Michigan easing access to Medicaid hepatitis C treatment

March 15, 2018 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer says the state of Michigan has agreed to allow all hepatitis C patients with Medicaid coverage to get a new treatment by fall 2019.

Aaron Burrell provided some details Thursday, a day after The Associated Press reported that the state had agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit. The state isn’t commenting.

The Department of Health and Human Services was accused of limiting a life-saving antiviral medicine only to Medicaid hepatitis C patients with serious liver damage. Medicaid is a federal-state health program for people with low income.

Burrell says the state will start expanding access by Oct. 1. All hepatitis C patients will be eligible a year later.

Hepatitis C is a virus that can be fatal. Nearly 12,000 Michigan residents had chronic hepatitis C in 2016.