Project ECHO telehealth clinic focused on Hepatitis C launches January 18, 2018

The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health (FSPH) will launch Indiana's first telehealth clinic focused on hepatitis C via Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) on Thursday, January 18, 2018, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET. The goal of this mentoring-based clinic is to partner community-focused primary care clinicians with specialists to develop treatment plans that will enhance the delivery of hepatitis C care. The Indiana Health Coverage Programs (IHCP) encourages providers to join colleagues from around Indiana in the FSPH Hepatitis C ECHO clinic.

In general, Project ECHO uses technology to leverage medical expertise, reduce disparities in care by sharing knowledge, and provide case-based guidance, making hepatitis C care as safe and effective as that given in the university clinic setting. The Hepatitus C ECHO* clinic provides a framework for sharing expertise across the state and as a result, will help patients achieve a viral cure and avoid the downstream sequelae associated with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), without patients having to leave the providers they trust and the communities where they live and work.

Evaluation of the inaugural Hepatitis C ECHO clinic at the University of New Mexico (UNM), and many replications of this model since, showed a variety of benefits, including:

  • Increased patient and provider satisfaction
  • Retention of patients in their medical homes
  • Equal or better patient outcomes when patients were treated in their community by their nonspecialist primary care providers
  • Enhanced retention of providers in underserved areas
  • Reduced costs of treating late-stage disease
  • Improved public health-prevention efforts

The FSPH Hepatitis C ECHO clinic will meet online using Zoom videoconferencing. Each session will consist of a brief, didactic presentation of a topic related to HCV care and case presentations by participating providers. The group of 25-30 participants will collaborate and receive guidance from the multidisciplinary experts on the ECHO team. To participate, all you need is access to the internet. No-cost continuing medical education (CME) credits will be provided to all participants. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ by Indiana University School of Medicine.

The Hepatitis C ECHO clinic is free to providers. If you are interested in registering for the Hepatitis ECHO or would like additional information, please contact Andrea Janota, ECHO Program Coordinator, at (317) 274-3178 or ajanota@iu.edu.

* Disclosure: This initiative is supported through educational grants from AbbVie, Inc., and Gilead Sciences, Inc. The funding source has no role in the development of any part of this initiative.