443. Expanded HCV Testing and Linkage to Care: Program Implementation to Overcome Barriers to Engagement in Care
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Hepatitis C
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Room: Poster Hall
Background:  HCV screening was integrated into an existing program for expanded HIV testing and linkage to care (LTC), but HCV poses unique challenges and barriers. These include diagnosis confirmation, patient notification, LTC, and provider capacity to accommodate large numbers of chronically infected patients. We describe programmatic adaptations made to address these challenges.

Methods:  We incorporated HCV screening into a routine HIV testing and LTC program from 1/1/14 2014 to 4/30/16. The HIV LTC coordinators oversaw screening, confirmatory testing, and patient notification. Patients with a confirmed diagnosis and an APRI score > 0.5 were scheduled for a transient liver elastography. Patients with stage 4 fibrosis were linked to Hepatology. The rest were linked to HCV treaters in ID and Primary Care. We compared LTC outcomes by clinical sites and patient demographics with descriptive statistics and Chi-square (X2) analysis.

Results:  Testing volumes increased from 2,935 in 2013 to 5,177 for 2014 (76 %), 6,510 in 2015 (122 %), and 2,272 from 1/1/16 to 3/30/16 (6,816 annualized, 132 %). Sero-positivity decreased from 7.6 % in 2014 to 4.6 % in 2015, to 4.3 % in 2016, reflecting screening rather than risk-based testing. Confirmatory HCV PCR testing was conducted on 556 of 690 sero-positive patients (81 %), with 67 % testing positive and 33 % negative. Of 373 confirmed cases, 138 (37 %) have been linked with HCV care provider. Only 26 (7 %) have received medication prior authorization and been treated. Of those not linked to care, 47 (20 %) were ineligible for linkage (death, terminal illness, other), refused treatment, or repeatedly missed visits despite case follow up. LTC was higher for patients diagnosed in primary care and subspecialty clinics compared to ED or inpatient (X2=48.6, p < 0.001). LTC was greater for patients with private insurance or Medicare vs. patients with Medicaid or self pay (X2=12.6, p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Despite progress, barriers to engagement in HCV care persist. Reflex confirmatory testing is needed. Improved LTC is needed, especially for patients diagnosed in the ED or inpatient setting and those covered under Medicaid or self-pay. Treatment uptake remains low, but triage pathways can prioritize treatment of patients with advanced disease.

Rebecca Eavou, LCSW1, Ellen Almirol, MPH, MA1, Randee Estes, MT (A.S.C.P.)2, Michelle Taylor, LCSW2, Mai Pho, MD, MPH2 and David Pitrak, MD, FIDSA2, (1)University of Chicago Center for HIV Elimination, Chicago, IL, (2)University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Chicago, IL


R. Eavou, Gilead Sciences: Grant recipient , Grant recipient

E. Almirol, None

R. Estes, None

M. Taylor, None

M. Pho, None

D. Pitrak, Gilead Sciences: Grant recipient , Grant recipient

See more of: Hepatitis C
See more of: Poster Abstract Session

Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. CDT, Wednesday Oct. 26th with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.