Effects of Health Insurance Among Patients on Hepatitis C Treatment Along the Texas–Mexico Border

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Abstract

The incidence and prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is steadily increasing across the world. Increasing morbidity and mortality rates associated with HCV are influencing research on treatment outcomes. The purpose of this project was to examine the effect of health insurance status and office visit compliance on sustained virologic response (SVR) in adult patients living along the Texas–Mexico border treated for HCV and who received dual or triple medication therapy between January 2010 and August 2013. The objective of this project was to determine whether there is an association between health insurance status, and/or office visit compliance, and SVR. We conducted a longitudinal retrospective chart review pilot study of patients who underwent treatment with dual and triple therapy in a border community in Texas. Results revealed that lack of insurance did not affect SVR in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso-based clinic setting due to enrollment into a managed healthcare program. Providing a financial benefit may improve treatment compliance of HCV-infected individuals, reduce overall cost, and improve the patient's quality of life.

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