Physicians: Get Paid for Smoking Cessation Programs
Physicians: Get Paid for Smoking Cessation Programs | Louisiana Medical News

Physicians Can Get Paid for Providing Smoking Cessation Treatment

Due to recent legislative changes, medical practices can get paid for helping Medicare and privately insured patients quit smoking. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that smoking cessation treatment would be paid for under Medicare Parts A and B.

Previously, the program only paid for cessation treatment for patients who already developed a tobacco-related medical condition, but it was expanded to focus more on prevention. Medicare will pay for two stop smoking attempts, with a maximum of four smoking cessation sessions per year.

Private insurance and Medicaid coverage will vary. Practices can expect to receive $10 to $15 for shorter smoking cessation sessions and $25 to $30 for longer ones. Bonuses beyond the usual fee-for-service are also possible for practices that use electronic medical records to tally the percentage of patients asked about tobacco use.

The first step towards incorporating smoking cessation into medical care is developing a system that informs physicians about which patients use tobacco and assessing each patient’s readiness to quit. 

A trained office member usually provides the smoking cessation counseling.

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