A report on the Tobacco Cessation pilot program has been published online.


Key components of the executive summary:

  • Pursuant to S.B. 10, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, HHSC implemented a Medicaid tobacco cessation pilot program for STAR+PLUS members in the Bexar service area.
  • The 2009 STAR+PLUS satisfaction survey identified smoking as a major problem for STAR+PLUS members. According to the survey, 34 percent of STAR+PLUS members statewide smoke.
  • Texas Medicaid currently covers tobacco cessation medications.
  • Texas Medicaid does not currently cover tobacco cessation counseling. However, all Texans have access to telephone counseling services through the state’s Quitline; a service provided by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
  • In total, 334 members enrolled in the pilot. Members were able to access cessation services for a one-year period.
  • Prior to enrollment in the pilot, the rate of tobacco use for all three groups, defined in the report, ranged between 97 and 100 percent. STAR+PLUS members should only have been included in the pilot if they used tobacco, so it is unclear why the rate of tobacco use prior to enrollment was not 100 percent for everyone.
  • Twelve months after enrollment, the control group had the highest percentage of smokers (83 percent), followed by the telephone intervention group (67 percent). The lowest percentage of smokers was found in the face-to-face intervention group (56 percent). The control group was the only group that saw an increase in the percentage of tobacco users between the second and third follow-up surveys.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires states to provide coverage for tobacco cessation services (including diagnostics, therapy, counseling, and pharmacotherapy) for pregnant women.
  • Texas Medicaid currently provides coverage for certain prescription and over-the-counter medications used in the treatment of tobacco addiction. In addition, the DSHS Texas Quitline is available to all Texans.
  • HHSC has begun implementation of this new tobacco cessation counseling benefit for pregnant women and will make providers aware of existing tobacco cessation drug therapy coverage and the availability of the DSHS Quitline for counseling services.


A complete copy of the report can be viewed by visiting: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/reports/2010/Tobacco-Cessation-Pilot-0910%20.pdf