LSU: LA Medicaid Access for Treatment and Care for HCV (MATCH) Project

The cost of treatment for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) makes it unaffordable for most persons- up to $85,000 for an eight-week regimen. For the Medicaid covered population, and those in the prison system, paying for such treatments is prohibitive. The Governor of Louisiana and the Secretary of the LA Department of Health launched an innovative payment system to cover these costs. Louisiana committed to pay a fixed fee for the next five years to the manufacturer, but this will not exceed what Louisiana has paid in past years. In return, the drug manufacturer will provide unlimited access to the medication. This “Netflix” subscription model was rolled out in fall 2019 and hopes to treat up to 50,000 infected persons within a five period. Researchers at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health and LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans have been awarded a contract for the evaluation of this treatment program, through the Center for Healthcare Value and Equity. Drs. Edward TrapidoSusanne Straif-BourgeoisAshley Wennerstrom, and Benjamin Springgate will lead this effort, collaborating with the Office of Public Health, the Louisiana Medicaid program, and the Louisiana Department of Corrections. Dr. Trapido stated, “the logistics of delivering the program are complicated, and will undoubtedly shift over time. Eight weeks of treatment are recommended; compliance in getting refills and taking the medication will need to be examined during this period.”