All adults born between 1945 and 1965 should be screened once for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to final screening recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in late June, strengthening an earlier draft recommendation for this screening among baby boomers.
In late 2012, IDSA and other organizations had strongly urged (PDF) the task force to upgrade its initial draft recommendation, which fell short of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—supported by IDSA—that all baby boomers be screened. The task force’s stronger final recommendation is now consistent with CDC’s guidance, a move IDSA welcomed in a statement. In addition to influencing medical practice, the task force’s recommendations are also used by private and public insurers in determining which screening services are covered.
As a service to members interested in outreach to their primary care partners, IDSA is offering a one-time mailing to announce the new HCV screening recommendation. Members can submit up to 25 primary care office addresses that will receive a customized letter promoting the screening recommendation and identifying the IDSA member as a provider of HCV care. Alternatively, members can send the customized letter directly to primary care providers themselves.
The letter is intended to foster appropriate care coordination for patients diagnosed with HCV infection between their primary care provider and their ID physician. Visit IDSA’s website for more information (scroll down to “HCV Screening Letter”).
The Society also recently launched a free, monthly webinar series, the IDSA Hepatitis C Knowledge Network, to educate members about current recommended practices to effectively identify, treat, and manage patients infected with HCV. Each hour-long webinar, hosted by HCV experts on topics developed by IDSA’s Hepatitis Task Force, includes a lecture portion, case studies, and a question-and-answer period.
Archived versions of the first two webinars, on appropriate HCV screening/testing and medical management, are available online (you must be logged in to access this link). For more information about the webinars, including topics, presenters, dates, and how to register, as well as access to archived webinars as they become available, visit IDSA’s website (member login required).
Additional clinical and educational resources for ID physisians interested in treating patients infected with HCV are available at www.idsociety.org/Hepatitis_C, including a Hepatitis C Management Discussion Board. Join today and become a part of the community of HCV treatment professionals. You can engage experts in the treatment of HCV and exchange information with your peers about HCV treatment, management, and complications.
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