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Budget Summary FY2015

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Outside Section 138
Data Current as of:  10/17/2014

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Hepatitis B and C testing and prevention

SECTION 138.   Said chapter 111 is hereby further amended by striking out section 4M, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sections:-

Section 4M. Subject to appropriation, the department shall:

(1) conduct a needs assessment to determine the incidence and prevalence of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus in the commonwealth;

(2) develop and implement a program to prevent further transmission of viral hepatitis and to prevent onset of chronic liver disease caused by viral hepatitis;

(3) develop and implement a statewide public education and community outreach program to raise awareness and promote prevention of viral hepatitis;

(4) develop or approve evidence-based educational materials on the risks, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of viral hepatitis; provided that, the materials shall be made available in written and electronic form and shall be targeted to physicians and other health care providers and high-risk populations subject to an increased risk of contracting viral hepatitis as determined by the department;

(5) support the establishment and maintenance of a chronic and acute hepatitis B and hepatitis C surveillance program in order to identify (i) trends in the incidence of acute and chronic hepatitis B and acute and chronic hepatitis C, (ii) trends in the prevalence of acute and chronic hepatitis B and acute and chronic hepatitis C infection among groups that may be disproportionately affected and (iii) trends in liver cancer and end-stage liver disease incidence and deaths caused by chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C in high-risk populations; and

(6) annually report on the department's viral hepatitis education, awareness and prevention education and community outreach efforts to the joint committee on public health on or before January 1.

Section 4M1/2. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:-

"Hepatitis C diagnostic test", a laboratory test that detects the presence of hepatitis C virus in the blood and confirms whether the person whose blood is being tested has a hepatitis C virus infection.

"Hepatitis C screening test", any FDA-approved laboratory screening test, FDA-approved rapid point-of-care test or other FDA-approved tests that detect the presence of hepatitis C antibodies in the blood.

(b) Every person born between the years of 1945 and 1965 who receives health care services from a primary care provider shall be offered a hepatitis C screening test or a Hepatitis C diagnostic test unless the provider believes that: (i) the person is being treated for a life threatening emergency; (ii) the person has previously been offered or has received a hepatitis screening test; or (iii) the person lacks capacity to consent to a hepatitis C screening test.