Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care: The Path Ahead: Conference Report

Conference Report

In September 2005, a meeting was organized by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to discuss the results of the Foundation's national program, Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care. Participants included health insurers, practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and funders from the private sector, public health and health care delivery. As health care moves toward a model that anticipates cost savings, improved outcomes and more consumer choice, better methods are needed for presenting information to physicians and others on programs like tobacco cessation. The participants outlined the benefits of building a business case for tobacco cessation programs among employers, as well as using statistical evidence against tobacco use to create local interest. Improving understanding of the local implications of decisions about tobacco use could help to promote cessation programs. The meeting considered how lessons learned in treating tobacco dependence might be applied to obesity. As with tobacco, environment plays an important role in obesity and one that needs to be better understood. The paper recommends some possible next steps and documents 61 ideas proposed by participants that will help drive future actions.