Many Medicare Advantage Plans May Also Cover Prescription Drugs
Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer the same benefits as Original Medicare.
This means that if your Hep C test is covered by Original Medicare, it will also be covered by a Medicare Advantage plan.
Many Medicare Advantage plans may also offer prescription drug coverage.
To learn more about how a Medicare Advantage plan may cover your Hep C testing and to find plans in your area, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent and find out if youre eligible to enroll today.
How Can I Tell If I Am Contagious And Can Spread The Infection To Others
If you have detectable HCV RNA in your blood, you have the potential to spread the disease to other people. Hepatitis C is spread by exposure to contaminated blood. The most common mechanism of exposure is the sharing of needles or other ‘works’ used in consuming drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Other routes of transmission include use of contaminated equipment for body piercing and tattooing, occupational exposure of healthcare workers to used needles or other sharp objects, and, less commonly, through sexual activity that results in tissue tears or from mother to baby during childbirth.
How To Get Tested
Hepatitis C testing is performed by a doctor. Testing requires a blood sample, which can be collected in a hospital, lab, or other medical setting. Blood is often drawn from a vein in the arm or, in children, taken by pricking the skin. After blood is collected, the sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
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Hepatitis C Antibody With Reflex To Hcv Rna Quantitative Real
Hepatitis C Antibody with Reflex to HCV, RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR Lab Test procedure CPT Code: 86803
Screening for the next conditions: Hepatitis, Liver Disease, Jaundice, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Travelers’ Diseases, Cirrhosis
How Is The Hcv Test Performed
Test for Hepatitis C is a simple blood test done using the blood sample.
During this test, a lab technician or a phlebotomist will cleanse the area to be injected with an antiseptic and wrap an elastic band around the upper arm to make the vein visible and pool with blood. He/she then injects a needle to draw a sample of blood and collects the blood sample in a test tube. After the blood is drawn, he/she covers the injected area with a band-aid or a cotton ball to stop bleeding. The collected blood sample is then sent to the lab for further analysis.
It takes less than 5 to 10 minutes to perform this test.
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Hepatitis C Pcr Quantitative Blood Test
The Hepatitis C RNA PCR Quantitative test is used to look for infections with the Hepatitis C virus. This test looks for the genetic material of the virus. Because viral genetic material may be detectable earlier than antibodies which develop in response to an infection, PCR testing can be used to screen for a recent exposure. Quantitative PCR testing, also known as viral load testing, is often ordered to monitor how effective a persons treatment is at controlling the virus. This test is also useful as a confirmation for people who have had a positive result from a HCV Abs test. Results for this test are quantitative, meaning they will provide a numerical result for the level of the virus in a persons body.Hepatitis C is a virus spread through contact with infected blood. Nearly 80% of Hepatitis C infections develop into chronic Hepatitis. The number of people worldwide with chronic Hepatitis C infections is around 150 million. Chronic Hepatitis C infections can lead to serious health complication such as Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer. Many HCV infections display no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, some of the most common include:
Fever Grey feces Jaundice
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
Who Should Get Tested
You should consider getting tested for hepatitis C if you’re worried you could have been infected or you fall into one of the groups at an increased risk of being infected.
Hepatitis C often has no symptoms, so you may still be infected if you feel healthy.
The following groups of people are at an increased risk of hepatitis C:
- ex-drug users and current drug users, particularly users of injected drugs
- people in the UK who received blood transfusions before September 1991
- UK recipients of organ or tissue transplants before 1992
- people who have lived or had medical treatment in an area where hepatitis C is common high-risk areas include north Africa, the Middle East and central and east Asia
- babies and children whose mothers have hepatitis C
- anyone accidentally exposed to the virus, such as health workers
- people who have received a tattoo or piercing where equipment may not have been properly sterilised
- sexual partners of people with hepatitis C
If you continue to engage in high-risk activities, such as injecting drugs frequently, regular testing may be recommended. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.
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How Is The Test Used
The various hepatitis C tests have different uses:
The HCV antibody test may be performed as part of an acute viral hepatitis panel to determine which of the most common hepatitis viruses is causing your symptoms.
