New Age-Based Screening Guidelines

On June 2, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare will cover hepatitis C testing at no cost to beneficiaries whom the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends be screened. Specifically, Medicare will cover a one-time test for beneficiaries who are born from 1945 through 1965 and ongoing tests for those who are at risk. This is an important step forward in the fight against the hepatitis C epidemic and in identifying the 50% -75% of people who don’t know they have hepatitis C.

Medicare has updated its website to include information about this new benefit. The test will be covered only if it is ordered by a primary care doctor.

CMS has also released a “Medicare Learning Network” (MLN) bulletin for medical providers with information about the new benefit, including billing codes.

NVHR recommends that all Medicare beneficiaries who don’t know their hepatitis C status ask their doctor for a test. We also encourage NVHR members to send this information to medical providers who care for Medicare patients so they are aware of this important change in policy….. reprinted from National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable.

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