Regular readers of this blog probably know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hepatitis C (HCV) screening for everyone in the demographic group in the U.S. that is most likely to be infected—people born between 1945 and 1965. In addition, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) last year upgraded its HCV screening recommendation for persons at high risk of infection to a B grade and recommended one-time screening for individuals in the 1945-1965 birth cohort, making both recommended services that health care providers should offer. The USPSTF also recently released a B grade recommendation for hepatitis B (HBV) screening for persons at high risk of infection . These new clinical screening recommendations bring guidance from two expert organizations–the CDC and the USPSTF– into alignment and support expanded screening for HBV and HCV.
Primary care providers are on the front lines of implementing these viral hepatitis screening recommendations, and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD ) has developed ACT-First for them. ACT-First is a free, online CME and CE course that will help physicians and other healthcare professionals improve their knowledge and clinical skills in hepatology. After completing the course, providers will know how to screen for viral hepatitis, what to do in the patient with positive serologies, what to tell the patient, how to decide who is a candidate for therapy, and when to refer patients to a specialist.
Two units–on HCV and HBV–are available now, with additional units on other liver diseases to be released soon. Each teaching unit includes seven to eight presentations addressing every aspect of the disease state. Topics include:
Hepatitis B Unit
- HBV: Epidemiology and Screening
- Patient with positive Hepatitis B serologies
- Natural history of HBV and identification of treatment candidates
- Management of the Chronic HBV patient with co-morbid and other conditions
- Antiviral treatment of the Patient with Chronic HBV
- Prevention of HBV infection
- Hepatitis B in the Pediatric Patient
Hepatitis C Unit
- HCV: Epidemiology and Screening
- Patient with new diagnosis of HCV (anti-HCV positive)
- Assessing severity of liver disease in HCV
- Management of the Patient with Chronic HCV
- Management of the Chronic HCV Patient with co-morbid and other conditions
- Antiviral treatment of the patient with HCV infection
- Management of patients with HCV who have achieved a virological “cure”
- The Pediatric patient with HCV
If you are a health care provider, take the first step in helping your patients with liver disease and visit ACT-First today.
If you know a healthcare provider who might be interested in free CME or CE credits, please share this information with them. Use the “Share This” link below to send an email or share via social media.
ACT-First was developed in collaboration with Project ECHO , the American College of Physicians , the CDC, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We are pleased that ACT-First will contribute to achieving the U.S. Viral Hepatitis Action Plan’s goals of increasing the proportion of persons who are aware of their HBV and HCV status and improving the quality of care for individuals with chronic viral hepatitis.
Dr. Garcia-Tsao is past president, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and professor of internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and staff physician at the Connecticut Veterans Affairs Healthcare System where she is chief of the Section of Digestive Diseases and program director of the Hepatitis C Resource Center. She is also director of the Clinical Core of the NIH-funded Liver Center at Yale.
AASLD is the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. AASLD was founded in 1950 by a small group of leading liver specialists and has grown to an international society responsible for all aspects of Hepatology.