Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care: Results of the 2003 Survey
Published Date:Jun 15 2006
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2006; 3(3).
Although tobacco control activity in the United States during the past several years has increased dramatically, tobacco use continues to have devastating consequences among all age cohorts.
In November 2003, a survey of tobacco control practices and policies in health insurance plans was conducted by America's Health Insurance Plans' national technical assistance office. The survey was the fourth and final survey conducted as part of the Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care program. Of the 215 plans in the sample, 160 (74%) completed the survey. Collectively, these plans represent more than 60 million members of health maintenance organizations.
From 1997 to 2003, health insurance plans have demonstrated increasing use of evidence-based programs and clinical guidelines to address tobacco use. The number of plans providing full coverage for any type of pharmacotherapy for tobacco cessation has more than tripled since 1997. Plans have also shown substantial improvement in their ability to identify all or some of their members who smoke. Similarly, a greater percentage of plans are using strategies to address smoking cessation during treatment for other chronic diseases and after acute events such as a myocardial infarction.
Despite improvements, important opportunities remain for health insurance plans and other stakeholders to expand their tobacco control activities and transfer the lessons learned to other health problems.
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