Plan Impact Is Unclear in New Call for Hepatitis C Screening
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has expanded its screening recommendation for hepatitis C virus (HCV), calling for all asymptomatic adults ages 18 through 79, including pregnant women, to be tested for the virus. That means all health plans must cover the expanded screening for free.
The B-level recommendation from USPSTF, released March 2, indicates there is high certainty that the net benefit of expanded HCV testing will be moderate, or there is moderate certainty that the net benefit will be moderate to substantial. The USPSTF also states that clinicians might consider testing adolescents with past or current injection drug use, although it stopped short of recommending testing. Over the past three years, the HCV drug regimens commonly used in adults have been approved for use in adolescents 12 years old and older.