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Impact of Increasing Coverage for Select Smoking Cessation Therapies With no Out-of-Pocket Cost Among the Medicaid Population in Alabama, Georgia, and Maine

Athar, Heba MD; Chen, Zhuo (Adam) PhD; Contreary, Kara PhD; Xu, Xin PhD; Dube, Shanta R. PhD; Chang, Man-Huei MPH

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: January/February 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 1 - p 40–47
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000302
Original Articles

Prevalence of smoking is particularly high among individuals with low socioeconomic status and who may be receiving Medicaid benefits. This study evaluates the public health and economic impact of providing coverage for nicotine replacement therapy with no out-of-pocket cost to the adult Medicaid population in Alabama, Georgia, and Maine, in 2012. We estimated the increase in the number of quitters and the savings in Medicaid medical expenditures associated with expanding Medicaid coverage of nicotine replacement therapy to the entire adult Medicaid population in the 3 states. With an expansion of Medicaid coverage of nicotine replacement therapy from only pregnant women to all adult Medicaid enrollees, the state of Alabama might expect 1873 to 2810 additional quitters ($526 203 and $789 305 in savings of annual Medicaid expenditures from both federal and state funds), Georgia 2911 to 4367 additional quits ($1 455 606 and $2 183 409 savings), and Maine 1511 to 2267 additional quits in ($431 709 and $647 564 savings). The expansion of coverage for smoking cessation therapy with no out-of-pocket cost could reduce Medicaid expenditures in all 3 states.

This study evaluates the public health and economic impact of providing coverage for nicotine replacement therapy with no out-of-pocket cost to the adult Medicaid population in Alabama, Georgia, and Maine.

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (Drs Athar, Chen, and Contreary), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Dr Xu), and National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (Ms Chang), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; and Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta (Dr Dube).

Correspondence: Heba Athar, MD, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, NE, Mail-Stop E-33, Atlanta, GA 30333 (viv8@cdc.gov).

The authors acknowledge Randy Elder, PhD, Scientific Director, Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office (EAPO); Paula Yoon, ScD, Division Director, EAPO; Rachel Kaufmann, PhD, Associate Director of Science, EAPO; Sajal Chattophaday, PhD, Economist, EAPO; Terry Pechacek, PhD, Associate Director of Science, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCDDPHP); Lucinda England, MD, NCDDPHP.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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