3 years ago

Cost-effectiveness of Access Expansion to Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Through Primary Care Providers

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major burden on individuals and health care systems. The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) enables primary care providers to deliver best-practice care for complex conditions to underserved populations. The United States Congress passed the ECHO Act in late 2016, requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the model. We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis to assess diagnosis and treatment of HCV infection in a primary care patient panel with and without the implementation of Project ECHO. Methods We used Markov models to simulate disease progression, quality of life, and life expectancy among individuals with HCV infection and for the general population. Data from the University of New Mexico's ECHO operation for HCV show an increase in treatment rates. Corresponding increases in survival, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), costs, and resulting budget impact between ECHO and non-ECHO HCV patients were then compared. Results Project ECHO increased costs and QALYs. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of ECHO was $10,351 per quality-adjusted life year compared to the status quo; >99.9% of iterations fell below the willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000 per QALY. We were unable to confirm whether the increase in rates of treatment associated with Project ECHO were due to increased or more targeted screening, higher adherence or access to treatment. Our sensitivity analyses show that the results are largely independent of the cause. Budget impact analysis shows payers would have to invest an additional $339.54 million over a 5-year period to increase treatment by 4,446 patients, per 1 million covered lives. Conclusion Using a simulated primary care patient panel, we showed that Project ECHO is a cost-effective way to find and treat patients with HCV infection at scale using existing primary care providers. This approach could substantially reduce the burden of chronic HCV infection in the United States, but high budgetary costs suggest that incremental rollout of ECHO may be best.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0016508517362753

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.