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Medicare claims review builds case for NAFLD/NASH screening

Key clinical point: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease isn’t being diagnosed early enough; by the time it’s caught, patients often have advanced complications such as decompensated cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma.

Major finding: Among 10,826,456 Medicare enrollees – about 20% of the Medicare population – 621,253 had International Classification of Diseases codes for NAFLD/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), yielding a prevalence of 5.7%. That’s substantially lower than modeling estimates of 30% in the general population.

Study details: Review of Medicare claims.

Disclosures: The work was funded by Gilead, which has several NAFLD/NASH drugs under development. Two authors are employees, and the rest reported funding and other ties to the company.


Loomba R et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2020 May 5. doi: 10.1111/apt.15679.