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S. 1287 (114th): Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 12, 2015.

Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2015

Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to carry out hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) virus infection surveillance, education, and testing programs.

Requires HHS to establish a national system regarding HBV and HCV infections, with its goals being to:

determine the prevalence of infections, increase the number of individuals tested and made aware of their status, develop and disseminate public information and education programs, improve the training of health professionals, and provide referrals for counseling and medical treatment and ensure the provision of follow-up services. Directs HHS to determine the populations that are considered at high risk for HBV or HCV infection.

Requires HHS to develop benchmarks for activities conducted under the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.

Directs HHS to establish and support public-private partnerships that facilitate HBV and HCV surveillance, education, screening, testing, and linkage to care programs.

Requires the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to convene the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force every three years to review its recommendation for HBV and HCV screening.

Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide certain veterans with an HBV and HCV risk assessment, and, as needed, an evaluation and information regarding their need for treatment, vaccination, or other therapy.