The New Gastroenterologist

AGA News – November 2022


Vaccine recommendations for your patients with IBD

It’s cold and flu season – are your patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) properly informed about increased risk of infections?

It is especially important for patients with IBD to receive the flu vaccine every year. With IBD, you can only get the shot (and not the spray in the nose).

The AGA GI Patient Center provides additional recommendations about vaccines in adults with IBD. Talk to your patients with IBD about what vaccines are needed for their treatment regimen, age and sex.

Review vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases the patient had when first diagnosed with IBD, no matter the age and continue discussing vaccines during regular health care visits.

Give patients vaccine(s) for infections they are not immune as soon as possible.

Make sure patients are up to date or receive any live vaccines prior to starting some immunosuppressive treatments, such as biologics.

Help drive HCV testing, treatment, and eradication

AGA has been working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help drive the national priority for hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing, treatment and eradication.

Updates to QPP measure 400

In July 2022, CMS contacted AGA to modify measure 400 – to update the coverage for one-time screening for HCV to include a referral for treatment for patients with positive antibodies. CMS also advised that confirmation of eradication is a priority and we have started working with the CDC to modify AGA’s sustained virologic response measure for future consideration in the Quality Payment Program.

The modifications to measure 400 have been drafted and given the substantial changes to the measure specification, the measure needs to be retested and submitted to the National Quality Forum for consideration by the Measures Application Partnership. The CMS contractor for this project, Mathematica, will be leading this testing initiative and selected test sites will qualify for up to $2,000 to participate.

Additionally, there will be a second phase of testing to use deidentified patient-level data to assess the measure’s validity and reliability, which will be contracted separately. Our hope is that testing sites recruited for the first phase of testing will stay on through the second phase.

Participants in the second phase of testing are expected to have at least 2 years of patient data available containing data elements needed to calculate the measure. Ideally, each of the participating clinicians at the prospective testing sites would see at least 40 confirmed HCV-positive cases annually.

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