Transforming Hepatitis C (HCV) Care Through Project ECHO

September 13, 2021

The Project ECHO model has transformed the healthcare system. As a movement to de-monopolize knowledge and amplify local capacity to provide best practice care for underserved people all over the world, the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) is also making an impact in Iowa.

The Iowa PCA currently coordinates two ECHOs - Hepatitis C (HCV) and Behavioral Health. These telementoring opportunities are open to a wide array of healthcare staff across the state of Iowa and across practice entities - providers, mid-levels, behavioral health staff, Community Health Workers, counselors, pharmacists, etc. 

During the 2020 HCV ECHOs, there were 62 case presentations for patients diagnosed with HCV to begin treatment. In 2020, 825 Iowans were diagnosed and reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) with chronic HCV. Of those, 30% were under 40 years old. The CDC estimates that 45-85% of people with HCV are undiagnosed. 

While there are many successes for this program, we're highlighting this week the experience of two staff members from Community Health Centers of Southeastern Iowa in participating in the HCV ECHO.