ACLU may sue Colorado over lack of hepatitis C treatment coverage: 5 notes

Colorado’s Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board recently recommended that hepatitis C treatments should be covered for more state residents, according to the Denver Post. However, the American Civil Liberties Union says hepatitis C treatment should be covered for all residents.

Here's what you need to know:

1. At present, the state only pays for the effective — but expensive — hepatitis C drug treatments if a patient is in the final two stages of liver damage.

2. The review board recommended that the state cover treatment for patients in the final three stages of liver damage, along with all women of child-bearing age — since the disease can be transmitted to newborn children.

3. Others, including the ACLU, argue that the state should offer treatment to all hepatitis C patients.

4. If the state decides not to cover all patients, the ACLU says they will file a federal lawsuit against the state. The ACLU says that the state is required, by federal law, to provide Medicaid patients with necessary care, which includes hepatitis C treatment.

5. The final decision on this coverage will be determined by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing next month.

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