A Descriptive Analysis of a Community Clinic Providing Hepatitis C Treatment to Poor and Uninsured Patients

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This study describes clinical characteristics of poor and uninsured patients living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) who received care from a multidisciplinary HCV clinic, reports treatment completion and cure rates, and estimates the cost of HCV medications provided at no cost to uninsured patients. A retrospective chart review was performed and identified 69 uninsured HCV patients who received medical care at Mercy Health Center, a small non-profit community clinic, between January 2008 and March 2015. Three-fourths of the patients were unemployed, a third had multiple HCV exposures, nearly half acquired HCV due to illicit drug use, and more than half had active psychiatric disorders. Of those who received HCV treatment, 81% completed treatment and 85% were achieved virological cure. The multidisciplinary community clinic provided > $1.4 million of HCV antivirals at no cost to uninsured patients. Findings suggest a multidisciplinary community clinic comprised of a social worker, pharmacist, gastroenterologist, nurse, nurse practitioner, psychologist, and dietitian can help patients achieve HCV treatment completion and cure rates comparable to traditional physician-led clinics, and successfully manage uninsured and underserved HCV patients—who are often regarded as “difficult-to-treat” patients. Public health social workers and other health professionals are encouraged to advocate for treatment and care of poor and uninsured patients living with HCV in health agencies and health systems, otherwise population-wide reductions in HCV morbidity and mortality will not be realized.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sims OT; Melton PA; Ji S
  • Start Page

  • 725
  • End Page

  • 730
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 4