Challenges in Treating Patients with Hepatitis C
MAY 20, 2017

At the Pharmacy Quality Alliance annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, Jennifer Strohecker, PharmD, BCPS, Sr. Director MHI Pharmacy, Clinical Operations, Molina Healthcare, Inc. spoke with about the challenges involved in treating patients with hepatitis C, especially those among the dual-eligible Medicare population.


One of the challenges, even specially among the dual-eligible population when we look at the management of hepatitis C, is that first of all duals cost more than our traditional Medicare patients. We also see higher rates of hepatitis C in this population as well, and then complicating this is the fact that there are numerous social barriers among duals that may interfere with our medical outcomes.
What I mean by social barriers is we have higher rates of homelessness, and we have also homebound patients who may not have access to care. For instance, they don’t have a car, so it’s very difficult for them to get to their provider’s office, the laboratory for follow-up care, or even to the pharmacy. There’s also very low health literacy, where a lot of our patients don’t understand what their medications are for and how they’re supposed to be taking them in order to reach their treatment goals.
The other thing too around social issues is the fact that the social issues may interfere with their medical outcomes in the sense that, if you’re living on a very limited income, or you are worried about where to get food, or maybe where you’re going to sleep that night, certainly your medical care is maybe not the most important thing to you at that point in time.