FROM THE MMWR
Rates of hepatitis C testing increased among New York adults born between 1945 and 1965 after the state passed a law mandating that health care providers offer HCV testing to people of that age, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2013, the year before the new law became effective on Jan. 1, 2014, the total of specimens collected for HCV testing from the 106 clinics that reported data for both 2013 and 2014 was 538,229. In the following year after the law became effective, 813,492 samples were collected from the same clinics, an increase of 51.1% over 2013. The rate of increase for New York Medicaid recipients was similar at 52%.
The number of new HCV cases also increased significantly from 2013 to 2014: Medicaid data indicate that 13,839 people were newly diagnosed with HCV in 2013, and 18,614 people were diagnosed in 2014, an increase of 35%. Other HCV surveillance data showed an increase of 39.8% in 2014 compared to 2011-2013.
“This report highlights the potential for state laws to promote HCV testing and the utility of HCV surveillance and Medicaid claims data to monitor the quality of HCV testing and linkage to care for HCV-infected persons,” the CDC investigators concluded.
Find the full report in the MMWR (doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6638a3 ).