Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a new law that will better protect baby boomer New Yorkers from Hepatitis C by requiring hospitals and health service providers to offer testing for the virus to all patients born between 1945 and 1965.
Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) is a co-sponsor of the law.
"Hepatitis C is a debilitating and potentially fatal disease that disproportionately affects the baby boomer generation in New York and nationwide," Governor Cuomo said. "This new law will help fight Hepatitis C and keep New Yorkers safe by providing testing to those most likely to have this virus whenever they visit a medical facility."
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 75 % of Hepatitis C infection and about 73 % of Hepatitis C-associated mortality occurs in individuals born between 1945 and 1965 – baby boomers. New York State Department of Health statistics show that as many as 150,000 New Yorkers are unaware of their Hepatitis C status. The new law (A.1286-A/S.2750-A) will ensure that all individuals born between 1945 and 1965 are offered a hepatitis C screening test or diagnostic test whenever they are a patient at a hospital, clinic or a physician's office.
The new law will take effect on January 1, 2014.