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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

        

AN ACT Relating to hepatitis C-Wash. State

 http://www.nationalhepatitiscinstitute.org/FAQ/Information/senate_bill_6603.htm

Senate Bill 6603

Our introduction to the legislative process began in April 2001.  I began with the introduction of the Hepatitis C Virus and its prevalence in the State of Washington and our country.  For far to long this issue has been silent. I started by presenting ideas and then progressed to Bills I would like to see enacted.  The process took many months and a lot of false starts. Finally at the last moment we got Bill 6603.

SENATE BILL 6603

_______________________________________________

State of Washington 57th Legislature 2002 Regular Session

By Senator Kastama

Read first time 01/23/2002. Referred to Committee on Health & Long-Term Care.

AN ACT Relating to hepatitis C; adding a new section to chapter 18.79 RCW; adding a new section to chapter 18.205 RCW; adding a new chapter to Title 70 RCW; and prescribing penalties.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

NEW SECTION. Sec. (1) The department of health shall develop a state plan for prevention and treatment of hepatitis C. The plan must include strategies for prevention and treatment of hepatitis C in specific demographic groups that are disproportionately affected by hepatitis C, including persons infected with HIV, veterans, racial or ethnic minorities that suffer a higher incidence of hepatitis C, and persons who engage in high risk behavior, such as intravenous drug use.

 

(2) In developing the plan, the department shall seek the input of:

(a) The public, including members of the public that have hepatitis C;

(b) Each state agency that provides services to persons with hepatitis C or the functions of which otherwise involve hepatitis C;

(c) Any advisory body that addresses issues related to hepatitis C;

(d) Public advocates concerned with issues related to hepatitis C; and

(e) Providers of services to persons with hepatitis C.

(3) The department shall update the state plan developed under this section biennially and shall, not later than October 1st of each even-numbered year, file the state plan with the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of representatives.

NEW SECTION. Sec. (1) The department shall develop a program to heighten awareness and enhance knowledge and understanding of hepatitis C. The department shall:

(a) Conduct a seroprevalence study to estimate the current and future impact of hepatitis C on the state;

(b) Conduct health education, public awareness, and community outreach activities to promote public awareness and knowledge about the risk factors, the value of early detection, available screening services, and the options available for the treatment of hepatitis C;

(c) Provide training to public health clinic staff regarding the treatment, detection, and methods of transmission of hepatitis C;

(d) Identify to health care providers and employers the benefits of disease awareness and prevention; and

(e) Develop a prevention program to reduce the risk of transmission of hepatitis C.

(2) In developing the prevention program required by subsection (1)(e) of this section, the department may forecast the economic and clinical impacts of hepatitis C and the impact of hepatitis C on quality of life. The department may develop the forecasts in conjunction with an academic medical center or a nonprofit institution with experience using disease management prospective modeling and simulation techniques.

NEW SECTION. Sec. (1) The department shall establish voluntary hepatitis C testing programs to be performed at facilities providing voluntary HIV testing under chapter 70.24 RCW to make confidential counseling and testing available.

(2) The department may contract with public and private entities to perform the testing as necessary according to local circumstances.

(3) The results of a test conducted by a testing program or department program under this section may not be used for insurance purposes, to screen or determine suitability for employment, or to discharge a person from employment.

(4) A person who intentionally violates subsection (3) of this section is liable to a person injured by the violation. The injured person may bring a civil action for damages and may recover for each violation from a person who violates subsection (3) of this section:

(a) The greater of one thousand dollars or actual damages; and

(b) Reasonable attorneys' fees.

(5) In addition to the remedies provided by subsection (4) of this section, the person may bring an action to restrain a violation or threatened violation of subsection (3) of this section.

NEW SECTION. Sec. (1) The department shall develop and offer a training course for persons providing hepatitis C counseling. The training course must include information relating to the special needs of persons with positive hepatitis C test results, including the importance of early intervention and treatment and recognition of psychosocial needs.

