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NAQC Newsroom: NAQC News

Assistance Available in Developing Public-Private Partnerships

Thursday, November 3, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Dear Colleagues,

To ensure a successful response to the new graphic health warnings, the quitline community must consider how to adequately support the initial surge in call volume, as well as maintaining higher call volume for at least 3-4 years. Developing partnerships with both the private and public health plan sector can help maximize quitline services and establish a level of sustainability. In 2010, NAQC survey data showed that only 4 states received reimbursement from private insurers and 3 received reimbursement from Medicaid. In states reporting reimbursement, the average proportion of the budget paid for by private payers was 2% and for Medicaid was 4%.

To assist states in developing these partnerships, NAQC hired Deb Osborne as a consultant. Deb has over 10 years of tobacco control experience. In her most recent position as the Director of Cessation Initiatives at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, she spearheaded a statewide public-private partnership that resulted in nine of Colorado's largest health plans covering the cost of quitline services for their members. She was also instrumental in improving the state's Medicaid benefit.

Deb's work with NAQC this year will focus on 1) establishing a strong foundation of common knowledge among states, provinces and coalitions on how to advance tobacco coverage among public and private insurers, and 2) providing more intensive technical assistance to a small number of states. This work is possible with support and funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A series of educational webinars will be offered to help states and provinces build their capacity in developing cost-sharing models through private-public partnerships. Each webinar will focus on a topic area and is designed to encourage participants to apply the information in their state or community following each session. Resources and/or worksheets will be provided for each topic area. The webinar series will begin mid-December 2011 and will conclude with a workshop at the NAQC conference in August 2012. Topics will include: assessing the state/provincial public and private cessation coverage and identifying key stakeholders; developing an action plan to increase health plan/employer coverage of tobacco cessation; gaining support through use of ROIs, promotion and education; and developing strategies and cost/sharing models to implement the plan.

More in-depth technical assistance will be available to 4 states. The states selected will have an opportunity to receive assistance tailored to their needs and participate in monthly group discussions. Depending on the demand, selection of the states will be based on the following criteria:

  • The state can designate a lead staff person (at least .20 FTE) for the project for at least 2 years
  • The state currently does not have the financial capacity to meet the demand for quitline services and/or is at risk of not being able to meet the increased demand as a result of the graphic health warning labels.
  • There is support at the state administrative level in developing private-public partnerships.
  • The state's quitline collects or is willing to collect health plan information from enrollees.
  • The state's quitline vendor is willing to designate a staff person to participate in the effort and offer services to individual employer groups and health plans at negotiated rates.
For more information or to express your state's interest in receiving more in-depth technical assistance, please contact Deb Osborne at or at 800-398-5489 ext. 705 by December 16, 2011.

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