Access to hepatitis C cures isn’t just saving lives. It’s saving money for cash-strapped Medicaid systems.
In Missouri, a class action lawsuit is under appeal. In Florida, a U.S. District Court judge ordered the Department of Corrections to begin treating infected inmates immediately. And at least six other states, including Virginia and Tennessee, face similar legal challenges.
More than half of states in the U.S. are failing Medicaid patients with hepatitis C. A new report from the Harvard Law School and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable assigned 52 percent of states and U.S. territories a “D” or “F” for the access their Medicaid system provides to curative treatment for the disease.
Despite being cautioned last year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, many states still block patients with hepatitis C from receiving curative treatment.
Just as new data shows hepatitis C deaths at an all-time high, New York state has taken a bold move to make curative treatments more available.
In a November 2015 notice the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services warned that states rationing costly hepatitis C cures may “unreasonably restrict access” for Medicaid patients.