Comment | NYC Health Code Amendment – Reporting Negative Hep B Test Results (Due 10/25/17)

The NYC Health Department is proposing that the Board amend Health Code §13.03(b)(3)(A) to require laboratories to report all hepatitis B virus (Hep B) DNA test results, including negative results. The Health Department currently requires laboratories to report only positive Hep B DNA results, in addition to other positive Hep B test results.

View a summary of the amendment as a PDF

Hep B DNA testing is performed on individuals who have tested positive for Hep B. Hep B DNA tests measure viral load and whether the patient has chronic (active) Hep B, requiring treatment. For patients already diagnosed with chronic Hep B, DNA test results provide important information regarding infectiousness, treatment eligibility, and risk for development of liver cancer. For patients being treated for Hep B, DNA test results provide information regarding treatment outcome (i.e., the extent to which the patient cleared the infection).

The number of Hep B cases is rising nationally and in New York City. More than 100,000 New Yorkers are estimated to be living with chronic Hep B, with 8,439 new cases diagnosed in 2016, an increase of 18.8% since 2013. The majority of individuals infected with Hep B as adults will clear the virus on their own, but many New Yorkers will develop chronic Hep B. Chronic Hep B can lead to serious health issues, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The  proposed amendment will allow the Health Department to estimate the proportion of New Yorkers infected with Hep B who are appropriately tested and linked to care; identify gaps in access to care; develop targeted interventions to increase linkage to care and improve provider knowledge of Hep B testing and treatment guidelines; and increase monitoring to reduce Hep B-related morbidity and mortality.

This proposed amendment is now open for public comment! 

All comments must be made by 5 PM on October 25th. You can comment online, by email, mail, fax, or in-person at the public hearing.

A public hearing will be held October 25th from 10 AM – 12 PM at:
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Gotham Center, 42-09 28th St., Room 14-43
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132

To comment online, you must log in or register. You can then write and submit your comment from the amendment page.

To comment by mail, mail to:
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Gotham Center, 42-09 28th St., CN 31
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132

To comment by fax, fax to:
NYC DOHMH, 347-396-6087

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