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Smoker cessation saving Medicaid money in Massachusetts

Posted On Tue, January 10, 2012

A George Washington University study found that measures to curb smoking amongst Medicaid patients in the state of Massachusetts may have saved a significant amount of money, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The study, which was completed by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, was published in the peer-reviewed journal PlosOne. The findings noted that hospital admissions for heart and vein-related illnesses were cut significantly from the program. In addition, for every dollar spent on care, more than $3 was saved. This does not take into account any other hospital costs saved from the program.

In total, the state may be saving $14.7 million for the Medicaid program each year, according to the study. The continued practice of the smoking cessation programs may bring the Medicaid smoking rate closer to the smoking rate for all U.S. adults. Currently, the national smoking rate is 19.3 percent, while the Medicaid rate is 34.9 percent.

Consumers who quit smoking may be able to receive extra discounts on their health insurance rates for leading healthier lives.

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