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Federally Qualified Health Centers Tackle Alarming Rise in Liver Disease

October 18, 2019


A silent epidemic of fatty liver disease is affecting millions of Americans as the rates of obesity and diabetes continue to accelerate.

Screening for early detection of liver disease has become critical for halting the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more severe form nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

The good news is that physicians and administrators at some of the nation’s leading Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)—community-based health care providers that receive funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program—now have the ability to quickly and easily assess liver health to better address this epidemic, advance the quality of care and reap the value of enhanced provider and patient satisfaction.


FibroScan: Fast, Painless Assessment

Echosens’ FibroScan technology is a painless five-minute screening that can be easily integrated into an overall workup to help diagnose NAFLD early on. This level of convenience is becoming critically important for FQHCs because they serve largely indigent, vulnerable patient populations.

Our white paper features real-world case studies from several FQHCs, including the Daughters of Charity Health Centers in New Orleans. They serve 55,000 patients and are battling high rates of obesity, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and fatty liver disease. With 10 different sites located throughout the city, Daughters of Charity Health Centers estimates that about 30% of their hepatitis C patients have fatty liver disease.

They consider the acquisition of FibroScan technology a critical component of their approach to addressing the hepatitis C epidemic and have found that the technology:

  • Has proven to be the most efficient way to screen patients and generate meaningful information about liver health
  • Helps to streamline scheduling so that clinicians can perform many of the work-up steps, including blood work and staging fibrosis, all in one visit
  • Enables them to be more aggressive about controlling a person’s weight, diet and sugar intake when armed with information about the individual’s steatosis result
  • Allows them to determine changes in liver fat during follow-up care and scan anyone who is hepatitis C viral infection (HCV)-antibody positive with an HCV viral load
  • Get referrals from other health care providers for the evaluation of patients with elevated liver enzymes and/or known fatty liver disease

Validated Strategy

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 for hepatitis C care.

With the placement of FibroScan technology in one or more FQHC practice settings, providers can better demonstrate their support for optimal value-based reimbursement. In fact, FibroScan is taking its place as an essential component of high-quality patient care ─ a level of care that every individual, regardless of economic or social status, deserves.


Download the white paper