120,000 New Zealanders have chronic hepatitis B or C

Hepatitis B Free Follow-up Programme Continues

In December 2004 the Ministry of Health advised general practitioners in Auckland and Northland that the Hepatitis Foundation has taken over the contract to manage the Northern Region hepatitis B follow-up programme (known as the Hep B Free or B Positive Support Programme).

The programme continues to operate as before except for some changes to improve communication, patient compliance and payment arrangements for participating general practitioners.

Operational steps

We will send you a list of patients who are due for their regular hepatitis B serology, liver function and AFP testing each month.  Periodically, we will also send you a list of all patients due and overdue for their blood test.

The list will include the patients NHI, last known address, last date of test, next test due date, and any extra tests that are required above the standard surveillance tests.  It is then up to you to contact the patient and arrange their blood test as soon as possible.

We will also include blood test forms for each patient due. This is formatted as a letter so that you can either post out the letters to your patients or use the blood test form when the patient visits you.

Failure to use our forms means that we do not receive the results and therefore we do not pay you.

Hep B Free

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The Laboratory will send the sample on to Middlemore.  If you should use your own form for any reason you need to mark it clearly with HEP B FREE programme otherwise we will not get a copy of the results.

When the blood sample is taken, it will be collected with the blood-test form in the established way by a Labtests courier.  If our form has been used it will be delivered to Middlemore Hospital laboratory.  If any other forms have been used it will be tested by Labtests.  The results will be provided to you by Middlemore/Labtests electronically, and also to the Hepatitis Foundation for updating of the database and calculation of payments.

We will send you a letter advising follow-up action in respect of any abnormal results and send the patient a letter explaining the results and advising the due date of their subsequent set of tests.

Lost / non-attending patients

Patients who do not report for testing, or with whom contact has been lost, will be followed-up by our nurses working in the community later in the year, but this will be done in liaison with you. Our nurses will take a blood sample when they make a home visit, and you will be provided with the results. The nurses will encourage patients to report to you for their next test.

Patient list

At any time we can generate from the programme database a list of the enrolled patients recorded as registered with your practice. If you would like this list please contact the Foundation.

Testing and interpretation flows

The attached information sheet describes the follow-up programme and includes the testing protocols and interpretation/follow-up steps.


The Foundation will pay $20 (GST inclusive) to participating general practitioners for each full set of blood tests (HBsAg, LFTs, AFP, and HBeAg) taken on or after 1 December 2004 for patients enrolled in the hepatitis B carrier follow-up programme.

For you to get payment we need to receive a copy of the results, so you need to use our forms.

There is no need to submit invoices. The Foundation's Finance Department will provide buyer-created GST invoices documenting each payment. Payments will be calculated from the test results reported electronically to the programme database from Middlemore Hospital / Labterst or DML.

Payments will be made by direct credit into each practice's nominated bank account. Please provide bank account details and your GST number on the enclosed form and return it in the enclosed freepost envelope. Once we receive these details, we will be able to make payment within one month for all results reported up to the close of each month.

An invoice will be posted to you at the time each monthly payment is deposited into your nominated bank account. For enquiries regarding payment details, please contact Administration Manager at the Foundation, on 0 or sue .

Enrolment of new patients

If you identify a patient who is HBsAg positive, we request that you offer them enrolment in the Hep B Free follow-up programme. The Hepatitis Foundation does not pay for initial screening tests, but general practitioners who arrange follow-up tests for persons enrolled in the Hep B Free programme are paid at the standard rate of $20 (including GST) for each full round of tests (HBsAg, HBeAg, LFTs and AFP) carried out.

Please ask newly identified HBsAg positive patients to complete an enrolment form. Please forward the form to Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand, Freepost 191379, P.O. Box647, Whakatane 3080. Please include a copy of the blood test results, if you have not already provided the results.

Newly identified HBsAg positive patients should be recalled for a further round of tests in six months to confirm long-term hepatitis B carriage (i.e. with a second HBsAg positive result). If still positive, the patient should then be re-tested six monthly in the usual way while liver function and AFP results remain within the normal range, or more frequently according to the programme protocols if results are elevated. As noted above, we will provide reminder letters and blood test forms to you when patients are due for re-testing.

GP Referral & Enrollment form HCV

GP Referral & Enrollement form HBV.pdf

If you have any questions please contact Amanda Cooper at the Hepatitis Foundation, on 0 or amanda .

We look forward to working with you to make the hepatitis B follow-up programme a success for all the patients and providers involved.

Attachment Size
HEPATITIS B FREE Continues in Auckland 79.76 KB
Payment Details Form.pdf 170.1 KB