Screening Rates for Hepatitis C Upon Implementation of Pharmacist-Led Direct Acting Antiviral Management and Point-of-Care Alert

Researchers of a study aimed to assess the trend of at-risk patients screened for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) at federally qualified health care centers (FQHC) after the implementation of clinical pharmacist-led direct acting antivirals (DAA) management and point-of-care alerts (POCAs). The results were published as a poster at AMCP Nexus 2021.

This descriptive study of HCV screening analyzed at-risk patients using electronic health record data from a midwestern FQHC over a five-year period (October 2014 to September 2019). The study cohorts were identified by year, and inclusion criteria was defined as patients aged older than 19 with at least one provider or pharmacist visit during the year. Patients were considered at-risk if they were born from 1945 to 1965, had a substance use disorder diagnosis for intravenous or intranasal opioids use or other illicit drug, had an elevated transaminase result, or an HIV or Hepatitis B diagnosis. The primary study endpoint was the proportion of at-risk patients screened for HCV before or during the study year (prevalence) and the secondary outcome was the proportion of patients not previously screened for HCV who were screened during the study year (incidence).

The results showed that the number of at-risk patients was 4,988, 4,999, 4984, 5,438, and 6,094 patients each year from 2014 through 2019, respectively. Twenty-seven percent of patients had commercial insurance, 7.3% had Medicaid, and 6.5% had Medicare. Prevalence of HCV screening rates were 10.1%, 10.4%, 42.8%, 39.0%, and 28.5% each consecutive study year, respectively, while the incidence of new screenings was 10.1%, 10.4%, 44.2%, 53.4%, and 47.4%. The researchers noted that the increase in HCV screening was largely due to utilizing age-based screening POCAs starting in year three.

“This study identified that overall HCV screening rates were substantially influenced in a FQHC with the implementation of an age-based POCAs,” the researchers concluded. “Ongoing research is identifying infection rates and the impact of Pharmacist-led DAA management on HCV treatment and outcomes, which may help to reduce HCV treatment disparities for FQHC patients.”

Source: Donovan A, et al. Screening Rates for Hepatitis C Upon Implementation of Pharmacist-Led Direct Acting Antiviral Management and Point-of-Care Alert at a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center. Poster E12. Published for AMCP Nexus 2021; October 18-21, 2021, Denver, CO.