Should I Be Screened For Hepatitis C
Doctors usually recommend one-time screening of all adults ages 18 to 79 for hepatitis C. Screening is testing for a disease in people who have no symptoms. Doctors use blood tests to screen for hepatitis C. Many people who have hepatitis C dont have symptoms and dont know they have hepatitis C. Screening tests can help doctors diagnose and treat hepatitis C before it causes serious health problems.
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What Is The Hepatitis C Virus
HCV refers to the hepatitis C virus, one of the five hepatitis viruses. This virus invades the liver cells and causes a contagious liver disease called hepatitis C. Hepatitis C infection is also commonly known as HCV or Hep-C.
Hepatitis C is a major and common blood-borne disease in the U.S. This infection slowly progresses in the stages starting from the liver inflammation to severe liver damage or cirrhosis . If the hepatitis C infection is not treated and cured in the initial stage, it becomes chronic and leads to scarring, liver cancer, and death in extreme cases.
Dried Blood Spot Testing
Dried Blood Spot testing uses drops of blood from the end of your finger. It doesnt use a needle and syringe and you can do it free of charge in the privacy of your home. Your details and the results are kept private. If your test result shows you have hep C, the people who give your results can help you access hep C treatment and cure.
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What Do I Ask The Doctor
When you visit the doctor, it helps to have questions written down ahead of time. You can also ask a family member or friend to go with you to take notes. Print this list of questions and take it to your next appointment.
- Do I need to get tested for hepatitis C?
- What puts me at risk for hepatitis C?
- How will you test me for hepatitis C?
- How long will it take to get my test results?
- How will I find out my test results?
- If I have hepatitis C, what will happen next?
- Can you give me some information about hepatitis C to take home with me?
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Hepatitis C Antibody Blood Test
The Hepatitis C Abs test is the most commonly ordered screening for Hepatitis C infections. This test looks for antibodies which develop in response to an infection. These antibodies are usually detectable at 4-12 weeks or greater after exposure. Results for this test are quantitative and will indicate a reactive , nonreactive , or in some cases, equivocal result. Hepatitis C is a virus spread through contact with infected blood. Nearly 80% of Hepatitis C infections develop into chronic Hepatitis. The number of people worldwide with chronic Hepatitis C infections is around 150 million. Chronic Hepatitis C infections can lead to serious health complication such as Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer. Many HCV infections display no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, some of the most common include:
Fever Grey feces Jaundice
Hepatitis C can be spread in a variety of ways. Some of the most common include intravenous drug use, improperly cleaned or sterilized tattoo and piercing equipment, sexual contact, blood transfusions , and from an infected mother to her infant during birth. The Hepatitis C Abs test is most commonly ordered as a routine screening. This test can be ordered by anyone who is concerned they have been exposed to the Hepatitis C virus regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms or not. For a recent exposure, the Hepatitis C RNA PCR Qualitative test may be more accurate.Turnaround time for the Hepatitis C Abs test is usually 1 business day.
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Hepatitis C And Baby Boomers
According to the CDC, people born from 1945-1965, also referred to as baby boomers, are five times more likely than other adults to have hepatitis C. As a result, the CDC recommends that everyone born between these years be tested once for hepatitis C. Testing can help baby boomers that may have been living with the disease for decades to verify their health status and to determine the best course of action for treatment.
You Can Protect Your Family And Friends
You can pass the hepatitis C virus to others through your blood, even if you don’t have any symptoms. To prevent this, cover wounds carefully and avoid sharing:
- Razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes, or diabetes supplies
- Needles for injecting drugs, or steroids
- Tools for body piercings or tattoos
Hepatitis C doesn’t spread through kissing, coughing, sneezing, or sharing eating utensils. Although it’s uncommon, you can get it from unprotected sex.
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What Is An Hcv Antibody Test
An HCV antibody test is used to determine whether youve contracted the hepatitis C virus.
The test looks for antibodies, which are proteins made by the immune system that are released into the bloodstream when the body detects a foreign substance, such as a virus.
