Lyme Disease Diagnoses Increased 357% in Rural Areas Over the Past 15 Years, According to Private Insurance Claims

From 2007 to 2021, claims with Lyme disease diagnoses increased 65 percent in urban areasaccording to the FAIR health study

NEW YORK, August 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Lyme disease has experienced remarkable growth in the United States in the last 15 years and, as a result, has become a disease of growing national concern. From 2007 to 2021, private insurance claims lines with Lyme disease diagnoses increased 357 percent in rural areas and 65 percent in urban areas. These and other findings about this tick-borne bacterial disease were captured in an infographic just released by FAIR Health. The independent, national organization used its database of more than 36 billion privately billed health care claims to conduct its analysis of 15 years of Lyme illness; This analysis is based on a previous infographic FAIR Health who studied 10 years of Lyme disease data. Click here for the infographic published today.

Rural and urban differences
The infographic reveals key differences in the prevalence of Lyme disease when comparing rural and urban areas. From 2016 to 2021, line claims with Lyme disease diagnoses increased 60 percent in rural areas and 19 percent in urban areas, with diagnoses peaking nationally in June and July each year. During these summer months, rural areas, on average, had a higher proportion of claim lines associated with Lyme disease diagnoses than urban areas. However, from November through April, claim lines with Lyme disease diagnoses occurred more frequently in urban areas than in rural ones.

Geographical distribution
In 2017, the states with the highest proportion of claims with Lyme Disease diagnoses as a percentage of all diagnoses in the state, from highest to lowest, were New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina, Rhode Island Y Vermont. Given the Lyme The disease has historically been associated with the Northeast and upper Midwest, the state of North Carolina as the state with the third highest percentage of Lyme sickness claims lines in 2017 suggested a marked expansion into a new region. For 2021, however, North Carolina had fallen off the list.

The top states in 2021, from highest to lowest, were New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island Y Connecticut. Mainewhich was not previously on the top five states list for Lyme disease claims lines, took over third place in 2021, suggesting a growing presence of tick-borne disease in the state. Connecticut Y Vermont swapped places with Vermont emerging as number two and Connecticut going down to number five.

Post diagnostics
Despite Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics, some Lyme Patients then develop conditions with long-term symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and cognitive problems. Such conditions have been linked to post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, sometimes called chronic Lyme illness.

To identify subsequent diagnoses associated with Lyme disease, FAIR Health examined a statistically significant cohort of people in its private insurance claims database from 2017 to 2021, comparing the prevalence of certain diagnoses between Lyme patients to all patients in the cohort. The analysis found that diagnoses such as malaise and fatigue and soft-tissue-related problems were more common among Lyme patients than among the total patient population. In all age groups, patients with Lyme Overall, the disease was more likely to have these apparently associated diagnoses than all patients in the cohort.

FAIR President Health gelburd robin declared, “Lyme disease remains a growing public health problem. FAIR Health will continue to use its claims data repository to provide actionable and relevant information to healthcare stakeholders seeking to better understand the continued increase in Lyme disease cases”.

This is the third study FAIR Health has conducted on Lyme disease, the first to appear in a infographic released in 2017 and the second in a White paper published in 2019.

For the new infographic, click here.

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About FAIR Health
FAIR Health is a national independent nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. It is dedicated to bringing transparency to health care costs and health insurance information through data products, consumer resources, and support for health systems research. FAIR Health maintains the nation’s largest collection of private health care claims data, which includes more than 36 billion claim records and is growing at a rate of more than 2 billion claim records a year. FAIR Health licenses its data and private billing data products, including benchmark modules, data visualizations, custom analytics, and market indexes, to commercial insurers and self-insurers, employers, providers, hospitals and health care systems, government agencies , researchers and others. Certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a National Qualified Entity, FAIR Health also receives data that represents the experience of everyone enrolled in traditional Medicare Parts A, B and D; FAIR Health includes among the private claims data in its database, data on Medicare Advantage enrollees. FAIR Health can produce insightful analytical reports and data products based on combined Medicare and commercial claims data for government, providers, payers and other authorized users. FAIR Health’s systems for processing and storing protected health information have earned HITRUST CSF certification and achieved AICPA SOC 2 compliance by meeting the rigorous data security requirements of these standards. As a testament to the reliability and objectivity of FAIR Health data, the data has been incorporated into statutes and regulations across the country and designated as the official, neutral data source for a variety of state health programs, including compensation of workers and protection against personal injury. (PIP) programs. FAIR Health data serves as an official benchmark in support of certain state balance billing laws that protect consumers against bills for unexpected out-of-network and emergency services. FAIR Health also uses its database to power a free consumer website available in English and Spanish, which enables consumers to estimate and plan their health care expenses and offers a rich health insurance educational platform. An English/Spanish mobile app offers the same educational platform in a concise format and links to cost estimating tools. The website has been honored by the White House Summit on Smart Outreach, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), URAC, eHealthcare Leadership Awards, appPicker, Employee Benefits News Y Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. FAIR Health is also named a premier resource for patients in Dr. Marty Makary’s book. The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care and How to Fix It and the book by Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal An American Disease: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Bring It Back. For more information about FAIR Health, visit

Rachel Kent
Senior Marketing Manager
[email protected]


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