Fibroscan machine performs liver staging for patients infected with Hepatitis C virus. Prior to Unity acquiring the Fibroscan, there was not one available in DC.
WASHINGTON, D.C –Unity Health Care (Unity) now offers patients an accurate, non-invasive, painless option to aid in liver management. FibroScan® is the first device to be FDA-cleared as an aid to management of patients with liver disease. Dr. Gebeyehu Teferi, Chief of Infectious Disease Services, led the initiative on behalf of Unity to obtain a Fibroscan machine to perform liver staging for patients infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The Fibroscan liver staging and can be done at the time of the patient and provider encounter.
Previously available methods to perform liver staging were completed by fibrosure blood draw and biopsy, each creating additional barriers to the access of health care. Results obtained by fibrosure blood draw can be inconsistent. Biopsy is invasive requiring patients to be sedated and accompanied by a chaperone.
Both options require a referral, scheduling additional appointments, and follow-up appointments with the Infectious Disease (ID) specialist to obtain the results; thereby delaying treatment and impacting linkage to care. FibroScan works by emitting a pulse of energy, which may feel as a slight vibration on the skin. Providers then use the results of the screening as part of a broader evaluation of liver health. FibroScan examinations are covered by most insurance plans.
Patients obtaining a FibroScan can be diagnosed and staged within the same appointment. The procedure takes less than 10 minutes to perform and is conducted similar to an ultrasound screening, eliminating the need to administer injections and sedatives.
“Unity strives to be a leader in providing medical care to our District residents. The addition of the Fibroscan machine gives patients who experience higher incidence of Hepatitis C in our community greater access to the medical technology they need to improve care and receive advance treatment” states Unity President and CEO, Vincent A. Keane.