NVHR NEWSLETTER – February 2014
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National Viral Hepatits Roundtable
NVHR Transitions
 
NVHR recently announced that Ryan Clary has been named its new Executive Director, starting March 3, 2014. Ryan has been NVHR’s Director of Public Policy since September, 2012. Ryan will replace Martha Saly, who is leaving her position after many years of tireless leadership. The NVHR Steering Committee and staff thank Martha for her dedication, vision, and countless contributions to the fight against the hepatitis B and C epidemics.
 
Draft USPSTF Hepatitis B Screening Recommendations
 
On February 10, 2014, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its long awaited draft hepatitis B screening recommendations. The Task Force is recommending (with a “B” grade) screening everyone who is at high risk for hepatitis B infection. This is great news and a final “B” grade would greatly improve efforts to identify the estimated 65% of people who don’t know they have chronic hepatitis B. You can learn more about these recommendations and how you can submit public comment here.
 
NVHR Encourages Medicaids to Use New HCV Treatment Guidelines
 
NVHR has sent a letter to all State Medicaid Directors, ensuring they know about new AASLD/IDSA hepatitis C treatment guidelines and urging them to use these guidelines when making drug formulary decisions so that people have access to lifesaving new treatments. You can learn more about the new guidelines here.
 
PAN Foundation Expands Viral Hepatitis Co-Payment Assistance Program
 
The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation is a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to providing free financial assistance to underinsured patients with certain cancers, rare diseases, and chronic illnesses including hepatitis B and C. Qualifying patients can receive $4,500 for hepatitis B and $7,000 for hepatitis C treatment – helping to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for specialty medications which treat the diseases directly. To learn more about the Foundation and PAN assistance, visit www.panfoundation.org.

CDC Cooperative Agreement

NVHR, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, is building communities of excellence to increase hepatitis C testing of baby boomers. During this three year project, we will be working closely with public health organizations in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston as early collaborators. We expect to replicate this work in communities across the country. Please look for a needs assessment in the next month to help us identify the best ways to help our members build their capacity to increase testing of baby boomers.
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