OIDP Invites Public Comment on Proposed Viral Hepatitis Quality Measures

Content From: HIV.govPublished: May 07, 20244 min read



Medicaid quality measures could support translation of hepatitis C screening and hepatitis C treatment initiation recommendations into clinical practice


To support the nation in making strides toward reaching viral hepatitis elimination by 2030, the HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) has been facilitating conversations about the development and adoption of clinically meaningful and feasible state-level viral hepatitis quality measures for Medicaid. The Medicaid Adult Core Set does not currently include any viral hepatitis measures. Since Medicaid provides coverage for a disproportionate share of people with hepatitis B and hepatitis C, one way to support translation of recommendations to clinical practice is through establishment of quality measures. During May’s observance of Hepatitis Awareness Month, OIDP is seeking public comment on a proposed hepatitis C screening and treatment initiation measure for adoption in the Adult Core Set. Feedback is due by June 7, 2024.

“Having one or more viral hepatitis quality measures that every state could adopt would improve patient outcomes across states and accelerate viral hepatitis elimination efforts,” observed Jessica Fung Deerin, PhD, MPH, OIDP’s Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor.

Why Are Viral Hepatitis Quality Measures Important?

Quality measures are tools to monitor and improve the quality of health care through quantifying processes, outcomes, patient perceptions, and structures. The Adult Core Set, a core set of health care quality measures for adult Medicaid enrollees, encourages standardized reporting by states to drive quality improvement. The data helps evaluate how Medicaid coverage is meeting the needs of individuals and communities, including where health disparities persist. As discussed in the Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan, quality measures are a strategy to increase the proportion of people who are screened, aware of their viral hepatitis status, and treated. Scaling up viral hepatitis screening, linkage to care, and access to treatment is vital to ultimately reducing transmission and incidence of new infections and preventing liver cancer and mortality.

Technical Consultation Informs Proposed Viral Hepatitis Quality Measures

In March, OIDP convened a virtual technical consultationExit Disclaimer to better understand stakeholder needs and to begin the process of developing national consensus on clinically meaningful and feasible viral hepatitis quality measures for the Adult Core Set. Over 200 participants engaged in the consultation, which gathered input from state Medicaid and public health department leaders, federal partners, and others working with viral hepatitis quality measures.

The discussion provided an opportunity to hear from state officials who have implemented or plan to implement viral hepatitis quality measures on screening and treatment. State officials also discussed data feasibility, meaningfulness, and usability of measures and provided recommendations for which measures to propose. The consensus at the end of the consultation was to prioritize the development, use, and adoption of a hepatitis C screening and hepatitis C treatment initiation measure.

Share Your Feedback on Proposed Hepatitis C Screening and Treatment Initiation Quality Measures

OIDP recently published a Notice for Public Comments on Potential Viral Hepatitis Quality Measures in Medicaid(PDF, 237KB) and invites feedback from interested parties. Specifically, OIDP is seeking comments on the clinical significance, usability, feasibility, and likely uptake of hepatitis C screening and hepatitis C treatment initiation quality measures, as well as recommendations with adequate justification on other feasible viral hepatitis measures to consider. Read the notice for additional details and the specific questions on which input is requested. Responses are due via the email listed in the notice by June 7, 2024. Following public comment, OIDP will identify a measure to develop technical specifications, test and validate the measure with states, and propose the measure to the Adult Core Set in October 2024.

Hepatitis Awareness Month

The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, and May 19th is National Hepatitis Testing Day. During May, OIDP and our public health partners work to shine light on the impact of these too-often hidden epidemics by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging testing, vaccination, and treatment. Learn more about the observance and access tools so you can help raise awareness via social media on CDC’s Hepatitis Awareness Month page.

Viral hepatitis is part of the syndemic of HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorder, and mental health that OIDP is focused on addressing. Syndemics happen when two or more diseases or health conditions cluster and interact within a population, because of social and structural factors and inequities, leading to an excess burden of disease and continuing health disparities.