Helping Health Plans Develop Strategies to Help Patients Stop Smoking

From 2000 to 2003, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, Washington, a nonprofit membership organization that provides services and products to managed care health plans in 24 states, worked with five health maintenance organizations to expand smoking cessation interventions in clinical settings.

Key Results

  • Five health plans developed and tested interventions to reduce tobacco use, targeting either providers or health plan enrollees. For example, one plan educated physicians about opportunities to enroll patients in a telephone smoking cessation program and another engaged dental providers.

  • Three of the five plans showed meaningful improvement in their main outcome measures as a direct result of their interventions. However, the improvement was sustained for the life of the project only in one case.