Cost and time savings from a rapid access model of care using transient elastography to screen and triage patients with chronic Hepatitis C infection

2014 Journal of Medical Economics 17;2 (159-165)

BACKGROUND: Treatment uptake amongst patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Australia is relatively low. New approaches to assessment have the potential to reduce public waiting lists, improve access to treatment, and to reduce healthcare costs. AIM: To describe the costs to the public hospital system and waiting time associated with a novel integrated rapid access to assessment and treatment (RAAT) model of care that utilizes Transient Elastography (TE) as a specialist outpatient-based approach for a streamlined assessment of patients with chronic HCV, compared to conventional outpatient management with liver biopsy (LB). METHODS: Time from first medical review to treatment plan and costs associated with detection of fibrosis were recorded for patients receiving RAAT during a 3-month period, and for a similar historical cohort managed conventionally with LB. Costs related to medical and multidisciplinary team reviews and the TE/LB test itself were included. RESULTS: Patients receiving RAAT had lower costs (n = 27, median AU$2716) and shorter time to treatment (median = 194 days) than for conventional management (n = 13, median $5005, 420 days; p

Pubmed : 24246063