Effort overcame the many hurdles to specialized treatment for Philadelphia's medically underserved
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- In Philadelphia, as in many
cities, neighborhoods with high rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) often
also have limited access to screening and treatment. A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine
shows that when expert advocates made a focused effort in a medically
underserved area, they were able to help vulnerable patients leap each
of the many hurdles that often keep people out of care.
"This study demonstrates the importance of community-based testing for
HCV in identifying previously undiagnosed individuals and re-engaging
those aware of their diagnosis but not currently in care," Trooskin
said. "We learned that a comprehensive approach to nonclinical testing
is critical and must integrate immediate access to confirmatory testing
as well as intensive patient navigation to effectively link patients to
care. Although hepatitis C is now a curable disease, we identified new
barriers to care such as the need for a referral to subspecialty care
and challenges obtaining medication approval for patients, particularly
those covered under Medicaid."
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Labels: Continuum of Care, Philadelphia, underserved