New Bill Requires Hepatitis C Testing in Primary Care Outpatient Practices
Now awaiting the Governor’s signature, a bill sponsored by Senator Hannon and Assemblyman Zebrowski will require office-based primary care practices, diagnostic and treatment centers and hospitals to offer a Hepatitis C test to patients born between 1945-1965. This bill requires the Hep C testing offering once, and we recommend that you document the offer and the patient response in the medical record. The bill, once signed by the Governor, will become effective on Wednesday, January 1, 2014.
Primary care is defined as family medicine, general pediatrics, primary care, internal medicine, primary care obstetrics, or primary care gynecology, without regard to board certification.
There are three exceptions to the mandate:
- the patient is being treated for a life threatening emergency
- the patient has previously been offered or has had a hepatitis C screening test; or
- the patient lacks ability to give consent.
For any patient that is positive or reactive, the physician shall offer follow-up health care, including a Hepatitis C diagnostic test, or refer that patient to a provider who can.
The bill provides a sunset provision of January 1, 2020.
Full text of the bill can be found online: http://www.nyacp.org/gac