 

(2) The department shall maintain a registry of persons who successfully complete the training course.

(3) The department may charge a fee for the course to persons other than employees of entities receiving state or federal funds for hepatitis C counseling and testing programs through a contract with the department. The department shall set the fee in an amount necessary to cover the costs of providing the course.

(4) The department may contract for the training of counselors.

NEW SECTION. Sec. The secretary of health shall adopt rules necessary to implement this chapter.

NEW SECTION. Sec. A new section is added to chapter 18.79 RCW to read as follows:

As part of the continuing competency requirements established by the commission under RCW 18.79.010, a license holder shall participate in not less than two hours of continuing education relating to hepatitis C. This subsection applies only to a license holder who renews a license on or after June 1, 2003. The commission shall recognize, prepare, or administer a hepatitis C training component for use in continuing education for license holders under this section. The training component must provide information relating to the prevention, assessment, and treatment of hepatitis C.

NEW SECTION. Sec. A new section is added to chapter 18.205 RCW to read as follows:

(1) The continuing competency requirements established by the secretary under RCW 18.205.060 must include six hours of training relating to hepatitis C during each two-year licensing period.

(2) The secretary shall recognize, prepare, or administer a training component that satisfies the requirement of subsection (1) of this section for use in continuing education for chemical dependency professionals.

(3) The training component must address hepatitis C in the context of chemical dependency counseling and must provide information relating to the special needs of persons with positive test results, including the importance of prevention, early intervention, and treatment and recognition of psychosocial needs. The training component must prepare a chemical dependency counselor to provide appropriate information to educate clients about hepatitis C.

NEW SECTION. Sec. Sections 1 through 5 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 70 RCW.

--- END ---

The Bill Summary as prepared by Senate Staff:

The Department of Health must develop a state plan for the prevention and treatment of hepatitis C and develop a program awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the disease.  The Department must also establish voluntary hepatitis C testing programs and develop and offer a training course for persons providing hepatitis C counseling.  Nurses and chemical dependency professionals are required to participate in continuing education relating to hepatitis C.

The Fiscal Note is as follows:

www.ofm.wa.gov  and type in 6603 in the Bill number slot and hepatitis C in the title slot. This should take you to the site www.ofm.wa.gov/fns/  .  Fiscal Note is 6 pages.

Here is a summary: 

The cost in 2003 would be 2,306,000.  The cost in 2003-2005 would be 4,643,000 and the cost in 2005-2007 would be 4,366,000.  The yearly cost for testing would be 1,707,000.  We are working on this number because we believe we can get it reduced down.  You can contact me on the particulars.

The Health Department believes the measures necessary to comply with Bill 6603 would go like this:

SECTION ONE

1.  Develop a state plan for prevention and treatment of Hepatitis C Virus and (2) Establish a planning advisory committee as prescribed.

SECTION TWO

1.  (a) Conduct a seroprevalence survey to estimate current and future impact.

     (b) Conduct health education, public awareness and outreach. 

     (c) Train public health clinic staff

     (d) Inform health care providers and employers

     (e) Develop a prevention program to reduce the risk of Hepatitis C Virus transmission

2.  Department may forecast economic costs and impact on quality of life.  May contract for assistance with these reports.  This study is not mandated, so costs are not calculated.

SECTION THREE

1.  Establish Hepatitis C Virus testing at HIV counseling and testing sites.  (WE DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS MEASURE.  We can work on this and will.)

SECTION FOUR

1.  Provide training for persons providing counseling for Hepatitis C Virus and

2.  Maintain a registry of persons successfully trained

SECTION FIVE

1.  Adopt necessary rules for implementation

SECTION SIX

1.  Nursing commission to establish continuing education requirements for Hepatitis C Virus.

SECTION SEVEN

1.  Department to establish continuing education requirements for chemical dependency counselors.