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NEW REPORT: Using Triage Systems to Improve Access to Cessation Services

Tuesday, October 8, 2019  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, state quitlines have begun to develop triage programs through which they can help quitline callers access cessation services that are often already included in their health plan coverage. Through triage, quitlines are able to expand services offerings to ensure that anyone that wants to quit gets connected to the service best suited to their needs. A number of states that have implemented triage programs have successfully collaborated with insurers to increase coverage for comprehensive cessation services especially for priority populations such as Medicaid recipients. Triaging callers to more comprehensive cessation services available through Medicaid or other insurers has increased the appeal of implementing triage programs. However, while the concept of triage is attractive to state quitlines due to its potential benefits of expanding access to cessation services, implementing a triage program is not an easy task and may not be feasible for all quitlines. NAQC sought to learn more about the types of triage programs that exist, the intended goals of those programs, how the programs operate, program outcomes and any lessons learned. A workgroup comprised of state quitlines, service providers and funders was established and charged with sharing their state’s experience with triage programs and lessons learned. This new report outlines the key findings of the workgroup’s discussions and presents next steps for NAQC and the quitline community to consider. 

NAQC Staff

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