Louisiana Medicaid Access for Treatment and Care for Hepatitis C Virus (LA-MATCH) Project
What is this evaluation study?
The goal of the Louisiana Medicaid Access Treatment and Care for HCV (LA-MATCH) Project is to better understand the scope of reach, impact, and uptake of curative HCV treatment among Medicaid members. The evaluation will use data from Medicaid and Louisiana Department of Health-Office of Public Health as well as data from an online survey administered via REDCap to a sample of Medicaid recipients who are eligible to benefit from the new subscription program that seeks information on history of HCV; treatment of HCV; linkage to cure; health behaviors; psychosocial aspects; barriers to treatment; and demographics.
About the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Elimination Program
In June 2019, the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Elimination Program was introduced by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) Office of Public Health (OPH), LDH Bureau of Health Services Financing (Medicaid), and the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) as a method towards effective HCV treatment to HCV positive Louisiana Medicaid enrollees and incarcerated persons in DOC facilities through an innovative pricing arrangement, referred to as the “subscription model” because it is analogous to a Netflix subscription. For HCV treatment, LDH and Asegua Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences Inc., have negotiated a five-year agreement, whereby Medicaid and the DOC pay a fixed amount for an unlimited number of treatment courses with sofosbuvir/velpatisvir (Sofvel/Epclusa). This innovative model aims to reach up to 50,000 Louisiana residents.
The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New Orleans (LSUHSC-NO) School of Public Health was awarded a contract, through the Center for Healthcare Value and Equity, from LDH to evaluate this treatment program. The evaluation, referred to as the Louisiana Medicaid Access for Treatment and Care for HCV (LA-MATCH) project, is taking place between November 2019-June 2021.
Significance for Public Health
Across the globe, the elimination of HCV has become a possibility over the past decade due to an increase in availability of treatment medication, such as SofVel/Epclusa. However, barriers such as access to care and cost of the treatment continue to impact populations. Using an innovative Hepatitis C Elimination model, like the one described above, may decrease the financial burden among those living with HCV when attempting to get treated. The ultimate objective of the innovative model is not only to treat current chronic HCV infections and prevent further health issues, but also to reduce or eliminate ongoing transmission of HCV in Louisiana.