This article was reported by AIDSMEDS.
AIDSMEDS reported that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the two government insurance programs will pay for hepatitis C (HCV) screening for individuals at high risk for infection from the virus, including baby boomers. CMS will pay for tests ordered by an individual's primary care physician or other healthcare provider in a primary care setting if he/she is a current or past injection drug user or received a blood transfusion before 1992 -- an annual screen is covered for current injection drug users. For individuals born between 1945 and 1965, a one-time screening is approved. Of note, CMS did not include HIV-positive men who have sex with men without condoms as a risk group, despite evidence identifying a growing epidemic of sexually transmitted HCV among this population. The move aligns CMS with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations for HCV screening.
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