Hepatitis C drugs still being restricted by state Medicaid plans

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Hepatitis C drugs still being restricted by state Medicaid plans

State Medicaid programs are limiting access to hepatitis C medications.

Over the past two years, state Medicaid programs have done a better job of disclosing information about access to hepatitis C medicines and are also making progress in reducing or eliminating restrictions that pose a barrier to treatment, according to a new preliminary analysis.

In 2014, 17 states did not make public their criteria for treatment, compared with just seven state programs this year. And in the past two years, 16 state programs cut or dropped restrictions to access based on a patients’ stage of liver disease, which has been a key test for determining treatment. The preliminary analysis was released Monday; a final version will be published next year. (Here is the previous analysis looking at 2014).

Despite such improvements, there are signs that other restrictions continue to impede access to treatment, according to the authors of the analysis, who maintain this violates federal law and runs counter to treatment guidelines and a notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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