Methods: Fibroscans were performed by trained operators on all chronic HCV+ pts referred to the CORE Center hepatitis clinic for fibrosis staging. Scans with at least 10 valid measurements and IQR <30% were considered valid. Fibrosis (F) stage based on TE scores classified as: F4 (Cirrhosis) >12.5 kPa; F3; 9.5-12.4kPa, F2; 7.1-9.4 KPa and F0-F1: <7.1kPa. In Illinois Medicaid coverage for HCV medications is restricted to pts with cirrhosis. For most Medicare pts coverage is provided at >F1 and privately insured pts are covered at any fibrosis stage.
Results: Among 590 HCV+ pts with TE scans, median (IQR) age was 57 (51-61) years, 67% were male. 64% were black, 16% white and 15% Hispanic. 259 (44%) were co-infected with HIV. HIV+ pts were more likely to be male 75% vs 59% (p<0.001) and less likely to be white 13% vs 19% (p=0.002). The median TE score was 8.1 kPa; fibrosis stage 2 and did not differ significantly by HIV status 7.9 in HIV+ vs 8.7 HIV- (p=0.1). 240 (41%) were stage F0-F1, 19% F2, 12% F3 and 168 (28%) stage 4/cirrhosis. Insurance coverage was as follows; Medicaid/managed care 63%, Medicare 17%, uninsured 14% and private insurance 6%. Medicare patients were older and uninsured pts were more likely to be Hispanic (p<0.001). Based on fibrosis stage, 100% of privately insured pts, 62%-100% of Medicare pts, 51% of uninsured pts (if medication assistance initiated at >F2) were eligible for HCV medication coverage vs. only 28% of medicaid pts.
Conclusion: In our inner city clinic which serves predominantly non-white pts, 40% of pts referred for HCV care had severe fibrosis (F3/F4); 28% had cirrhosis. Access to HCV medications remains a significant barrier to treatment with only 28% of pts on Medicaid eligible for HCV medications. Gaps in the HCV diagnosis-to-cure cascade and disparities in long term HCV- related outcomes will persist unless access to HCV treatment is universal.
A. Hotton, None
M. Gallagher, None
D. Wolen, None
R. Goldberg, None
C. Winston, None
D. Taussig, None
S. Vibhakar, None
G. Huhn, Gilead: Consultant and Investigator , Consulting fee and Research support
Merck: Grant Investigator , Grant recipient
GSK/Viiv: Consultant and Investigator , Consulting fee and Research support
Janssen: Grant Investigator , Grant recipient