The Wolverine state removed prior authorization requirements for a preferred hepatitis C medication, increasing access to hepatitis C treatment for more Michiganders.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2021
Molly Hall: (202) 210-9955
Kyra Sanborn: (617) 496-1507
The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) today applauded Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for removing prior authorizations for a preferred hepatitis C medication. Michigan joins just six other states that do not require prior authorization for hepatitis C treatment, including California, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin. Up to 200,000 Michiganders are estimated to be living with hepatitis C, and lifting these restrictions will help increase access to the hepatitis C cure for thousands.
“Michigan has been a leader in removing barriers to hepatitis C treatment for several years, and this next step of removing prior authorizations for preferred treatment will go a long way toward further improving access to hepatitis C care for Michiganders,” said Phil Waters, Staff Attorney at CHLPI. “We encourage all payors and providers to immediately implement policies that eliminate prior authorization and other forms of unduely burdernsome utilization management to help improve individual and public health outcomes, especially amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”
In an effort to eliminate hepatitis C as a health threat to Michiganders, the state recently launched the new “We Treat Hep C” initiative and a state plan on eliminating hepatitis C. The initiative will help raise awareness among at-risk populations for hepatitis C, encourage testing and screening for hepatitis C, and reduce barriers to curative hepatitis C treatment.
“It is encouraging to see states like Michigan develop hepatitis C elimination plans, and as a part of that, improve hepatitis C testing and treatment options. Removing prior authorizations for preferred treatment eliminates one uneccessary hurdle for getting patients the care they need,” said Adrienne Simmons, Director of Programs at NVHR. “With treatments now available that cure hepatitis C, it is unacceptable that patients continue to live with or die from hepatitis C and we look forward to seeing the progress Michigan makes to eliminate the virus.”
The removal of prior authorization for preferred treatment and previous barriers to hepatitis C treatment has improved Michigan’s score on the Hepatitis C: State of Medicaid Access to an A+, joining only a few other states with the top score. This designation is a step forward in the fight to improving patient access to hepatitis C treatment and towards eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat.
For more information about hepatitis C treatment access barriers, please visit www.stateofhepc.org.
About the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR)
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, an initiative of HEP, is a national coalition fighting for an equitable world free of viral hepatitis. NVHR seeks to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States and improve the lives of those affected through advocacy, education, and support to national, state and local partners. For more information, visit www.nvhr.org.
About the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI)
The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) advocates for legal, regulatory, and policy reforms to improve the health of underserved populations, with a focus on the needs of low-income people living with chronic illnesses and disabilities. CHLPI works to expand access to high-quality health care; to reduce health disparities; and to promote more equitable and effective health care systems. CHLPI is a clinical teaching program of Harvard Law School and mentors students to become skilled, innovative, and thoughtful practitioners as well as leaders in health and public health law and policy. For more information, visit www.chlpi.org.