The Viral Hepatitis Action Plan spells out the importance of identifying persons infected with viral hepatitis early in the course of their disease as an important component of national efforts to improve diagnosis, care and treatment to prevent liver disease and liver cancer. As awareness of viral hepatitis increases and treatment options become more effective and better tolerated, it is vital that we implement best practices to improve the frequency, availability, and acceptability of viral hepatitis testing.
To inform and advance these efforts, my office hosted a day-long consultation last month. Sharing their perspectives with us were representatives from state and local health departments, community health centers, drug treatment and correctional health programs, local and national advocacy organizations, the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the National Medical Association and other partners. Also participating in the discussion were experts from various federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care and HIV/AIDS Bureau, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, Office of Minority Health, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as well as Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Veterans Affairs.