Thursday, September 28, 2017

CDC - Mandating HCV Screening Increased Newly Diagnosed and Access to Care

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

Evaluation of the Impact of Mandating Health Care Providers to Offer Hepatitis C Virus Screening to All Persons Born During 1945–1965 — New York, 2014
Colleen A. Flanigan, MS1; Shu-Yin J. Leung, MA2; Kirsten A. Rowe, MS2; Wendy K. Levey, MA3; Andrea King, MPH4; Jamie N. Sommer, MS5; Johanne E. Morne, MS6; Howard A. Zucker, MD, JD7

Weekly / September 29, 2017 / 66(38);1023–1026

Implementation of the New York law mandating health care providers to offer HCV testing to persons born during 1945–1965 was associated with an increase in HCV testing, and an increase in the percentage of persons with newly diagnosed HCV infections who were linked to care. Marked increases in the number of HCV tests performed and rates of testing were observed immediately after enactment of the law and remained steady over a 12-month period. Smaller increases were noted in the number of persons who accessed care after receiving a positive HCV screening test result.


What is already known about this topic?

Persons born during 1945–1965 account for approximately 75% of all hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in the United States and 73% of HCV-associated mortality. Most infected persons do not know their status. In January 2014, New York became the first state to enact an HCV testing law, which is expected to increase the number of persons who are aware of their HCV status.

What is added by this report?

One year after implementation of the 2014 New York HCV Testing Law, marked increases were observed in the number of HCV screening tests and rates of testing. Increases were observed almost immediately after enactment of the law and remained steady at levels substantially higher than those in the years preceding enactment of the law. Smaller increases were noted in the number of persons who accessed HCV care following a positive HCV screening test.

What are the implications for public health practice?

State-level HCV testing laws could increase the number of persons who know their HCV status and of HCV-infected persons who are linked to care. With the availability of new therapies that can stop disease progression and provide a cure in most persons, testing and linkage to care for infected persons is likely to reduce HCV-related morbidity and liver cancer-associated mortality.

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