BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 2179 (Gipson) - Hepatitis C testing
          
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          |Version: June 22, 2016          |Policy Vote: B., P. & E.D. 9 -  |
          |                                |          0, HEALTH 8 - 0       |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 11, 2016   |Consultant: Brendan McCarthy    |
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          *********** ANALYSIS ADDENDUM - SUSPENSE FILE ***********
             The following information is revised to reflect amendments 
                     adopted by the committee on August 11, 2016






          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 2179 would authorize a hepatitis C counselor who  
          meets specific requirements to perform certain hepatitis C  
          tests.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           One-time costs of about $150,000 for the development and  
            adoption of regulations by the Department of Health Care  
            Services (General Fund).

           Minor ongoing costs to train hepatitis C counselors and  







          AB 2179 (Gipson)                                       Page 1 of  
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            provide technical assistance to local health jurisdictions  
            (General Fund).

           Unknown additional costs to the Medi-Cal program to provide  
            treatment for newly diagnosed hepatitis C cases (General Fund  
            and federal funds). By making it easier for  hepatitis C  
            counselors working in certain situations to perform hepatitis  
            C tests, the bill is likely to result in additional testing  
            and additional diagnoses of hepatitis C. For those individuals  
            who are eligible for Medi-Cal, there would likely be increased  
            costs to provide treatment for newly diagnosed hepatitis C  
            cases. The costs to provide such treatment are unknown and  
            would depend on the number of new diagnoses amongst the  
            Medi-Cal population. New hepatitis C drugs on the market have  
            very high upfront costs (in the tens of thousands per course  
            of treatment), but are very effective at curing hepatitis C.  
            In the long-run, early diagnosis and treatment for some  
            patients, may actually save money. However, a very low  
            percentage of hepatitis C patients will ever receive a costly  
            liver transplant. Therefore, it is not known whether  
            widespread use of these very expensive drugs will actually  
            save money for the Medi-Cal program in the long-run.


          Author  
          Amendments:  Simplify the requirements for hepatitis C  
          counselors.


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