Advances in Hepatitis C (HCV) therapies have made treatment more accessible. However, accessibility of specialists to provide care is limited, particularly in rural areas. The literature recommends expanding treatment in primary care as a potential solution, but many physicians perceive artificial barriers preventing them from treating HCV. To address this gap, a family medicine physician and clinical pharmacist developed a model for treating patients with HCV who were not otherwise receiving care. The objective of this intervention was to see if HCV could successfully be treated in primary care.
This session will feature the approach they designed to address gaps in HCV management, including workflow and protocol development for patient intake, evaluation, medication initiation, and follow-up. The protocol was implemented in two family medicine clinics. An ECHO model allowed for collaboration with specialists as needed, and relationships with community pharmacies were established to increase ease of medication access. Internally the team closely collaborated with the office-based opioid treatment program. As of January 2019, 36 patients have started HCV treatment. Of the 36 patients, 12 (33%) had sustained virologic response at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR 12) which indicates a cure; one (3%) experienced a treatment failure; and 23 (64%) are in active treatment or pending SVR12. The presenters will conclude that HCV can be successfully treated in primary care. This is best accomplished by collaboration between primary care and substance use disorder providers, community pharmacies, and specialists. They will discuss that the biggest barrier to treatment was insurance requirements pertaining to substance use.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB*
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.