Hep C Testing Law — 2016 Evaluation Report
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has published an evaluation report for the NYS Hepatitis C Testing Law. The law mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s expanded Hepatitis C (HCV) screening recommendations, which were issued in 2012 and called for offering a one-time HCV screening test to “baby boomers” born between 1945 and 1965. If the screening test is positive, the law requires the provision of follow-up health care, including an HCV diagnostic test. The law was enacted to increase HCV testing, and ensure timely diagnosis and linkage to care.
To determine the impact of the law, the NYSDOH drew from multiple data sources that assessed testing levels in New York before and after the law went into effect. The data included a survey of laboratories reporting HCV screening test volume data, Medicaid data, HCV surveillance data, a sample of electronic health records from care providers serving underserved communities in New York City, self-reported data from statewide population surveys, and surveys of medical providers.
- Marked increases were observed in the number of HCV screening tests and screening rates in the first year following the enactment of the HCV testing law. These increases were consistent with the expected impact of the law on testing volume and testing rates, and these observations were corroborated using multiple data sources.
- Increases were observed almost immediately after enactment of the law and remained steady over time at levels much higher than the years before.
- Smaller increases were noted in the number of people who accessed HCV care following a positive HCV screening test component.