1 Author Affiliations: Alumni Healthcare Administration Program (Mss Phillips, Abboud, and Abodunde) and Healthcare Administration Program, Management and Health Care Division (Dr Coustasse), Lewis College of Business Marshall University, South Charleston, West Virginia; and Department of Marketing and International Business, Monmouth University (Dr Paul), West Long Branch, New Jersey.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most significant public health problems currently facing the United States, especially in West Virginia. If it is undetected and left untreated, the likelihood of sustaining a treatment response decreases. While early identification has been identified as a critical focus in trying to obtain better health outcomes, new drug treatments appear promising, if somewhat expensive. West Virginia is a predominantly rural state, where the incidence of HCV is 9 times the national average and Medicaid costs for treatment amounted to more than $27 million from 2014 to 2016. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the effects of early identification and treatment for patients infected with HCV as it relates to West Virginia. A comprehensive systematic review was limited to 58 articles published from 2008 to 2018 and were in English. Findings from this review identified early detection as the first line of a preventive strategy to help reduce the evolving epidemic and that oral medications could reduce the risk of liver cancer and death. The cost associated with hospitalization of HCV more than tripled from $20 963 in 2005 to $64 867 in 2011 with the average charge per hospitalization at $53 626 due to HVC. The lack of adequate treatment options has led to increasing (and even more expensive) hospital care for untreated HCV. These facts suggest that this state might be facing an expected financial health care crisis due to its increasingly drug-related HCV-infected population.