Amendment #1 to H.2021

An Act providing for a viral hepatitis prevention, screening, treatment and education program

The committee on Health Care Financing recommend that the bill be amended SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 4M and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

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 2. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4M the following section:-

Section 4M 1/2. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

“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.

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

(b) Every individual 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 Hepatitis C diagnostic test unless the provider believes that: (i) the individual is being treated for a life threatening emergency; or (ii) the individual has previously been offered or has received a hepatitis screening test; or (iii) the individual lacks capacity to consent to a hepatitis C screening test.