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Videoconferencing Trains Primary Care Clinicians to Manage HCV Infection — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 9, 2014

Videoconferencing Trains Primary Care Clinicians to Manage HCV Infection

By Amy Orciari Herman

A program using weekly videoconferencing enabled primary care clinicians to manage hepatitis C virus infection and increased rates of antiviral treatment. Details of the 17-month program, based on Project ECHO (see link below), appear in MMWR.

Sixty-six primary care clinicians in Arizona and Utah (and neighboring states) serving high-risk populations first received in-person training in HCV diagnosis and management. After that, they participated in weekly, hour-long video teleconferences with specialists, where they presented all patients with HCV, who were then managed together as a cohort.

Overall, 280 HCV-infected patients were managed during the video conferences. Some 46% began antiviral treatment, about twice the number expected. Nearly all the providers had no previous experience in managing HCV.

MMWR praises the Project ECHO model, concluding: "Collaborations with specialists will help primary care providers to begin to incorporate new treatments for HCV infection and will be an important measure for improving access and reducing barriers to treatment."

Reader Comments (1)

Carol A Vassar, MD Physician, Internal Medicine, private practice, Vermont

Does the video recommend using the $87,000 drug? Has the video been provided by its makers?
Any discussion of how to manage the problem of the expense to states Medicaid programs?

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