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Eliminating hepatitis C

The Health Care Authority (HCA) is partnering with the Department of Health (DOH) and AbbVie US LLC, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, in an effort to eliminate hepatitis C (HCV) in Washington State by 2030.

AbbVie was awarded the state contract because they provided the best overall portfolio and offer a product that treats about 97 percent of all patients with HCV.

Learn more about eliminating hepatitis C in Washington.

Read the Governor's directive

Strategy

HCA, DOH and AbbVie are coordinating efforts to find individuals who are not yet treated; educate the health care workforce about screening and providing curative HCV treatment; and address barriers to care such as stigma, access to HCV providers, and the lack of urgency to treat among patients and providers.

In order to achieve HCV elimination in Washington State, DOH convened partners and stakeholders to develop the Hep C Free Washington plan. These include:

  • People affected by HCV
  • Local health jurisdictions
  • Tribal Nations
  • Medical providers
  • Others with an interest in HCV elimination

What we need from providers

Action! This is a huge opportunity to rid our state of the most common blood borne disease in the United States – and now it is possible.

Effective immediately, we would like all providers licensed to treat HCV to screen and treat the target population. In order to support our provider community in this monumental effort, Apple Health (Medicaid) has made important policy changes:

  • The antiviral Mavyret™ will no longer require prior authorization (PA). Other direct-acting antivirals will require review and will be approved only when Mavyret™ is not clinically appropriate.
  • Anyone licensed to prescribe direct acting antiviral medications is allowed to screen and treat Apple Health members to support this effort.

Webinars and virtual learnings/updates

HCA has launched a webinar series dedicated to highlighting efforts to eliminate HCV in Washington State.

Time and date (Pacific) Registration Agenda
April 16, 2021 Hepatitis C update 2021
Hosted by the University of Washington
Cost: $330
Register
Join the UW live from 8 a.m. to noon for live webinar sessions. Then, view the remaining sessions at your own pace. At the end of the conference, fill out an evaluation and print your own certificate. You will have access to all lecture videos for six months.

November 6, 2020

Listen at your convenience

HCA webinar series recording:
Myth busting: treating hepatitis C in primary care

Presenter: John Scott, MD, MSc

  • Disease state
  • Treatment review and myth busting
  • Care models including treating patients in the telemedicine environment

October 6, 2020

Listen at your convenience

HCA webinar series recording:
Eliminating hepatitis C in Washington State

  • Hepatitis C in Washington State
  • Governor Inslee’s 2018 Directive 18-13
  • Department of Health (DOH) and Hep C Free Washington
  • The role of Primary Care Providers (PCPs)
  • What’s to come in future webinars
  • Questions and closing

Elimination awareness bus

HCA and AbbVie deployed an HCV elimination awareness bus to areas of Washington State with high-risk HCV populations. This strategy is part of a national program to educate the population about the importance of screening and linkage to care. When a person visits the bus, they are able to get hep C antibody testing to determine if they may have the virus.

2021 bus stops

Date

Event Event details

August 11, 2021

Blessings Under the Bridge - Spokane, WA

Time: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Location: Downtown Spokane under the bridge off 4th and McClellan

August 14, 2021

Summer Blessings - Spokane, WA

Time: testing from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Location: Downtown Spokane under the bridge off 4th and McClellan

September 6, 2021

Hands Across the Bridge - Vancouver, WA

Time: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Location: Esther Short Park, 605 Esther St. Vancouver, WA

September 15, 2021 Gather Church Event - Centralia, WA

Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Location: Rotary Riverside Park Lowe Street North of Harrison, Centralia, WA

September 17, 2021 Project Homeless Connect - Tacoma, WA

Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Location: Peoples Park 900 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma, WA

2020 bus stops

HCA put a hold on public gatherings as part of our response to Covid-19. However, the bus made stops in early 2020 at:

  • 9th Annual Spokane Homeless Connect - Spokane, WA
  • Legislative Day - Olympia, WA
  • 2020 Seattle/King County Clinic - Seattle, WA

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C (HCV) is the most common blood borne disease in the United States. Between 75 and 85 percent of people infected with HCV develop chronic HCV.

Chronic HCV is a lifelong virus that can cause severe scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, liver cancer, the need for a liver transplant, and even death. The death toll from HCV continues to rise, tied to the opioid epidemic and the rise in drug injection.

Currently, about 60,000 Washingtonians are living with HCV. Approximately 30,000 are covered by state-purchased health care, including:

  • Washington Apple Health
  • The Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program
  • The Department of Corrections (DOC)
  • The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I)
  • The Department of Social & Health Services (State hospitals)

HCV is curable and elimination is possible. Elimination is a state where HCV is no longer a public health threat, and where those few who become infected quickly learn their status and receive curative treatment, preventing the forward spread of the virus.

Resources

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