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Many Family Physicians Don’t Screen Baby Boomers for Hep C

The USPSTF and CDC both recommend one-time hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening for all Baby Boomers—or adult patients born between 1945 and 1965. Baby Boomers comprise approximately 75% of the HCV-infected population.
However, new survey data indicate that many American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) members who reported awareness of this recommendation said they have not actually implemented it in practice.
The survey, which aimed to evaluate providers’ attitudes, knowledge, and adoption of HCV screening recommendations, was mailed to 1250 AAFP-affiliated family physicians. A total of 357 (28.9%) responded.
When asked of their knowledge and awareness of the recommendations, 63.5% of respondents reported that they were “extremely aware” of the screening recommendation. However, HCV screening was ranked as the lowest priority out of 8 preventive services commonly performed by family physicians.
Approximately 49% reported that they were unable to calculate a screening rate for any service despite widely available electronic medical record (EMR) systems, and 62.2% did not know if they could.
When comparing high- and low-screener groups, factors associated with higher reported screening rates were:
Having HCV-specific EMR reminders
Not experiencing previous difficulties in HCV testing
These findings were presented at the American Public Health Association 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo in San Diego, California.

REFERENCE:
Manjelievskaia J, Klaiman T, Leader A, Ibrahim J, Jessop A. Adoption of hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening recommendations for baby boomers: A national survey of family physicians. Paper presented at: American Public Health Association 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo; November 10-14, 2018; San Diego, CA.

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