Online Program

Effectively Reaching the Medicaid Population with Tobacco Cessation: Vermont's Collaborative Marketing Strategy between Medicaid and Tobacco Control

Monday, November 2, 2015

Rebecca Brookes, B.A., Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Vermont Department of Health, Burlington, VT
Rhonda Williams, MES, Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Vermont Department of Health, Burlington, VT
Despite reductions over the past decade, tobacco use among low socio-economic status (SES) Vermonters is widespread.  For those living at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level, the smoking rate is 29% compared to 18% among the overall population.  Partnering with VT Medicaid is the most effective method to reach a population that is disproportionately impacted by tobacco.

Statewide research with rural adult smokers of low-SES (HH income <$30,000; high school or less) led to an ongoing collaborative marketing strategy with the Department of Vermont Health Access and the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), resulting in increased Quitline calls and Quit Online activity, Quit Partners group counseling, quit tool requests, and completed Quitline counselling sessions.  

Regular meetings between the tobacco control program and Vermont Medicaid resulted in activating CPT codes for tobacco counseling, as well as crucial data sharing for evaluation.  Collaborative mailings to Medicaid beneficiaries coincided with mailings to providers.  These communications were supplemented by Medicaid’s annual newsletter and targeted low-income media buys using “Tips from Former Smokers.”  A dedicated provider section on is in process and will link with Medicaid.

Medicaid calls to the Quitline in 2014 increased 52% from 2013. Completed coaching calls to our Medicaid population increased by 94%. Mobile phone website visits in 2014 increased 257%, and tablet visits increased 360% from 2013. These methods are increasingly the preferred way to access quit resources.  

This presentation will demonstrate how strategic partnership between Medicaid and the tobacco control program contributed to these increases.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate how a strategic partnership between Medicaid and the Tobacco Control Program contributed to increased quit attempts for smokers of low SES. Describe the collaborative strategy to reach Medicaid smokers through systems, data, and health promotion.

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Prevention, Medicaid

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Chronic Disease Information Director at Vermont Department of Health, I've coordinated marketing strategy for low SES smokers. I've attended all meetings with Medicaid and oontributed to collaborative plans for reaching this audience. I've worked in social marketing in public health for more than 30 years, in tobacco control, women's health, obesity prevention, and alcohol/drug prevention. I am on the editorial board of The Social Marketing Quarterly and have trained/presented nationally and internationally.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.