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

Romero, Roberta, DNP, RN, FNP-C; Campbell, Lisa, DNP, RN, APHN, BC; Song, Huaxin, PhD; Zuckerman, Marc J., MD; Alozie, Ogechika, MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000206
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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.

Roberta Romero, DNP, RN, FNP-C, is Associate Faculty, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas.

Lisa Campbell, DNP, RN, APHN, BC, is Associate Professor, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas.

Huaxin Song, PhD, is Statistician, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas.

Marc J. Zuckerman, MD, is Professor of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Texas.

Ogechika Alozie, MD, MPH, is Assistant Professor Infectious Diseases, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Texas.

Correspondence to: Roberta Romero, DNP, RN, FNP-C, 4800 Alberta Avenue, El Paso, TX 79905 (Roberta.romero@ttuhsc.edu).

Roberta Romero has received honoraria from Genentech, Vertex, and Gilead Pharmaceuticals and is on the speaker's bureau for Genentech and Gilead. Ogechika Alozie has received honoraria from Abbvie Pharmaceuticals and is on the speaker's bureau for Abbvie and ViiV.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Received April 17, 2014

Accepted October 12, 2014

© 2016 by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.