Mount Sinai Primary Care Services for Those With Hepatitis C
$1.9 million in federal funding received through the Fund for Public Health and NYC DOHMH
With the number of people with chronic hepatitis C reaching record levels in New York City and the recent availability of more effective treatments, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently announced the receipt of $1.9 million in federal funding to increase its capacity to treat HCV in primary care settings. Called Project INSPIRE NYC, the new initiative arose from a partnership between The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) and the Fund for Public Health, which together won a grant to fund it from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Health Care Innovation Awards program.
The project will seek to better identify those infected with hepatitis C through surveillance databases and community referrals as part of primary care, while ensuring that patients get the best treatment, behavioral counseling and a read out on health risks that can accompany the disease (e.g. substance abuse). Primary care or HIV providers will be supported by addiction medicine specialists, psychiatrists and hepatologists, who will be available via telemedicine.
“Building a better system to find and care for the many patients with chronic hepatitis C in our community is an urgent priority, and we are honored to be a part of it,” said Ponni Perumalswami, MD, Assistant Professor for Medicine and Liver Diseases, and Director of the Mount Sinai Hepatitis Outreach Network (HONE) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This is an exciting initiative spearheaded by the City’s Health Department that will lead to better health outcomes.”
The projected Mount Sinai subcontract will run for three years, led by Dr. Perumalswami and co-investigators Jeffrey J. Weiss, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and General Internal Medicine and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Douglas T. Dieterich, MD, Professor of Medicine and Liver Diseases and Director of Outpatient Hepatology, both at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
The goals of Project INSPIRE NYC are to provide better care by increasing the number of patients starting HCV therapy, strengthen management of behavioral health problems and reduce hospitalizations. The program will also work to reduce the number of HCV-related complications, and increase screenings for depression and alcohol abuse among those diagnosed with chronic HCV. This promises to improve patient health while lower health care costs.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty and our physicians in the top 1% of all physicians nationally by U.S. News & World Report.