Cost-Effectiveness of total state coverage for hepatitis c medications

William V. Padula, Jonathan S. Levin, Joy Lee, Gerard F. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Most Medicaid beneficiaries with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are not treated with direct-acting agents because of budget constraints, but they experience costly complications after becoming Medicare eligible. Maryland's "total coverage" proposal could receive a credit from Medicare to offset Medicaid investments in treatments that could lead to Medicare savings. This study analyzes the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of total coverage for HCV treatments sponsored by state Medicare and Medicaid. STUDY DESIGN: A Markov model simulated patients going through the care continuum of HCV. The model simulated 3 pathways: Standard coverage with a 50% probability of screening for HCV and 20% probability of treatment; risk-stratified total coverage with assumed 80% probability of screening and 60% treatment rate; and total coverage with assumed 80% probability of screening and 100% treatment rate. METHODS: The model calculated US$ and qualityadjusted life-years (QALYs) to produce an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio evaluated at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000/QALY. The budget impact for the state of Maryland was calculated in terms of per member per year. RESULTS: Total coverage and risk-stratified coverage saved $158 per patient and $178 per patient, respectively, compared with standard care at an increased effectiveness of 0.05 and 0.02 QALYs over 25 years. Total coverage and risk-stratified total coverage would save $1.0 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively, after 25 years. CONCLUSIONS: Medicare-Medicaid partnerships to pay for all HCV treatments today represent good value and a low budget impact. States with trouble covering HCV treatments should consider using this model to plan coverage decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E171-E177
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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