B Free CEED is actively involved in advocating for local and national policies to decrease hepatitis B disparities for Asian and Pacific Islanders, as well as other high-risk groups.

New York City: Proclamations and Resolutions

May 19, 2008. Mayor Jun Choi of Edison, NJ held a press conference to issue a city proclamation unveiling the B Free Edison Action Coalition for the Prevention of Hepatitis B. The Action Coalition is a partnernship between the B Free CEED, the American Cancer Society's Eastern Division-Asian Initiative, the Edison, NJ Department of Health & Human Services, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc., and the Korean American Doctors Association of Central New Jersey. Read more about the press conference here.

June 12, 2008. The B Free CEED, in partnership with the B Free NYC and the Asian American Hepatitis B Program, organized a press conference at City Hall with Council members Alan Gerson and John Liu. The press conference announces a landmark resolution introduced in the NY City Council to educate and screen all New Yorkers at risk for Hepatitis B, including Asian Americans. Read more about the press conference here

National: Congressional Measures

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced the Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009 (HR 3974). Currently the bill has 27 sponsors and aims to reach 100 sponsors by May 19, 2010 (World Hepatitis Day). B Free CEED is urging its partners and communities to contact their representatives and ask them to support the bill. For more information, visit our resource library.

Improving Access to Care for Persons with Chronic HBV infection

Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a serious health problem for as many as 160,000 people in New York State, particularly among Asian and Pacific Islanders. New therapies have can treat the infection and reduce the chances of its progression, so it is critical to identify and treat unsuspecting cases early. Since many infected people have little or no health insurance, however, they may not present to the health care system at all until they are severely ill. Treating these complications is considerably more expensive than managing cases at an earlier stage, so this system is unnecessarily costly. This project will develop a proposal for a selective expansion of New York State Medicaid eligibility to improve access to care for people chronically infected with hepatitis B. Such an expansion could result in substantial health improvements and could lead to significant cost savings as money spent on early-stage treatment prevents late-stage complications.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Treatment for HBV

A more generalized project examines the costs and cost-effectiveness of expanding access to care for individuals with HBV. A Markov state transition model is used to simulate different care and treatment strategies. The model looks at health outcomes, costs, and cost-effectiveness of hypothetical no-treatment, limited enrollment, and full enrollment scenarios. The model predicts significant declines in morbidity and mortality with earlier access to care and treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection, as well as impressive long-term cost savings. 

While findings show cost-effectiveness, they do not show cost-neutrality to Medicaid within 5 years time, a condition necessary to obtain a 1152 waiver of eligibility to expand coverage to persons with chronic HBV who normally do not qualify for Medicaid.

Preliminary results suggest that further investigation into policies that could expand access to care for HBV is warranted. The Markov model provides a template that can be used to evaluate costs and outcomes for a variety of HBV-related policy scenarios among different target populations.

Increase Funding for CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis

B Free CEED continues to support and advocate for increased financial support for the CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH).