NCCHC Standards and Hepatitis
For World Hepatitis Day, July 28, a reminder of what the standards have to say about hepatitis.
Q: Our state performs hepatitis testing on admission into our prison system. We are finding that approximately 30% of our inmates are positive. Subsequently, our physicians have been ordering tests and treatment for these patients. Do the standards discuss hepatitis screening on admission?
A: In standard P-B-03 Clinical Preventive Services, compliance indicator #4 requires that the responsible physician determine the medical necessity and/or timing of screening for communicable diseases, to include laboratory confirmation, treatment, and follow-up as clinically indicated. The responsible physician also makes the decision as to which diseases to test for on admission.
Also note that standard F-06 Response to Sexual Abuse requires that prophylactic treatment and follow-up care for sexually transmitted infections or other communicable diseases (e.g., HIV, hepatitis B) be offered to all victims of sexual abuse as appropriate.
The standards mention hepatitis in a few other areas, as well. Standard A-04 suggests that infectious disease monitoring (e.g., hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis) be included in monthly statistical reporting; B-01 recommends that hepatitis A, B, and C be included in educational programming; and E-05 recommends further questioning regarding history of hepatitis and other health problems as a follow-up to the mental health screening.