Professor of Medicine
In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended routine testing for hepatitis C for people born in the period 1945-65. Until now, the recommendation's impact on hepatitis C screening rates in the United States has not been fully understood. We used an interrupted time series with comparison group design to analyze hepatitis C screening rates in the period 2010-14 among 2.8 million commercially insured adults in the MarketScan database. Hepatitis C screening rates increased yearly between 2010 and 2014, from 1.65 to 2.59 per 100 person-years. A 49 percent increase in screening rates among people born during 1945-65 followed the release of the recommendation, but no such increase was observed among adults born after 1965. The effect among the target population was sustained, and by twenty-four months after the recommendation's release, screening rates had increased 106 percent. We conclude that the hepatitis C testing policy change resulted in significantly increased testing among the target population and may have decreased the magnitude of the hepatitis C epidemic.