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Keywords

Consultation; Discrimination in medical care; Hepatitis C –Treatment; Hepatitis C virus; Treatment; Veterans — Medical care; Veterans health

Abstract

Objective: To examine black-white differences in hepatitis C treatment within the Veterans Administration (VA) and determine whether racial variation in specialty consultation explains differences in hepatitis C treatment between blacks and whites.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of 1040 veterans meeting VA eligibility criteria for hepatitis C treatment. We used multiple imputation to handle missing race data. Specialty consultation was determined from the VA outpatient medical dataset and hepatitis C treatment was determined from the VA decision support system. Conditional logistic regression was used to examine the association between race and hepatitis C treatment as well as race and specialty consultation.

Results: There was no statistical difference in specialty consultation between blacks and whites, OR= 1.23 (95% CI, 0.85-1.78). Among 505 patients who visited a specialist, there was no statistically significant difference in hepatitis C treatment between blacks and whites, OR= 0.55 (95% CI, 0.30-1.00).

Conclusions: Among veterans who met eligibility criteria for hepatitis C treatment there were no statistically significant differences in specialty consultation or hepatitis C treatment by race. There was a statistical trend towards less treatment for blacks.