understand what is going on.

Best wishes, hugs/prayers,

bettyg, iowa


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