A Comprehensive Screening and Treatment Model for Reducing Disparities in Hepatitis B

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2011
Authors  H. Pollack, MD; S. Wang, MD; L. Wyatt, MPH; Chia-Hui Peng, MPH; Kejia Wan, MPH; Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH; Kay Chun, MD; Thomas Tsang, MD; Simona Kwon, DrPH
Publication Language  English
Journal Title  Health Affairs
Subgroup  Chinese, Korean
Target Audience  HBV, Immigrant, NYC, Chinese, Korean
Volume  30
Pages  1974-1983
Abstract  Chronic hepatitis B affects Asian Americans at a much higher rate than the general US population. Appropriate care can limit morbidity and mortality from hepatitis B. However, access to care for many Asian Americans and other immigrant groups is limited by their lack of knowledge about the disease, as well as cultural, linguistic, and financial challenges. This article describes the results of BfreeNYC, a New York City pilot program that, from 2004 to 2008, provided hepatitis B community education and awareness, free screening and vaccinations, and free or low-cost treatment primarily to immigrants from Asia, but also to residents from other racial and ethnic minority groups. The program was the largest citywide screening program in the United States, reaching nearly 9,000 people, and the only one providing comprehensive care to those who were infected. During the program, new hepatitis B cases reported annually from predominantly Asian neighborhoods in the city increased 34 percent. More than two thousand people were vaccinated, and 1,162 of the 1,632 people who tested positive for hepatitis B received care from the program's clinical services. Our analysis found that the program was effective in reaching the target population and providing care. Although follow-up care data will be needed to demonstrate long-term cost-effectiveness, the program may serve as a useful prototype for addressing hepatitis B disparities in communities across the United States.
URL  http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/30/10/1974.full.pdf
Journal Date  10/2011