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Clinical Trials & Research

Research Spotlight

Montefiore is the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. This unique partnership brings together expertise across disciplines and yields an extensive portfolio of biomedical research, with an emphasis on translating basic science in the lab to pioneering treatments and therapies. Montefiore physicians are discovering novel solutions that advance the future of healthcare and treatments:

$3.5 Million Grant Expands Access to Innovative Care for Hepatitis C

As one of six recipients of the Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Montefiore is working to increase access to effective hepatitis C care for patients. Through the grant, Montefiore Einstein researcher Alain Litwin, MD will continue to develop and study models of hepatitis C virus care.

The $3.5 million grant will allow us to identify, diagnose and treat people with hepatitis C (HCV) throughout the Bronx. An estimated 146,500 New Yorkers have chronic hepatitis C, though about half do not know that they are infected. The award, called Project INSPIRE NYC, will increase the number of patients starting hepatitis C therapy, strengthen management of behavioral health problems, and reduce hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

Over three years, we will use an integrated model of care for Medicare and Medicaid patients who are at risk for hepatitis C. Primary care champions will work closely with care coordinators and specialists to increase access to effective hepatitis C care for patients. HCV care coordinators will provide care coordination, navigation, health promotion, and medication adherence to offer each enrollee a patient-centered medical home. Also available to patients will be a peer educator, a person who was cured of hepatitis C, who can share his or her experiences and help patients navigate through the process.

The project will be supported by a telemedicine system linking a hepatologist, infectious diseases specialist, and mental health provider with the primary care provider. Its goal is to further educate the physician and increase the capacity of patients served.

“This innovative model of care builds on our strengths and commitment to our community and will avert deadly consequences of chronic hepatitis C for many people living in the Bronx,” says Dr. Litwin. “We will be able to make a significant impact in combating hepatitis C by innovating the way we deliver health care, on par with other innovations. That’s the whole point of Project INSPIRE NYC.”

Alain Litwin, MD, is Professor of Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.