Cascade of Hepatitis C Virus Care Among Patients With Substance Use Disorders


      Hepatitis C virus testing is recommended for people at high risk for infection, including those with substance use disorders. Little is known about the cascade of hepatitis C virus care (including testing, diagnosis, and treatments) among patients with substance use disorders in real-world clinical practice. This study aims to characterize the hepatitis C virus cascade of care and identify the factors associated with hepatitis C virus testing and diagnosis among Florida Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorders.


      A retrospective cohort analysis of Florida Medicaid data (2013–2018) was conducted in 2020 for patients aged 18–64 years with newly diagnosed substance use disorders (year 2012 was used to ascertain 1-year previous enrollment). A generalized estimating equation identified the factors associated with hepatitis C virus testing; a multivariable logistic model identified the factors associated with hepatitis C virus diagnosis.


      Of the 156,770 patients with substance use disorders, 18% were tested for hepatitis C virus at least once. Among the tested patients, 8% had hepatitis C virus diagnoses. Among the 2,177 patients having a hepatitis C virus diagnosis, 11% initiated hepatitis C virus treatments, and 96% of them completed the hepatitis C virus treatments. Factors associated with being less likely to receive hepatitis C virus testing included being male (AOR=0.73, 95% CI=0.71, 0.75) and White (AOR=0.85, 95% CI=0.83, 0.87), whereas individuals who were male (AOR=1.49, 95% CI=1.35, 1.66) and White (AOR=2.71, 95% CI=2.38, 3.08) were more likely to be diagnosed with hepatitis C virus. The odds of receiving hepatitis C virus testing significantly increased annually (AOR=1.06, 95% CI=1.05, 1.07).


      Future studies are warranted to investigate the barriers to access hepatitis C virus testing and treatment among Florida Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorders, especially for White male individuals.
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