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The following article describes highlights from the skill building workshop “Designing tobacco control systems and cessation benefits in managed care”. This workshop was conducted by Carolyn Link Carlson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Peggy Chute, formerly of Healthsource Maine.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) is Minnesota's oldest and largest health insurer. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit organisation which provides services to more than 1.8 million members throughout Minnesota and its border states, as well as nationally. Blue Cross has a network based system of care providers, and contracts with 100% of hospitals and over 90% of physicians in the state. Blue Cross offers a full portfolio of commercial and government products, and serves broad market segments, including individuals, small groups of 2–49 employees, self funded and fully funded groups of 50 or more employees, and members of state and federally funded programs.
1. Tobacco reduction program planning: six critical success factors (adapted from McAfeeet al3)
- Use of a population perspective and data • Treat tobacco as a key health indicator— it is the leading cause of death, disability, and cost. • Focus on your population's needs and be evidence driven. • Know the scientific research and apply it early and often. Tobacco initiatives often are held to a higher than usual standard, but can live up to it.
- Obtain broad organisational support • Seek out buy-in at all levels of the organisation—from the CEO to middle managers to customer service staff. • Figure out departmental self interest and work with it. • Set a high level goal/timelineand the interim steps and measures for getting there.
- Integrate centralised support and clinic level activity • Walk the talk and remove financial and organisational barriers to cessation. • Rigorously and …