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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Medicaid Coverage and Utilization of Covered Tobacco-Cessation Treatments: The Arkansas Experience.

Thursday, July 12, 2012  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Li C; Dresler CM. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. June 2012;42(6):588-595.
This study used Arkansas Medicaid administrative claims from October 2003 to June 2008 to examine the impact of Arkansas Medicaid coverage of tobacco-cessation treatment on use of FDA-approved medications and counseling services by Medicaid enrollees. Results showed that during the study period, a total of 12,673 enrollees received some tobacco-cessation treatments, and 77% of them received medications only. The policy change expanding coverage sparked an increase in use of cessation medications among Medicaid enrollees, but that increase declined after three months. The addition of varenicline also increased use of medications, but that increase also declined after six months. Monthly claims for counseling services appeared to be unrelated to the policy changes. The authors conclude that Medicaid coverage alone may have a limited sustained effect on increasing use of covered tobacco-cessation treatments among Medicaid enrollees.

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