Study: Few Adult Smokers in Medi-Cal Received Cessation Treatments
Medicaid programs across the U.S., including in California, are falling short on efforts to help beneficiaries quit smoking, according to a study published this week in Health Affairs, Kaiser Health News reports (Luthra, Kaiser Health News, 1/5).
According to NPR's "Shots," about one-third of Medicaid beneficiaries smoke, compared with 17% of the general population (Shute, "Shots," NPR, 1/5).
Under the Affordable Care Act, state Medicaid programs are required to cover tobacco-cessation drugs. However, the ACA provision gives states significant flexibility in determining the conditions placed on how the benefit is applied (Kaiser Health News, 1/5).
According to the study, just 10% of Medicaid beneficiaries who smoked in 2013 received cessation treatments.
According to "Shots," results varied by state. For example, beneficiaries in states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA were nearly twice as likely to receive medication as those in non-expansion states ("Shots," NPR, 1/5).
According to the study, the rate of beneficiaries of Medi-Cal -- California's Medicaid program -- who used Medicaid-covered tobacco cessation treatments was low overall (Health Affairs , January 2016).
The study found that about 18% of adult Medi-Cal beneficiaries were smokers. Of those, just 7% were using cessation medications (Health Affairs , January 2016).
Further, the study found that the prescription rate in California for cessation medications was about 13 to 22 prescriptions per 100 smokers enrolled in Medi-Cal ("Shots," NPR, 1/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.