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Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care program
  1. Abby C Rosenthal
  1. National Technical Assistance Office, Health Alliance Plan, One Ford Place, 5-C, Detroit, MI 48202, USA; arosent1{at}hfhs.org

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    This session was designed to discuss new resources in the field of tobacco control and managed care from the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), and the National Cancer Institute. An additional new resource is the Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care program which has two components: the National Technical Assistance Office (NTAO) and the National Program Office (NPO). Michael Fiore and Marguerite Burns are the principal investigator and deputy director, respectively, and Susan Curry is the co-director.

    The NPO provides grant funding for evaluation of tobacco control initiatives. Four full evaluation grants of approximately $500 000 each and 11 planning grants of approximately $50 000 each were awarded in early 1999. A second call for proposals will be issued in 2000. Both the Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care NTAO and the NPO are funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AHCPR, and CDC. The NTAO is directed by the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP), in cooperation with Health Alliance Plan (HAP), and the Prudential Center for Health Care Research.

    The NTAO was established in 1997 to provide technical assistance to managed care in implementing tobacco control initiatives. Currently available resources include: a reference guide containing an annotated bibliography of articles relating to tobacco and managed care, and a listing of national level resources; quarterly newsletters; a benchmarking awards program; a listserv; an NTAO website—www.aahp.org(under “initiatives”)—which contains all previously published material; a tool kit to assist in designing and implementing a tobacco control initiative, the National Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care conference; a survey of managed care plans' tobacco control initiatives; and a special focus on tobacco control in pregnancy. Copies of these materials can be downloaded from the website (http://www.aahp.org/atmc.htm), or obtained from Abby Rosenthal at (+1) 313 874 6813 (arosent1{at}hfhs.org) or Anne Cahill at (+1) 202 778 3239 (acahill{at}aahp.org).

    The results of the first annual NTAO survey are described in the conference proceedings from the 1998 ATMC Conference.1Briefly, 323 plans responded to the initial 32 item mailed questionnaire out of 542 valid managed care organisations, which is a 60% response rate. Of the respondents, 45% had an initiative targeting pregnant women. A follow up survey is being conducted to assess the extent and content of the pregnancy targeted initiatives. Other survey results indicated that: 48% of plans had fully or partially implemented the AHCPR guideline; 61% record smoking status in medical charts; 11.5% record smoking status in computerised databases; 62.5% indicated having a budget for tobacco control activities, but only 12.4% have a full or part-time tobacco control coordinator; and 14.9% could identify individual smokers. This leaves many opportunities for growth of tobacco control initiatives within managed care. Technical assistance is available through the NTAO and staff are pleased to be of assistance.

    Acknowledgments

    The author wishes to thank Ronald Davis for his ongoing support in developing the Addressing Tobacco in Managed Care National Technical Assistance Office.

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