Annual NVHR Steering Committee Meeting:
NVHR staff and steering committee members met on January 24 and 25, 2013, in San Francisco to review and update our strategic plan. We also discussed our 2013 public policy and other priorities and activities. We are excited about the great work and opportunities ahead of us! Look for our updated strategic plan and list of 2013 policy goals and activities soon on our website and in future newsletters.
Medicare and Hepatitis C Testing:
On January 7, 2013, NVHR, along with a small group of viral hepatitis advocates and physicians, met with medical officials at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to discuss the hepatitis C epidemic among the Baby Boomer generation and the looming impact on the Medicare program. We urged Medicare to provide hepatitis C testing to all of its current and future beneficiaries born between 1945 and 1965, in line with the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation. Options for Medicare could include testing current beneficiaries during the annual wellness visit and incoming beneficiaries through the Welcome to Medicare visit. This meeting was a critical first step in the dialogue with CMS officials. NVHR will continue to advocate for hepatitis C testing in Medicare as a top priority in 2013.
Next Steps with USPSTF:
In November and December, 2012, NVHR members and our colleagues responded forcefully to the disappointing U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s draft recommendations on hepatitis C testing of Baby Boomers and urged the Task Force to change its “C” grade to a “B”. The Task Force is reviewing all public comment and is expected to release final recommendations in early summer. You can read public comments submitted by many of our members and partners at NVHR’s “ USPTF Action Center
” If you would like us to post your comments, please send them to email@example.com
Member Spotlight: National Task Force on Hepatitis B
The National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans is a national coalition of hepatitis B advocates, educators, and physicians committed to ending hepatitis B morbidity and mortality over the next generation. NVHR participates on the Executive Committee of the Task Force and is currently helping to develop its 2013 strategic plans and set of activities. This coalition plays a major role in highlighting the severity of the hepatitis B epidemic on the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the United States and provides national and regional-based leadership in advocacy and education. For more information about the Task Force, visit www.hepbtaskforce.org