Value of Triage Treatment Strategies to Distribute Hepatitis C Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents in an Integrated Healthcare System: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis


This study aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of fibrosis-based direct-acting antiviral treatment policies for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus at the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States health system.


We used a Markov model to compare the lifetime costs and effects of treating patients with chronic hepatitis C virus at different stages of disease severity, or all stages simultaneously, based on a fibrosis score from the US healthcare sector perspective and societal perspective. The initial distribution of patients across fibrosis scores, the effectiveness of direct-acting antiviral therapy, and follow-up and monitoring protocols were specific to the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States health system. Direct and indirect costs, transition probabilities, and utilities were derived from the literature. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the robustness of our results.


The “Treat All” option was dominant from both the societal and healthcare sector perspectives. The conclusion was robust in deterministic sensitivity analysis. The range of incremental costs between the less restrictive policies was small—the difference between the “Treat F1+” and the “Treat All” option was only $111 per person. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses showed, at both the $100 000/quality-adjusted life-year and $150 000/quality-adjusted life-year thresholds, there was a 70% chance that the “Treat All” option was more cost-effective than the “Treat F1+” option.


We found that expanded treatment access is cost-effective and, in many cases, cost saving. Although our results are primarily applicable to a regional integrated healthcare system, it offers some direction to any healthcare setting faced with resource constraints in the face of highly priced drugs.

The full study is available in Value in Health.