Toronto, ON – A new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid
on behalf of the Canadian Liver Foundation found that among Canadians
born between 1945 and 1975, only one quarter (25%) say they have been
tested for hepatitis C, while three quarters (53% say no, 22% say don’t
know) have not been tested or don’t know if they have been tested.
Only three in ten (29%) Canadians born between 1945 and 1975 believe
their own age group has the most people living with hepatitis C, despite
this age group being the most at-risk for the disease. The age groups
perceived to have the most people living with hepatitis C are young
adults age 20-35 (41%) and adults 35-45 (46%).
Great news: Draft Medicare Hepatitis C Testing Proposal
Medicare moved one step closer yesterday to adding hepatitis C testing
as a preventive service benefit. As part of its National Coverage
Determination process, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) released a draft memo proposing to cover hepatitis C testing for
all in the program who are at high risk and one-time testing of everyone
born between 1945 and 1965. A final ruling is expected in June. You can
read this draft memo here.
This is great news and the result of all of the public comments
submitted last year encouraging Medicare to cover hepatitis C testing.
There is now another public comment period until April 3, 2014,
offering an opportunity to support this draft proposal and to urge
Medicare to start preparing for educating medical providers and Medicare
beneficiaries about the importance of hepatitis C testing. Next week,
NVHR will send sample language to help craft your public comment. We are
very close to a major victory that will significantly expand the number
of people who are tested for hepatitis C and your help is needed for
this final push!