Increasing Medicaid Calls to the California Smokers' Helpline through Comprehensive Outreach: The Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking Project
Methods: Initially, MIQS offered a $20 gift card, which members could ask for and earn by completing a counseling session. The incentive was later expanded mid-way to include free nicotine patches. Staff disseminated the offers widely via outreach materials, which were in six languages featuring diverse populations. Targets included Medi-Cal providers and managed care plans, county and state agencies, and safety net providers. Large volume direct-to-member mailings were also conducted through pre-existing channels, and these materials promoted only the patches and included a tracking code. Quitline calls from Medi-Cal members were tracked monthly from 3/2012-1/2015.
Results: The total number of Medi-Cal callers to date is 78,478, more than a 50% increase in calls from prior years’ rates before MIQS. Calls increased an average 3.6% per month (95% CI 3.5%-3.7%) or 53% per year. In contrast, total calls to the Helpline only increased 1.0% per month (95% CI 1.0%-1.1%), or 13% per year. Currently, 9853 callers have asked for the gift card, and 15,518 callers have reported the direct mailing tracking code. Over 35,000 members have enrolled in receiving MIQS incentives.
Conclusion: California’s first comprehensive outreach campaign targeting Medi-Cal members who smoke with promoting modest incentives significantly increased utilization of population-based tobacco cessation services.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Describe the Medi-Cal Incentive to Quit Smoking project and statewide, county, and direct-to-member outreach strategies to target Medi-Cal members who smoke Compare the increases in calls over time and their association with outreach strategies and modest incentives offered
Keyword(s): Tobacco Control, Medicaid
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the statewide outreach principal investigator for the Medi-Cal Incentives to Quit Smoking project. I am also a tobacco control researcher and physician.
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.