The Nurse Pratitioner Alliance of Alabama Joins Other Health Organizations to Support Smoking Cessation Coverage for Medicaid Recipients
American Lung Association
Contact: Kevin Burke
(p) 205-987-7432 ext. 201
Dozens of Health Groups: Save Lives and Money Through Smoking Cessation Coverage
MONTGOMERY, AL. (March, 2011) – A diverse group of health and community organizations are uniting in a call for the State of Alabama to implement a comprehensive smoking cessation program for Medicaid recipients. The partnership, led by the American Lung Association in conjunction with the American Heart Association, is asking state leaders to support the health initiative in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget.
“As medical doctors, Governor Bentley and Commissioner Mullins have an unprecedented understanding of the negative impact smoking has on both our state’s public health and budgets. We applaud them for their unquestioned commitment to improving public health in Alabama and look forward to working with them and members of the legislature on this common sense initiative,” said Kevin Burke of the American Lung Association, Plains Gulf Region.
Currently, Alabama provides smoking cessation benefits to pregnant women on Medicaid, which is required by federal law. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 36.6 percent of Medicaid recipients smoke, as compared to 22.6 percent of the general population. More than 20 percent of Alabama’s population is covered by Medicaid. Studies have shown that providing a comprehensive smoking cessation benefit greatly increases a person’s chance of successfully quitting. In its 2010 report on the economic benefits of an investment in smoking cessation, the American Lung Association found for every dollar spent on smoking cessation treatments, the Alabama would see a return of $1.24.
“We know that budget decisions are difficult, but this modest investment will have a net positive effect on the state’s Medicaid budget and economy,” added Burke “Not only could this improve the health of a vulnerable population, but also help stem the rising costs of treating smoking-related illness and disease. In this environment of trying to find the most cost effective ways to save, the State of Alabama does not have to look any further than offering a comprehensive smoking cessation benefit to its Medicaid population.”
In addition to the American Heart Association and American Lung Association, partners in the effort include the American Cancer Society, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, Alabama Academy of Cardiologists, Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, Alabama State Nurses Association, NAACP, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Alabama Association of School Nurses, Alabama Chapter - American Academy of Pediatrics, Alabama Chapter - American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Alabama Council of Administrators of Professional Nursing Education Programs, Alabama – Mississippi Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Alabama Association of Diabetes Educators, American Nephrology Nurses Association, Central Alabama Chapter of Society of Pediatric Nurses, DuBois Institute, Greater Birmingham Chapter of American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama.
About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lungusa.org.