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hepatitis c

Eric Molina / CDC

The State of Michigan hopes a new initiative will reduce its growing Hepatitus C treatment costs for state prison inmates and people with Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan insurance. 

Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection that can result in cirrhosis or cancer. 

Michigan Medicaid to expand access to new hepatitis drugs

Sep 21, 2018
Looking down on a hand holding an open bottle of prescription drugs.
Sharyn Morrow / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Starting October 1, Michigan Medicaid will expand coverage for a new class of hepatitis C drugs. A twelve week course of treatment with the new direct-acting antiviral drugs clears the virus completely in most patients.

Michigan's Medicaid system limits access to the drugs to those who have later stage liver scarring. Liver scarring is staged from F0 to F4. Currently, only patients with scarring from F2 to F4 were eligible for the drugs. Beginning on October 1, patients with milder F1 liver scarring will also be able to receive treatment.

John Chevier / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

In 2000, 59 young adults in Michigan between the ages of 18 and 29 were reported as having chronic hepatitis C (HVC). Last year, there 2,060 reported cases in that same age group.

That’s an astonishing 3,391 percent increase within the span of just 16 years.

Those numbers come from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services annual assessment of hepatitis rates, which was released on Wednesday. 

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Brewer wants IRS to investigate Durant

The Michigan Democratic Party wants the International Revenue Service to investigate Clark Durant. Durant one of the Republicans vying to run against Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow this November. Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer says Durant's salary - and his daughter's salary - use up 95-percent of the money in a charity meant to help children attend private religious schools in Detroit. Brewer says an outside attorney believes that's illegal. Durant says the claim is nothing but political theatre.   

photo from David Kwaitkowski's Facebook page

Michigan health officials say a hospital worker who allegedly spread Hepatitis-C to patients at a hospital in New Hampshire also worked at several facilities in Michigan.

They suggest former patients at those Michigan hospitals may want to get tested for Hepatitis-C.