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Medicaid reimbursement for prenatal smoking intervention influences quitting and cessation


Background: 40% of births in the USA are covered by Medicaid and smoking is prevalent among recipients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between levels of Medicaid coverage for prenatal smoking cessation interventions on quitting during pregnancy and maintaining cessation after delivery.

Methods: Population based survey study of 7513 post-partum women from 15 states who: participated in Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) during 1998–2000; smoked at the beginning of their pregnancy; and had Medicaid coverage. Participating states were categorised into three levels of Medicaid coverage for smoking cessation interventions during prenatal care: extensive (pharmacotherapies and counselling); some (pharmacotherapies or counselling); or none. Quit rates among women who smoked before pregnancy and rates of maintaining cessation were examined.

Results: Higher levels of coverage during prenatal care for smoking cessation interventions were associated with higher quit rates; 51%, 43%, and 39% of women quit in states with extensive, some, and no coverage, respectively. Compared to women in states with no coverage, women in states with extensive coverage had 1.6 times the odds of quitting smoking (odds ratio (OR) 1.58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 2.49). Maintenance of cessation after delivery was associated with extensive levels of Medicaid coverage; 48% of women maintained cessation in states with extensive coverage compared to 37% of women in states with no coverage. Compared to women in states with no coverage, women with extensive coverage had 1.6 times the odds of maintaining cessation (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.56).

Conclusions: Prenatal Medicaid coverage for both pharmacotherapies and counselling is associated with higher rates of quitting and continued cessation. This suggests policymakers can promote cessation by broadening smoking cessation services in Medicaid prenatal coverage.

  • pregnant women
  • smoking
  • Medicaid
  • smoking cessation
  • prenatal care
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