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NAQC Public-Private Partnership Initiative

The formation of public-private partnerships can be a viable option for ensuring quitline sustainability and continued access to evidence-based services for all tobacco users wanting to quit. The NAQC public-private partnership initiative, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strives to provide states with the knowledge, resources, and technical assistance to successfully establish cost-sharing partnerships.

The initiative launched December 2011, providing all NAQC members with access to information through a 3-part "Building Public-Private Partnerships” webinar series and resources and tools available on the NAQC website. Currently, eleven states receive additional support through participating in quarterly discussion groups and one-one-one technical assistance. Those states include: Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, and Utah. To learn more about each of the state’s efforts click here.

Getting Started

Forming public-private partnerships can be challenging and time consuming, however states have demonstrated success by taking the time to plan, educate and engage key stakeholders, including both private and private insurers in the process. The following describes the process in 3 phases, however, depending on the state’s environment the phases ma y not necessarily be executed linearly or independently of each other. However, Phase I must be completed before proceeding to Phase II or III.

Phase I: Cessation Coverage Assessment

Conducting an assessment of your state’s cessation coverage is critical to developing an action plan or strategies to engage partners in cost-sharing. Some of the key components of an assessment include a state’s tobacco prevalence rate, insurance distribution (the percentage of publically and privately insured (self- and fully-insured)), cessation coverage by individual health plans, quitline utilization by largest health plans, the state’s political environment and key stakeholders .

To learn how to assess your state’s health plan performance and its readiness in developing public-private partnerships, the webinar "PHASE I: ASSESSING AND BUILDING SUPPORT FOR HEALTH PLAN COVERAGE FOR QUITLINE SERVICES” describes primary assessment tools and their application, Content includes: Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS), the eValue8 Request for Information, Quitline data, interviewing health plans and assessing your state’s support at the administrative level. Emphasis is also placed on identifying key stakeholders for leveraging support for health plan engagement.

Additionally, the State Cessation Coverage Assessment worksheet, a tool to assist states in the completing a comprehensive state assessment, outlines the key components and resources for accessing the information.

Phase I Resources - click here.

Phase II: Developing and Implementing a Plan

Once a state has completed the cessation coverage assessment and identified key stakeholders (Phase I), the next step is to convene stakeholders to collaboratively develop a state action plan. Information gathered through the state’s assessment is shared to build a common understanding and solid knowledge base among all stakeholders. Through a facilitated process, stakeholders collaboratively identify priorities, develop an action plan and strategies to engage public and private insurers in cost-sharing partnerships.

To learn more about the process, the webinar "PHASE II: DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING PLAN TO EXPAND HEALTH PLAN TO EXPEND HEALTH PLAN COVERAGE OF QUITLINE SERVICES” provides an overview of building a partnerships based on shared goals, how to utilize assessment findings in developing a strategic action plan and prioritizing strategies the promote support form all stakeholders that can generate "early wins.”

Phase II Resources - click here.

Phase III: Building Support for Tobacco Cessation Coverage Through Promotion, Education, and Return-on-Investment (ROI)

The promotion of evidence-based services, educating employers and insurers on the availability of quit line services and demonstrating the cost-benefit of providing cessation services can be instrumental in engaging both public and private insurers. During this phase of the process, attention must be given to educating health plans, large employers, purchasing groups and brokers on the importance of evidence-based cessation services and demonstrating the ROI.


To learn more about building support for tobacco cessation coverage, the webinar "PHASE III: BUILDING SUPPORT FOR TOBACCO CESSATION COVERAGE THROUGH PROMOTION, EDUCATION, AND RETURN-ON-INVESTMENT(ROI)" identified messaging and strategies to combat health plan and employer opposition to providing cessation coverage. Additional materials and resources for educating health plans and employers are provided below.

Phase III Resources
 - click here.

Upcoming Events

Learning opportunities to build your capacity in establishing public-private partnerships to costs-share quitline services will be posted here as they become available.

