Enhancing hepatitis C treatment in primary care: pilot project

 

SESLHD Public Health Unit (PHU) and SESLHD HIV and Related Programs (HARP) is piloting a project to enhance the uptake of treatment for hepatitis C in primary care settings through linking patients with new hepatitis C notifications to care.

New notifications of hepatitis C that have been received by SESLHD PHU since July 2017 will be identified and an experienced hepatitis Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) will contact those general practitioners who requested the tests. Contact with general practitioners will be made to ascertain whether:

  1. follow-up HCV RNA testing has been arranged with the patient;
  2. the patient is engaged in further assessment and treatment – either in primary care or has been referred to a HCV specialist
  3. any assistance can be provided to the general practitioner or practice with any aspect of hepatitis C management and treatment

Chronic hepatitis C is a curable condition. Treatment with direct acting anti-viral (DAA) therapy has a cure rate of greater than 95 per cent. DAA therapies are safe and well tolerated. Most people will only require eight or 12 weeks of treatment and the majority of patients can be treated by their general practitioner.

The hepatitis CNC is available to visit your practice and support you in managing all aspects of hepatitis C treatment for your patients, including:

  • selection of pathology tests and interpretation of results;
  • fibrosis assessment by blood tests or FibroScan® ;
  • identification of an appropriate HCV treatment regimen;
  • assistance with remote consultation to gain specialist support for your treatment plan;
  • monitoring during and after anti-viral treatment;
  • workforce development

Benefits of engagement in this program include improved health outcomes for your patients; generation of new revenue streams through MBS billing such as case conferences, GP management plan and Team Care Arrangements; improved linkage and coordination of care and clinical skills development through mentoring and education opportunities.

If you have any questions regarding this project or you would like the CNC to contact you to help with any aspect of assessment and/or treatment of hepatitis C, please contact:

Dianne How Chow
Clinical Nurse Consultant
Mobile: 0411 021 218
Email: Dianne.HowChow@health.nsw.gov.au