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Receipt of Cessation Treatments Among Medicaid Enrollees Trying to Quit Smoking

Cigarette smoking prevalence is higher among adults enrolled in Medicaid than adults with private health insurance. State Medicaid coverage of cessation treatments has been gradually improving in recent years; however, the extent to which this has translated into increased use of these treatments by Medicaid enrollees remains unknown.

Using Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) files, this study estimated state-level receipt of smoking cessation treatments and associated spending among Medicaid fee-for service (FFS) enrollees who try to quit. MAX data are the only national person-level data set available for the Medicaid program. The study used the most recent MAX data available for each state and the District of Columbia (ranging from 2010 to 2014) for this analysis.

Few studies have examined use of cessation treatments among Medicaid enrollees. This study found that many FFS Medicaid smokers made quit attempts, but few had claims for proven cessation treatments, especially counseling. The receipt of cessation treatments among FFS Medicaid enrollees varied widely across states, suggesting opportunities for additional promotion of the full range of Medicaid cessation benefits. Continued monitoring of Medicaid enrollees’ use of cessation treatments could inform state and national efforts to help more Medicaid enrollees quit smoking.

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