Relates to impact studies on tick-borne diseases; requires the department to issue a report examining the mental health impacts of tick-borne diseases and blood-borne pathogens on mental illness rates in endemic areas of the state.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9019A
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
impact studies on tick-borne diseases
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Amends the public health law to provide for a study on the mental health
impacts of infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends the public health law to add a new section
207-a to provide for an infectious disease and blood-borne pathogen
impact study to be conducted by the Department of Health, in conjunction
with the Office of Mental Health.
Section 2 of the bill provides for the effective date.
When promoting public health initiatives, health care providers and
advocates may not immediately connect the emergence of infectious
diseases and blood-borne pathogens with mental illness. However,
research has emerged that suggests that these types of infections may
play an important role in the development of neuropsychiatric condi-
tions, mood disorders, and a variety of mental health conditions in
infected patients. In August 2017, the Senate Majority Task Force on
Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, in conjunction with the Senate Standing
Committee on Health, convened a public hearing to discuss the ongoing
concerns related to the Lyme and tick-borne disease epidemic in New
York. Testimony from public health experts, as well as mental health
professionals, noted that there were psychiatric symptoms related to
these types of infections that could have long-term impacts on the
patient's health as well as standard of living.
Given the prevalence of certain infectious diseases in New York State,
including Lyme and tick-borne diseases, it is imperative that the State
approach this epidemic from a holistic perspective that accounts for the
mental health consequences of these types of infections. This informa-
tion could be vital to the way in which diagnosis and treatment are
approached by health care practitioners, and inform medical debates
about the causes of mental illness in infectious disease patients,
including organic causes, reaction effects, and drug interactions. As
such, this legislation will require that the Department of Health, in
conjunction with the Office of Mental Health, conduct an impact study
considering how tick-borne diseases and blood-borne pathogens may have
correlations with mental illness in infected individuals.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
January 12, 2018
Introduced by M. of A. GUNTHER, LUPARDO, BARRETT, BYRNE -- read once and
referred to the Committee on Mental Health -- reported and referred to
the Committee on Ways and Means -- committee discharged, bill amended,
ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to impact studies on
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section
2 207-a to read as follows:
3 § 207-a. Tick-borne diseases and blood-borne pathogen impact study.
4 1. The department, in conjunction with the commissioner of mental
5 health, shall issue a report examining the mental health impacts of
6 tick-borne diseases and blood-borne pathogens on mental illness rates in
7 endemic areas of the state. Such report shall include but not be limited
9 (a) Considerations of how Lyme, tick-borne illnesses, and other blood-
10 borne pathogens or vector-borne diseases may have correlations with
11 mental illness in infected individuals;
12 (b) Populations at-risk including those individuals with occupations
13 outdoors and/or increased exposure to vectors;
14 (c) Diagnostic indicators of mental illness that can be used as guid-
15 ance for healthcare providers and mental health practitioners;
16 (d) Historical considerations of infection rates and mental illness
17 indicators that may have gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in endemic
18 areas; and
19 (e) Recommendations for intervention and coordinated care for individ-
20 uals who exhibit mental illness symptoms as well as those who have both
21 physical and mental health indicators.
22 2. Such report shall be submitted to the temporary president of the
23 senate and the speaker of the assembly no later than October first, two
24 thousand nineteen. The department and the commissioner of mental health
25 may engage stakeholders in the compilation of the report, including but
26 not limited to, medical research institutions, health care practition-
27 ers, mental health providers, county and local government, and advo-
29 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.