Implementing hospital-based baby boomer hepatitis c virus screening and linkage to care: Strategies, results, and costs

Barbara J. Turner, Barbara Taylor, Joshua Hanson, Mary Elizabeth Perez, Ludivina Hernandez, Roberto Villarreal, Poornachand Veerapaneni, Kristin Fiebelkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends 1-time hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening of all baby boomers (born 1945-1965). However, little is known about optimal ways to implement HCV screening, counseling, and linkage to care. We developed strategies following approaches used for HIV to implement baby boomer HCV screening in a hospital setting and report results as well as costs. DESIGN/PATIENTS: Prospective cohort of 6140 baby boomers admitted to a safety-net hospital in South Texas from December 1, 2012 to January 31, 2014 and followed to December 10, 2014. PROCEDURES/MEASUREMENTS: The HCV screening program included clinician/staff education, electronic medical record algorithm for eligibility and order entry, opt-out consent, anti-HCV antibody test with reflex HCV RNA, personalized inpatient counseling, and outpatient case management. Outcomes were anti-HCV antibody-positive and HCV RNA-positive results. RESULTS: Of 3168 eligible patients, 240 (7.6%) were anti-HCV positive, which was more likely (P<0.05) for younger age, men, and uninsured. Of 214 (89.2%) patients tested for HCV RNA, 134 (4.2% of all screened) were positive (chronic HCV). Among patients with chronic HCV, 129 (96.3%) were counseled, 108 (80.6%) received follow-up primary care, and 52 (38.8%) received hepatology care. Five patients initiated anti-HCV therapy. Total costs for start-up and implementation for 14 months were $286,482. CONCLUSIONS: This inpatient HCV screening program diagnosed chronic HCV infection in 4.2% of tested patients and linked >80% to follow-up care. Yet access to therapy is challenging for largely uninsured populations, and most programmatic costs of the program are not currently covered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Care Planning
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Leadership and Management

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