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Healthcare professionalsPlaying a crucial role in tobacco cessation

Updates and news

Medicaid, unlimited counseling and medications

What it is

Effective August 1st, 2020 — coverage changes by New York State (NYS) Medicaid Fee-for-Service (FFS) and all 18 Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), have made it easier for clinicians to provide unlimited cessation counseling and prescribe combination pharmacotherapy for patients without course limits or the need for prior authorizations. Learn more about Medicaid benefits for tobacco treatment by visiting the NYC Department of Health’s website.

How to get it for your patients

To avoid issues with NYS Medicaid prescription denials:
  • Write prescriptions (or fiscal orders for OTC medications) for up to a 30-day supply, with refills as appropriate;
  • Write prescriptions for generic medications; and
  • Ensure the daily quantity of medication does not exceed the labeled maximum daily dose for that medication.

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Lung Cancer Screening | Eligibility updates

What changed?

In March 2021, the USPSTF updated guidelines for lung cancer screening that:
  • Reduced the screening age from 55 to 50.
  • Reduced the minimum smoking history from 30 to 20 pack-years.
  • Increasing eligible Americans from 6.5 million to 14.5 million!

What to know

  • Many eligible for lung cancer screening are smokers.
  • Clinician advice to quit is a strong motivator for patients.

What you can do

Along with screening your eligible patients for lung cancer:
  • Advise tobacco using patients to quit
  • Assist with a quit attempt -brief behavioral modification support
  • Prescribe cessation medications
  • Refer your patients to the NYS Quitline for additional support and medications

Resources for your patients

Help to quit – a free, confidential program providing evidence-based services to New York residents who want to stop smoking, vaping, or using other forms of tobacco – text, chat, and get information and tools to quit, visit, or call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-694-8487).

COVID-19 | Tobacco use, E-cigarettes, Vaping

What you should know

Early research indicates smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of complications from COVID-19. Smoking weakens the immune system, increases the risk of infectious diseases and respiratory infections, and is a major cause of chronic health conditions and cancer.1 Quitting smoking means improving lung-health, and reducing the risk of complications from the virus.

What about vaping?

There is growing evidence that vaping can harm lung health.1,2 However, it is unknown whether vaping alone impacts the effect of COVID-19. Quitting smoking and vaping will help the lungs be as healthy as possible to fight this virus.

Patients most at-risk

Those with underlying health issues, such as heart or lung problems, may have increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19. This includes people who smoke and/or vape tobacco or nicotine-containing products.2

Information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is changing frequently. For the latest information, please visit the CDC's website.

Last updated 4/7/2022 10:09 AM
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