Why TeleHep is Important to the Community
TeleHep is a new type of medical practice. We offer online medical visits to evaluate you for chronic Hepatitis C and determine if you qualify for treatment.
According to the Association of American Medical College, by 2020 there will be shortage of physician subspecialist. This is very concerning for aging baby boomers. who are at the highest risk for hepatitis C. The CDC now recommends HCV testing of baby boomer those born between 1945-1965. Currently, baby boomers make up the largest age demographic (age 52 to 70) at 74 million (See Appendix D). While physician shortage is a problem, transportation is another impediment to treatment.
Another high-risk group susceptible to hepatitis C are substance abusers. This group has difficulty in securing transportation to maintain care for their addiction as well as general healthcare. As identified, even accessible public transportation is a barrier in supporting consistent medical care. In addition, their substance abuse compounds the problem often unsound healthcare judgements. Community outreach evaluates population needs by assessing programs. The healthy people 2020 has a goal to ‘increase the quality, availability and effectiveness of community-based programs. There is a demand to re-evaluate our current hepatitis C treatment options as the disease is on the rise in the U.S. As transportation is a barrier, linkage to care and follow-up after a positive screen is crucial to support the eradication process.
Linkage and Follow-up Care impediments
The public is responding to the readily available hepatitis C drugs with their extraordinary cure rate at 90%-100%. However, there continues to be a need to reach out to the most vulnerable populations. As noticeable symptoms are often non-existent, it has been considered a silent epidemic. The lack of tangible symptoms may mislead infected individuals into ignoring the disease and future consequences. There is a need to link care and follow-up for positive screenings of hepatitis C. The current delivery method is not fully effective requiring a new approach to delivering hepatitis C care.
- Difficulties in tracking individuals as they go in and out of care
- Lack of HCV education
- Fear of side effects based on past treatment regiments
- Mental Illness
- Lack of adequate support services
- High coordination of care needed for rentention and treatment.