Healthcare Costs Around the Time of Smoking Cessation.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Hockenberry JM, Curry SJ,
Fishman PA, Baker TB, Fraser DL, Cisler RA, Jackson TC, Fiore MC. American
Journal of Preventive Medicine. June 2012;42(6):596-601.
The Affordable Care Act mandates that new insurance plans cover
smoking-cessation therapy without cost-sharing. Previous cost difference
estimates, which show a spike around the time of cessation, suggest premiums
might rise as a result of covering these services. This study analyzed whether
healthcare cost data differed between smokers enrolled in a randomized trial
for smoking cessation and a matched sample of smokers in the community. The
initial clinic visit was associated with a spike in cost. That spike had
reversed for sustained quitters by the sixth quarter post-quit, showing that
continuous sustained quitters cost $541 less than continuing smokers
(p<0.001) among those enrolled in the randomized trial. In addition,
continuous sustained quitters cost less than their matched community
counterparts in almost every quarter. The cost difference ranged from $270
(p=0.01) during the quit quarter, to $490 (p<0.01) in the 6th
quarter after quitting. The authors conclude that the inclusion of
smoking-cessation therapy does not appear to raise short-term healthcare costs.
By the sixth quarter post-quit, sustained quitters were less costly than trial
participants who continued smoking.