The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has initiated a National Coverage Determination (NCD) process for screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in adults. An NCD is a national policy statement granting, limiting, or excluding Medicare coverage for a specific medical item or service. CMS is allowed to add coverage of “additional preventive services” if it determines through the NCD process that the service is recommended with a grade A or grade B rating by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and meets certain other requirements. In June 2013, USPSTF issued a “Grade B” recommendation for HCV screening in persons at high risk for infection while now also including a recommendation for one-time screening for HCV infection in adults born between 1945 and 1965 in that recommendation. (Read more about this recommendation.)
CMS will be accepting public comments until October 5, 2013. CMS considers all public comments and is particularly interested in comments that include clinical studies and other scientific information that provide evidence for improvement in short and long term outcomes related to this screening service. Instructions on submitting public comments can be found at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coverage/InfoExchange/publiccomments.html. You can also submit a public comment directly from this page using the “Comment” buttons found at the top and bottom of the page.