Indexed on: 09 Nov '16Published on: 07 Nov '16Published in: Journal of Viral Hepatitis
Successful hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy depends on effective pathways of care. Over two decades, we have developed four sequential models of care latterly using a multidisciplinary managed care network to improve HCV testing, care and treatment. This was a cohort study to evaluate the effectiveness of care pathways, carried out using all HCV antibody-positive individuals tested in a geographical region between 1994 and 2014. The study involved 3122 HCV-positive patients. They were divided into four subgroups representing different care pathways defined by their date of HCV antibody diagnosis. The number who accessed treatment services within 1 year of diagnosis increased from 77 of 292 (26.3%) to 521 of 821 (72.9%). The rate of treatment starts within 1 year of diagnosis increased from 6 of 292 (2.0%) to 133 of 821 (16.2%), and the sustained viral response rate improved from 61.6% to 77.4%. All-cause mortality decreased from 232 of 688 (33.7%) in subgroup A to 55 of 1207 (4.5%) in subgroup D, and multivariate analysis showed that pathway type was an independent predictor of mortality irrespective of age, sex, SVR status or HIV co-infection with pathway in D having an odds ratio of 0.53(0.40-0.77; P<.001) compared to pathway in A. At study end, 78% (3122) of an estimated 4000 HCV positive had been diagnosed. In total, 97.5% of HCV caseload was referred to specialist services and 89% attended for assessment. The introduction of a managed care network increased access to care and reduced all-cause mortality.