Dig Dis Sci. 2021 Mar 26. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-06941-3. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is traditionally treated in the outpatient setting. Despite the excellent tolerability, shortened treatment duration, and high cure rates of newer direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), many vulnerable patients remain untreated due to issues with linkage to care.
AIMS: This study sought to reframe and establish the hospital admission as a unique opportunity to initiate antiviral treatment for patients with CHC, particularly those with psychosocial or linkage to care issues.
METHODS: Patients with untreated CHC were identified either on the Psychiatry or Med/Surg wards at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). If found to be appropriate for treatment initiation, patients were started on antivirals during their hospitalization and followed closely while inpatient and after discharge to assess for sustained virologic response (SVR), treatment tolerability, and treatment completion.
RESULTS: Overall, 36% (23) of potential treatment candidates were initiated on DAA treatment during their hospitalization. Of these patients, 91.3% had documented treatment completion with an intention-to-treat and modified intention-to-treat SVR rate of 91.3% and 100%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: We establish the hospital admission as a valuable opportunity for HCV treatment initiation, yielding excellent treatment outcomes in those who would not otherwise be treated and achieved a modified intention-to-treat response rate of 100%.