2023 Legislative Policy Priorities
Utah’s elected leaders have the opportunity to create policy that can put Utah on the path to eliminating viral hepatitis in Utah. In 2023, we’re working to establish the legislative infrastructure to move Utah further toward elimination. This year’s legislative priorities focus on sharing information with our legislators and raising awareness within the legislature about the issue of viral hepatitis.
Below are the four priorities that the Utah Hepatitis Coalition board has identified for 2023:
Hepatitis Resolution: We will work with legislators to reintroduce an updated version of our 2022 legislative resolution. This resolution is designed to raise awareness within the legislature. This resolution will also provide a formal commitment by our elected officials to address viral hepatitis in future legislative sessions.
Hepatitis Caucus: We will also work to establish a bicameral, bipartisan caucus of the legislature that will allow for interested legislators to work together on viral hepatitis. This structure will allow for greater citizen participation and allow legislators to work across party lines to support viral hepatitis elimination goals now and in the future.
We are also hoping to send two items to interim study. This means that committees of the legislature will study the issue and potentially prepare legislation for a future legislative session.
Emergency Department Opt-Out Hepatitis Testing: We would like the legislature to study a program where those admitted to emergency departments would also receive testing for viral hepatitis. Patients could opt-out of this testing. Such a program will allow for more wide ranging testing that will allow for quicker treatment and decreased spread.
Hep C Treatment Access: We would also like the legislature to study the barriers to Medicaid coverage of hepatitis C treatment. Utah should follow the lead of other states nationwide to eliminate barriers and prioritize treatment access for Utahns living with hepatitis c.
In addition to the priorities listed above, we’ll closely monitor bills proposed during the 2023 legislative session. We’ll report those that would impact viral hepatitis on our legislative tracker and publish action alerts as necessary.