Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
People who suffered from chronic Hepatitis C finally able to obtain curative treatment after ABLE attorneys pressed for changes
ABLE represents thousands of people living in poverty each year. We listen, we hear, and we help them remove obstacles that keep them from moving forward in their lives. And when we get to the root of the problem, we can help solve the systemic issue – including a lack of access to medical treatment due to outdated regulations.
People who suffered from chronic Hepatitis C were finally able to obtain curative treatment covered in 2018 after ABLE attorneys pressed for changes in the levels at which Medicaid would cover the treatment. ABLE attorneys testified before agency committees, met with legislators, and engaged in other advocacy that tipped the scale so that the Ohio Department of Medicaid policies now allow treatment earlier. Hepatitis C medications can cure over 90% of chronically infected individuals, saving lives and allowing people to return to work and care for their families. Effective January 1, 2019, the fibrosis score requirements for Medicaid approval of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) decreased to 0 so that treatment can begin before damage occurs to organs. “Curing the Hepatitis Treatment Gap,” written by ABLE attorneys Taylor Burns, Rebecca Steinhauser, and Kara Ford, explains why Medicaid coverage for curative treatment at earlier stages of disease is vital and saves pain and hardship, and ultimately, Medicaid dollars. To review the White Paper please click here (pdf).