Importance of Patient, Provider, and Facility Predictors of Hepatitis C Virus Treatment in Veterans: A National Study

Houston VA Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 9.21). 11/2010; 106(3):483-91. DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2010.430
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Several patient characteristics are known to impact hepatitis C virus (HCV) antiviral treatment rates. However, it is unclear whether, and to what extent, health-care providers or facility characteristics impact HCV treatment rates.
Using national data obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) HCV Clinical Case Registry, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with active HCV viremia, who were diagnosed between 2003 and 2004. We evaluated patient-, provider-, and facility-level predictors of receipt of HCV treatment with hierarchical logistic regression.
The overall HCV treatment rate in 29,695 patients was 14.2%. The strongest independent predictor for receipt of treatment was consultation with an HCV specialist (odds ratio=9.34; 8.03-10.87). Patients were less likely to receive HCV treatment if they were Black, older, male, current users of alcohol or drugs, had HCV genotype 1 or 4, had higher creatinine levels, or had severe anxiety/post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Patients with high hemoglobin levels, cirrhosis, and persistently high liver enzyme levels were more likely to receive treatment. Patient, provider, and facility factors explained 15, 4, and 4%, respectively, of the variation in treatment rates.
Treatment rates for HCV are low in the VA. In addition to several important patient-level characteristics, a specialist consultant has a vital role in determining whether a patient should receive HCV treatment. These findings support the development of patient-level interventions targeted at identifying and managing comorbidities and contraindications and fostering greater involvement of specialists in the care of HCV.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Palliative care and preparation for liver transplantation are often perceived as conflicting for patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD). We sought to improve both simultaneously through a case finding and care coordination quality improvement intervention. Methods: We identified patients with cirrhosis using validated ICD-9 codes and screened them for ESLD by assessing medical records at a VA hospital for either a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) ≥14 or a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) between October 2012 and January 2013. A care coordinator followed veterans from the index hospitalization through April 2013 and encouraged treating physicians to submit liver transplant evaluation consults for all veterans with a MELD ≥14 and palliative care consults for all veterans with a MELD ≥20 or inoperable HCC. Results: We compared rates of consultation for 49 hospitalized veterans and compared their outcomes to 61 pre-intervention veterans. Veterans were more likely to be considered for liver transplantation (77.6% versus 31.1%, p<0.001) and receive palliative care consultation during the intervention period, although the latter finding did not reach statistical significance (62.5% versus 47.1%, p=0.38). Conclusions: Active case finding improved consideration for liver transplantation without decreasing palliative care consultation.
    Journal of Palliative Medicine 12/2014; 18(4). DOI:10.1089/jpm.2014.0265 · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this decade, an increase is expected in end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma, most commonly caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Although people who inject drugs (PWID) are the major source for HCV infection, they were excluded from antiviral treatments until recently. Nowadays there is incontrovertible evidence in favor of treating these patients, and substitution therapy and active substance use are no longer contraindications for antiviral treatment. The viral clearance in PWID after HCV antiviral treatment with interferon or pegylated interferon combined with ribavirin is comparable to the viral clearance in non-substance users. Furthermore, multidisciplinary approaches to delivering treatment to PWID are advised, and their treatment should be considered on an individualized basis. To prevent the spread of HCV in the PWID community, recent active PWID are eligible for treatment in combination with needle exchange programs and substitution therapy. As the rate of HCV reinfection is low after HCV antiviral treatment, there is no need to withhold HCV treatment due to concerns about reinfection alone. Despite the advances in treatment efficacies and data supporting their success, HCV assessment of PWID and initiation of antiviral treatment remains low. However, the proportion of PWID assessed and treated for HCV is increasing, which can be further enhanced by understanding the barriers to and facilitators of HCV care. Removing stigmatization and implementing peer support and group treatment strategies, in conjunction with greater involvement by nurse educators/practitioners, will promote greater treatment seeking and adherence by PWID. Moreover, screening can be facilitated by noninvasive methods for detecting HCV antibodies and assessing liver fibrosis stages. Recently, HCV clearance has become a major endpoint in the war against drugs for the Global Commission on Drug Policy. This review highlights the most recent evidence concerning HCV infection and treatment strategies in PWID.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 09/2014; 20(36):12722-12733. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v20.i36.12722 · 2.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background & AimsDespite advances in HCV treatment, recent data on treatment uptake is sparse. HCV treatment uptake and associated factors were evaluated in a community-based cohort in Vancouver, Canada. Methods The CHASE study is a cohort of inner city residents recruited from January 2003–June 2004. HCV status and treatment were retrospectively and prospectively determined through data linkages with provincial virology and pharmacy databases. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with HCV treatment uptake. ResultsAmong 2913, HCV antibody testing was performed in 2405, 64% were HCV antibody-positive (n = 1533). Individuals with spontaneous clearance (18%, n = 276) were excluded. Among the remaining 1257 HCV antibody-positive participants (mean age 42, 71% male), 29% were Aboriginal. At enrolment, the majority reported recent injecting (60%) and non-injecting drug use (87%). Between January 1998 and March 2010, 6% (77 of 1257) initiated HCV treatment. In adjusted analyses, Aboriginal ethnicity [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.23; 95% CI 0.10, 0.51] and crack cocaine use (AOR 0.61; 95% CI 0.37, 0.99) were associated with a decreased odds of receiving HCV treatment, while methamphetamine injecting (AOR 0.16; 95% CI 0.02, 1.18) trended towards a lower odds of receiving treatment. HCV treatment uptake ranged from 0.2 (95% CI 0.0, 0.7) per 100 person-years (PYs) in 2003 to 1.6 (95% CI 0.9, 2.6) per 100 PYs in 2009. ConclusionHCV treatment uptake remains low in this large community-based cohort of inner city residents with a high HCV prevalence and access to universal healthcare.
    Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 11/2013; 34(8). DOI:10.1111/liv.12370 · 4.41 Impact Factor