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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2014 Nov;25(4):1922-40. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2014.0171.

Making the case for medicaid funding of smoking cessation treatment programs: an application to state-level health care savings.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In spite of cost-saving tobacco-dependence treatments, many state Medicaid programs offer only limited coverage for these treatments. This report builds a case for state-level financial benefits from funding smoking cessation treatment for Medicaid-eligible populations.

METHODS:

Applying published cost estimates to state-specific data, we assessed potential health care savings from tobacco-dependence treatments for pregnant women, mothers exposing young children to secondhand smoke, and other adult Medicaid beneficiaries.

RESULTS:

Across all three populations there was evidence for short-term positive returns on investment. Including counseling and nicotine replacement therapy, estimated net savings were $157,000 annually for pregnant women and their newborns, $33,000 annually within four years for children exposed to smoke at home, and $5 million annually within two years for the general adult Medicaid population in Alabama.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest that making tobacco-dependence treatment freely available to low-income smokers can produce net savings for state governments within a short period of time.

PMID:
25418250
DOI:
10.1353/hpu.2014.0171
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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