Thursday, October 29, 2015

State Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Cessation Treatments and Barriers to Coverage

A new report from the CDC has found that Medicaid enrollees smoke at a higher rate than the general population, and smoking-related disease is an important contributor to Medicaid costs. More smokers would quit if state Medicaid programs covered more proven tobacco cessation treatments and removed barriers to coverage. Comprehensive state Medicaid cessation coverage has the potential to reduce smoking rates, smoking-related disease, and health care costs in the Medicaid population. Efforts to improve state Medicaid coverage to cover all proven tobacco cessation treatments and remove barriers to coverage have shown some progress, but most states still fall short of comprehensive Medicaid cessation coverage.

As of June 2015, only nine states cover all nine evidence-based cessation treatments considered in this study for all Medicaid enrollees, up from six states in January 2014. However, all nine states still have some barriers in place for certain treatments. The most common barriers to coverage across all states included prior authorization requirements, limits on duration, annual limits on quit attempts, and required copayments. Removing these barriers increases access to and use of proven cessation treatments.

Read the full article Here.

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