Implementing the Nation’s First State Hepatitis C Testing Law

As the first state hepatitis C testing law in the nation progresses into its second year of implementation, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is taking steps to educate both healthcare providers and consumers about the importance of HCV screening for individuals born between 1945 and 1965 (often referred to as the “Baby Boomers”) and New York’s related law requiring that healthcare providers offer a one-time HCV screening to patients in this birth cohort as part of routine primary care. Here is an overview of the activities that the NYSDOH has been engaged in to implement and evaluate the new law.

The Law

The NYS Hepatitis C Testing Law was signed into law by the governor on October 23, 2013 and implemented effective January 1, 2014.  This new law mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2012 expanded hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening recommendations, requiring healthcare providers in the state to offer a one-time HCV screening test to all persons born between 1945 and 1965, and is similar to the 2010 NYS HIV Testing Law .  The law was enacted to increase HCV testing and ensure timely diagnosis and linkage to care.

The two key provisions of the NYS Hepatitis C Testing Law  are:

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