Disparities in the quality of care for chronic hepatitis C among Medicare beneficiaries

Linh Tran, Jeah Jung, Roger Feldman, Thomas Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important public health concern. Limited information exists on disparities in the quality of HCV care. We examine disparities in genotype or quantitative HCV ribonucleic acid testing before and after starting HCV treatment, and screening for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in HCV patients with cirrhosis. Methods This national study included Medicare beneficiaries with HCV between 2014 and 2017. We used bivariate probit to estimate the probability of receiving recommended tests before and after HCV treatment by patient race/ethnicity, urban/rural residence, and socioeconomic status. We used multivariate logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of HCC screening among beneficiaries with cirrhosis by patient factors. Findings Of 41,800 Medicare patients with HCV treatment, 93.47% and 84.99% received pre- and post-treatment testing. Patients in racial minority groups had lower probabilities of pre- and post-treatment testing than whites. Rural residents were less likely to receive a post-treatment test (Coef. = -0.06, 95% CI: -0.11, -0.01). Among HCV patients with cirrhosis, 40% (24,021) received at least one semi-annual HCC screening during the study period. The odds of HCC screening were 14% lower in rural than in urban patients (aOR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.80, 0.92), lower in African Americans (aOR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.90, 0.96), but higher among Hispanics than in whites (aOR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.15). There was no significant association between ZIP-level income or education and HCC screening. Conclusions Disparities in the quality of HCV care existed by patient race/ethnicity, urban/rural residence, and socioeconomic status. Continued efforts are needed to improve the quality of care for all HCV patients-especially rural patients and racial/ethnic minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0263913
JournalPloS one
Volume17
Issue number3 March
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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