NVHR NEWSLETTER – June 2014
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National Viral Hepatits Roundtable
Medicare To Cover HCV Testing
 
On June 2, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its final National Coverage Determination on hepatitis C testing. Medicare will cover one-time testing for beneficiaries who are born from 1945 through 1965 and ongoing testing to those at risk, as defined by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This is a big victory and the result of a strong coalition effort over the past two years. NVHR will work with our partners to make sure Medicare providers and patients are educated about this new benefit. We will also continue to advocate for testing coverage beyond the restricted primary care settings outlined in the decision.
 
NVHR Baby Boomer Screening Program Update
 
NVHR recently conducted a membership survey and needs assessment as part of our new program to increase hepatitis C testing and linkage to care for baby boomers. We gathered data on the type of services currently being offered by our member organizations and identified some of the key areas of need. We are also partnering with groups and medical providers who are engaged in baby boomer testing. We are using the survey findings to target our programmatic work for the second half of 2014 around topics such as additional resources and support for testing activities; provider education tools, handouts, and training materials; and best practices for screening and linkage to care.
 
Please continue to check our program page for additional materials and information.
 
Program Partner Spotlight
 
RI Defeats Hepatitis C (RID Hep C) is a project dedicated to the elimination of hepatitis C in Rhode Island. RID Hep C is a comprehensive program to seek, test, treat, cure and eliminate HCV; help reduce the illness, suffering and death due to HCV; and save money for the state by enhancing proactive HCV care. RID Hep C focuses on key target populations: baby boomers (born 1945-1965) and people with history of injection drug use. For more information, go to www.RIDefeatsHepC.com.
 
Hep B United Webinar
 
On May 15, 2014, NVHR presented on a webinar organized by Hep B United titled “National Strategies to Combat Hepatitis.” The webinar highlighted the renewed Viral Hepatitis Action Plan and how hepatitis B advocates can use the plan to develop specific policy strategies, such as implementing the new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s hepatitis B testing recommendations. You can view the archived webinar here.
 
Hepatitis C Coverage Guide
 
The AIDS Institute recently released a helpful guide outlining hepatitis C testing coverage options by private and public payers. You can read this coverage guide here.
 
Celebrating 5 Years of Service
 
Mimi Schott recently had her 5 year anniversary as NVHR’s Administrative Coordinator. We thank Mimi for her commitment to the organization and to the fight against viral hepatitis!
 
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