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Public Health Reports: Leveraging Health Department Capacities, Partnerships, and Health Insurance for Infectious Disease Response in Massachusetts, 2014-2018

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Ms. H. Dawn Fukuda, Dr. Liisa M. Randall, and Mr. Kevin Cranston of Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Ms. Thera Meehan of JSI Research & Training Institute described the efforts of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to integrate its HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infection (STI), and tuberculosis response by using policies to enable the adoption of transformative practices. These policies mandated that contracted organizations submit specimens for testing to the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory, co-test blood specimens for HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and syphilis, integrate HIV, viral hepatitis, and STI disease surveillance and case management in a single data system, and implement an integrated infectious disease drug assistance program. Results indicated that from 2014 through 2018, the number of tests for HIV increased by 106%, for HCV infection increased by 205%, and for syphilis increased by 61%. The authors concluded that investing in laboratory infrastructure, creating billing mechanisms to maximize health insurance reimbursement, proactively engaging providers, community members, and other stakeholders, and building capacity to transform practices are needed. Moreover, using multilevel policy approaches to integrate the public health response to HIV, STI, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis is feasible and adaptable to other public health programs.

 

Full article.

Published since 1878, Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research, reviews, and commentaries related to public health practice and methodology, public health law, and teaching at schools and programs of public health. Journal issues include regular commentaries by the U.S. Surgeon General and the executives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.

The journal focuses on such topics as disease surveillance, infectious and chronic diseases, occupational disease and injury, immunization, health disparities, substance use disorders, tobacco use, and many other key and emerging public health concerns. In addition to its 6 regular issues, PHR produces supplemental issues approximately 2-5 times per year, focusing on specific topics of interest to its readership. The journal’s contributors are on the front lines of public health and present their work in a readable and accessible format.

Visit Public Health Reports for more information about the journal.