Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Saturday, 05 / 30 / 2020

Articles

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C infection in the USA is a highly morbid condition and current guidelines recommend one-time screening among the birth cohort (1945-1965). Understanding strategies to optimize screening can help inform future hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening guidelines. A focused literature search was performed using PubMed and manual abstract review from major hepatology conferences over the past 2 years. The search strategy involved using Medical Subject Headings terms for hepatitis C, screening, birth cohort, baby boomers, and 1945-1965. The review was limited to data from the USA. A total of 327 articles were identified and 36 abstracts were included, with studies published between 2012-2019. Strategies including clinician education, electronic medical record alerts, reflex HCV RNA testing, point-of-care testing, multisite (outpatient, inpatient, emergency department, endoscopy suite) initiatives, direct patient solicitation, and utilization of non-physician providers have increased HCV screening rates. However, broad implementation remains less than optimal. Barriers include lack of patient acceptance to screening and engagement in the HCV care cascade. The Veterans Affairs Healthcare System has achieved higher birth cohort screening rates through an integrated approach requiring high-level engagement by leadership and institutional commitment. Multiple strategies for increasing birth cohort screening have been successful, but overall rates of HCV screening remain low. These strategies can inform public health efforts to implement emerging national recommendations for expansion of HCV screening to all U.S. adults age 18 or older.

Keywords

Hepatitis C, Epidemiology, HCV antibody, Screening, Birth cohort, Baby boomers, Care cascade, Electronic medical records

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