Original Article

Enhancing Tobacco Treatment for Medicaid Recipients

Authors: Audrey Darville, PhD, APRN, Lovoria Williams, PhD, FNP-BC, Jean Edward, PhD, RN, Karen Butler, DNP, RN, Kathy Rademacher, BA, Brittney Gray, MS, Clair M. Tischner, MS, Hannah Keeler, MPH, Ellen J. Hahn, PhD, RN


Objective: Medicaid recipients are vulnerable to increased morbidity and mortality secondary to high tobacco use prevalence and barriers to accessing tobacco treatment. The purpose of the pilot study was to explore managed care administrators’ perceptions of the facilitators and barriers to tobacco treatment for Medicaid recipients.

Methods: Focus groups with key informants (n = 14) from managed care organizations were conducted in fall 2018. Participants included case, integrated care, quality and field care managers, and individuals working in provider and network relations.

Results: Facilitators to tobacco treatment were universal quality reporting requirements, access to medications, and the role of case management in identifying and engaging tobacco users in treatment. Barriers included bias regarding smokers’ ability to quit, communication challenges, and competing priorities.

Conclusions: The analysis provided data to support the development of a policy brief and recommendations to the Department for Medicaid Services for enhancing tobacco dependence treatment.

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