Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Insurance incentives might help smokers quit, study says

23.02.2005


Health insurance that pays the full cost of smoking-cessation treatments can increase quit rates, compared to benefit plans that pick up only part of the tab or that offer no cessation benefits at all, according to a new review of studies.



Smokers receiving full benefits were one-and-a-half times more likely to quit successfully and nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to try quitting than those receiving no benefit, according to review authors Janneke Kaper of Maastricht University in the Netherlands and colleagues.

The actual increase in quit rates was slight, however. In studies where a full benefit was compared to no benefit, abstinence rates among smokers rose 2 percentage points, Kaper says. "In this economically minded time, determining the effectiveness of an intervention is no longer enough to justify its use," Kaper says. "As health care costs increase and resources are limited, it is also important to determine whether financial support for smoking-cessation treatment is cost-effective."


The "relatively low costs" of providing full benefits for smoking cessation varied between $260 and $2,330 per quitter, compared to partial or no benefits, the researchers say.

The review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Previous research shows that smoking-cessation treatment, including counseling, nicotine replacement products and the antidepressant drug bupropion can increase the chances that a smoker will give up the habit.

But "costs are a significant barrier to the use of smoking-cessation treatment. Healthcare providers may be deterred from offering treatment if they do not receive reimbursement, and patients may be deterred if they must pay for treatment costs," Kaper says.

Kaper and colleagues reviewed evidence from six high-quality studies of financial incentives directed at smokers and one study that looked at the effects of incentives paid to clinics that actively identified smokers and documented advice to quit.

Incentives such as full insurance coverage for smoking-cessation therapies slightly improved quit rates, the studies showed, but the payments to clinics did not improve quit rates significantly.

There were also no signs that the incentives had caused the clinics to change their usual advice and care for smokers. Studies of financial incentives directed at health care providers are almost non-existent "probably because there are simply no such incentive systems," Kaper says.

"Governments and health insurance companies try to control medical expenditures. Rewarding health care providers for increasing their number of prescriptions may contradict their policy," she suggests.

Some health care system managers have suggested that "removing financial barriers to treatment would lead to less motivated smokers using treatment services, such that quit rates would go down," according to smoking cessation researcher Sue Curry.

In light of this, "the finding in the review that full financial benefits actually increased cessation rates is quite encouraging," says Curry, who is the director of the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kaper says the review’s findings should be interpreted with caution because the studies varied significantly in the people, places and health care systems that were examined.

Although Kaper and colleagues suggest that financial support can increase the proportion of smokers who use quit therapies, Curry says history may suggest otherwise, in that mammography screening rates, for example, continue to lag even after most insurance began to cover the procedure, Curry says.

"I would focus future research on ways of increasing use of treatment, given full coverage," Curry says.

Janneke Kaper | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unimaas.nl
http://www.cochrane.org
http://www.cfah.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>