Federally Qualified Health Centers Effectively Address Alarming Rise in Liver Disease

WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Echosens announces the release of its White Paper, Empowering Federally Qualified Health Centers with Technology to Fight the Growing Burden of Chronic Liver Disease.” Featuring in-depth discussions with physicians and administrators at some of the nation’s leading Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) the paper describes successful approaches to early identification of liver disease — a silent epidemic affecting millions of Americans as the rates of obesity and diabetes continue to accelerate.

“The alarming prevalence of fatty liver disease has made screening for early detection of liver disease critical for helping to cure people infected with the hepatitis C virus and addressing the burden of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more severe form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH),” says Thomas F. Nealon III, CEO, American Liver Foundation. “Through our work with various health care providers, we have an understanding of the importance of the patient-provider relationship in fighting the liver disease epidemic and can see the value of empowering FQHCs, which largely serve low-income, vulnerable patient populations, to quickly assess liver health, provide appropriate treatment plans and advance the quality of care.”

The paper demonstrates through real-world case studies how FQHCs, community-based health care providers that receive funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program, are acquiring FibroScan® technology, a painless five-minute screening, as part of an overall workup to help diagnose NAFLD early on. This non-invasive test quickly provides a quantitative assessment of liver stiffness and fat at the point of care. With over 2,000 peer-reviewed research publications, this technology is the most widely studied tool for point-of-care liver assessment. The case studies demonstrate how FibroScan is empowering FQHCs to deliver an on-site, comprehensive service—and serving as a key strategy across etiologies of liver disease, including hepatitis C and NAFLD.

“With the placement of FibroScan technology in the FQHC practice settings, providers can better demonstrate their support for optimal value-based reimbursement,” says Jon Gingrich, CEO, Echosens North America. “FibroScan is becoming an essential component of high-quality patient care ─ a level of care that every individual, regardless of economic or social status, deserves.”