HCV antibodies indicate exposure to the virus at some point in the past. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get results back.
. The blood panel will either show that you have a nonreactive result or a reactive result.
What Causes Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood. Contact can occur by
- sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
- getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
- being tattooed or pierced with tools or inks that were not kept sterilefree from all viruses and other microorganismsand were used on an infected person before they were used on you
- having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
- using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
- being born to a mother with hepatitis C
- having unprotected sex with an infected person
You cant get hepatitis C from
- being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person
- drinking water or eating food
- hugging an infected person
- shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
- sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
- sitting next to an infected person
A baby cant get hepatitis C from breast milk.18
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Home Screening Tests For Hepatitis C
At-home screening tests provide privacy if you prefer not to go to a doctor or clinic for testing. These tests typically look for antibodies to hepatitis C, but they may not always test for active viral infection. Make sure you know what type of test youll be taking before you buy.
Many at-home tests have close to or the same reliability as blood tests received by a medical professional.
If youve recently been exposed to hepatitis C, wait several weeks before testing at home.
Testing Procedures And Costs
The test for HCV antibodies, as well as follow-up blood tests, can be done in most labs that perform routine blood work.
A regular blood sample will be taken and analyzed. No special steps, such as fasting, are needed on your part.
Many insurance companies cover hepatitis C testing, but check with your insurer first to be sure.
Many communities offer free or low-cost testing, too. Check with your doctors office or local hospital to find out whats available near you.
Testing for hepatitis C is simple and no more painful than any other blood test.
But if youre at risk for the disease or think you may have been exposed to the virus, getting tested and starting treatment if necessary can help prevent serious health problems for years to come.
CDC recommends that all adults ages 18 years and older should be screened for hepatitis C except in settings where the prevalence of HCV infection is less than 0.1%.
Also, all pregnant women should be screened during each pregnancy, except in setting where the prevalence of HCV infection is less than 0.1%.
Hepatitis C is often associated with sharing needles . But there are other methods of transmission.
For example, healthcare workers who are regularly exposed to other peoples blood are at higher risk for contracting the virus.
Getting a tattoo from an unlicensed tattoo artist or facility where needles may not be properly sterilized also increases the risk of transmission.
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How Is Hcv Transmitted
Hepatitis C virus is generally transmitted via blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It can be also passed on to others when a person comes into sexual contact with an HCV infected person. A pregnant woman with the infection has a high probability to transfer the disease to her child at birth. However, the Hepatitis C virus is not spread through casual contact, sharing food, utensils and lip balm, kissing, or mosquito bites.
Is It Possible To Prevent Hepatitis
Hepatitis prevention is very much a possibility with the right strategies. A vaccine is available for hepatitis A. Healthcare providers recommend this vaccine for all people who are at high risk of exposure to the virus. Children- one year and above, should take this vaccine. Prevention of hepatitis A is possible with good hygiene and sanitation. Washing hands especially after using the toilet and before consumption of food can help with cutting hepatitis A transmission. Hepatitis B vaccine has become the norm in developed nations and most new-borns are given these shots. The hepatitis B shots are recommended for children and adolescents as well as adults in high-risk groups. Hepatitis C vaccine is not developed yet, and efforts are in the process to have a vaccine for this infection. Prevention of hepatitis C is possible by avoiding contact or exposure to blood and bodily fluids. Further, avoiding the sharing of needles or other instruments to inject drugs can cut the rate of transmission of this disease.
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What To Expect During An Hcv Test
Initial screening for hepatitis C involves taking the HCV antibody test, which can show whether a person has ever had the infection.
These antibodies are chemicals in the bloodstream that the body makes to combat the HCV. The test checks the blood for these antibodies.
For of people with the infection, the body clears the virus within 6 months without treatment.
Once the body makes these antibodies, they remain detectable, even after the person has cleared the infection. If a test shows that the HCV antibodies are present, the healthcare professional will perform a second test. This is called a nucleic acid test, and it can confirm whether the person still has the infection. If so, it is called a chronic infection.