To increase access to hepatitis C virus (HCV) care and cure by deploying clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) providers across the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
National integrated health care system.
In late 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office (CPPO) partnered with the VA HIV, Hepatitis, and Related Conditions Program with the central priority of expanding veteran access to novel HCV treatments and timely cure to ultimately prevent morbidity and mortality associated with HCV disease progression. This successful collaboration resulted in clinical resource funding to bolster access to HCV treatment through the deployment of CPS providers. This enterprise-wide initiative to expand clinical pharmacy services for unmet health care needs in HCV treatment resulted in 52 VA facilities submitting full-time employment equivalent (FTEE) funding requests totaling more than $10 million dollars. Facilities may have requested funding for 1 or more FTEEs.
Facilities hired 47 CPS providers and 5 clinical pharmacy technicians. CPS providers in this project recorded 24,888 patient care encounters providing care for 9593 unique patients and initiated new HCV treatment for 1191 treatment-naïve patients. For an additional 8402 patients, the CPS provided HCV care activities such as evaluation and monitoring before, during, and after treatment. CPPO estimates that the same care delivered by nonpharmacist provider specialists (e.g., specialty physicians) cost an additional $936,535, or 48% more.
The deployment of HCV CPS resulted in a significant number of new HCV patients being screened and treated within the VA system.