Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to pay the bill for hepatitis C

How to pay the bill for hepatitis C

How long should you wait to treat a possibly fatal but curable disease?

That's a question with major implications for millions of patients and for insurers and government programs that have to pay for the treatment.

In the last year this question has focused on hepatitis C, a viral infection of the liver that, left untreated, can lead to cirrhosis, cancer, liver failure and death. Hepatitis C is the leading cause for liver transplants in the United States.

In July the California Department of Health Care Services ordered a new protocol that will mean many thousands of Medi-Cal patients will have to wait for treatment. But far from jeopardizing lives, the department is helping to lead the way out of the hepatitis C conundrum with a sensible policy: Treat everyone who needs it, but not until treatment is necessary...

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