Medicare Hepatitis B Screening NCD effective 10/2016


Clearwater Florida
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CMS made a final decision and released a NCD regarding Medicare coverage for HBV hepatitis B virus screening in 10/2016. The decision identifies "high risk" populations and supports increased access to HBV screenings .CMS will nower cover screenings for those identified in these "high risk" categories. In reviewing the decision summary which is 43 pages long it indicates that the screening will be covered when ordered by "the beneficiary's primary care physician or practionier within context of a primary care setting, and performed by an eligible Medicare provider for these services.."

Does anyone know if Infectious Disease Practioniers (Specialty) will be able to order the screenings? If IFD is not the primary care physician will the screenings be denied by Medicare?

It is often necessary to order Hep B screenings for HIV+ patients because approximately 10% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are coinfected with HBV. HIV/HBV coinfection can also complicate the management of HIV infection due to ART medications.

I appreciate any previous experience/references/resources to help answer this question. Thank you.