The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) issued a new report today calling for action to be taken to transform how the country deals with viral hepatitis - to help identify millions of Americans who know they are living with chronic forms of hepatitis B and C and to assure access to treatment for all who need it, to prevent even more Americans from becoming infected.
"This report is a critical next step that builds on a recent groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report on viral hepatitis and translates it into a series of action items which will be critically important to control the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis in the U.S.," said Arun J Sanyal MD, President of AASLD.
The report, HBV & HCV: America's Hidden Epidemics, examines how new measures included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) combined with new scientific advancements could be used to spare millions of Americans from developing cirrhosis, liver cancer, or other life threatening complications as they age - which could also lead to billions of dollars in health care savings.
"HBV and HCV are ticking time bombs. If we don't act now to diagnose the millions of Baby Boomers and others, we'll be too late to spare them from developing serious liver diseases. We'll all end up paying the price, since Medicare and Medicaid will end up picking up the tab for much of the care," said Jeff Levi, Ph.D., Executive Director of TFAH. "Health reform and new science give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we deal with these silent killers."
Some key findings in the report include that:
Some highlight recommendations from AASLD and TFAH in the report include:
The full report is available on AASLD's website www.aasld.org and TFAH's website www.healthyamericans.org.
The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) is the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease and whose vision is to prevent and cure liver disease through its mission to advance the science and practice of Hepatology, Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery, thereby promoting liver health and optimal care of patients with liver and biliary tract diseases. www.aasld.org
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org