Public-Private Partnership Initiative: Quarterly Discussion Group
Over the past two years, over a dozen states have  participated in the NAQC Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Initiative. The Initiative provides technical assistance and resources to states interested in advancing quitline cost-sharing partnerships with private and public insurers.   Initially, states conferenced monthly to share successes, problem solve-challenges and lend support to each other as they were learning about the health insurance industry.  Recently, the monthly calls have morphed into  quarterly topic-specific discussions.   If you are interested in learning more about different aspects of forming public-private partnerships, you are invited  to join the Discussion Groups calls. The  format of the discussions are informal and offer participants and opportunity to have in-depth discussions about specific aspects of the work.   

December PPP Discussion Group Call - The Evolving Cessation Evidence Base: Implications for Our Practice, Our Policies and Our Reach
December 19 from 11:00 - 12:30 pm ET 

This quarter’s call will focus on states’ successes and challenges of building internal support for public-private partnership efforts and contracting with experts in the field, dedicating FTE or utilizing interns to help advance the work. The discussion will kick-off with Arizona, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina sharing their experiences followed by other Initiative states sharing their experiences.

  • Participants will gain a understanding of different approaches to building support internally for advancing cost-sharing partnerships.
  • Participants will be able to identify different models for dedicating FTE and contracting with outside partners or experts to advance cost-sharing partnerships.
  • Participants will learn about the diverse roles state staff play in advancing public-private partnerships.
Agenda and call-in details are available here (this page is accessible my members only). 

March Discussion Group Call - Expanding Cessation Coverage and Supporting State Quitline Capacity: 2014 CDC Best Practices Recommendations  
March 13 from 2:30-4:00 pm ET

After participating in this discussion will be able to:

  • Identify ways 2014 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control recommendations can support a state’s public-partnership cost-sharing efforts.
  • Identify different approaches to working with employers, public and private insurers.
  • Identify ways to offer quitline services to populations with the highest needs. 
Agenda and call-in details are available here (this page is accessible my members only).

June Discussion Group Call - Expanding Cessation Coverage and Supporting State Quitline Capacity: Engaging Brokers and Leveraging the HHS Guidelines and Premium Differentials
June 19 from 1:30-3:00 pm ET


  • Participants will gain an understanding of how brokers and their professional associations can assist in promoting comprehensive cessation coverage among employers. 
  • Participants will be able to identify resources for educating employers and brokers on comprehensive cessation coverage.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of how to leverage the premium differential  and HHS guidelines in promoting the cost-sharing of quitline services among private payers. 
Agenda and call-in details are available here (this page is accessible my members only).

Educational Webinars
PPP Webinar: Tobacco Cessation Coverage: Strategies to Engage Employers

January 14 from 12:30 to 2 pm ET
Tobacco cessation treatment is the single most cost-effective health benefit an employer can provide to its employees. The CDC estimates that companies spend $3,856 per smoker per year in direct medical costs and lost productivity. A growing number of employers across the country have committed to providing evidence-based cessation treatment for their employees through the use of quitlines. Learn first-hand from an employer, health insurer and insurance broker about how they implemented and benefited from offering cessation coverage while also meeting the Affordable Care Act requirements.

Agenda and call-in details are available
here (this page is accessible my members only).

PPP Webinar - States Advance Quitline Sustainability
August 21 from 1:30 - 3:00 pm ET
As participants of the NAQC public-private partnership initiative, eleven states have worked for over two years to expand tobacco cessation coverage and sustainability of their state quitlines. This webinar presentation will provide a snapshot of the different foci and strategies employed by five states.  North Carolina will share their strategies for engaging a county government, a not-for-profit and a large health plan in contracting for quitline services.  Massachusetts will present on how they leveraged  disparities among cessation coverage to improve coverage for all state employees.  Kentucky will  share  how they expanded access to NRT through employer contracts with the quitline vendor  and  their  long-term strategy for  cost-sharing quitline services.  Arizona will share how they dedicated staff for their partnership efforts and the focus of staff’s work. And, Texas will share their experience  working with the state’s Business Group on Health and  collaborations with Community Programs. 

Agenda and call-in details are available here (this page is accessible my members only).

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