Disease Management Update
Volume V, No. 39
February 12, 2009

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

With the swift motion of a pen, President Obama signed legislation that will cover an additional 4 million children under SCHIP at the expense of cigarette smokers — raising federal tobacco taxes by 61 cents per pack. WIth intentions of detering current and prospective smokers, the U.S. government is doing their part in the crusade for tobacco cessation and prevention. This week's installment of the DM Update looks what other organizations are doing in the area of smoking cessation and prevention and provides an industry expert's comments on the effectiveness of incentives in tobacco cessation.

What are your organization's experiences with health and wellness incentives and rewards? Take HIN's February survey of the month, and let us know!

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Laura Greene
Editor, Disease Management Update

Please pass this along to any of your colleagues or, better yet, have them sign up to receive their own copy at http://www.hin.com/freenews2.html where you can also learn about our other complimentary news services.

Table of Contents

  1. Tobacco Sales Ban at Colleges and Pharmacies Takes Effect
  2. Disease Management Q&A: Smoking Cessation Incentives
  3. HealthSounds: Behavior Modification in DM
  4. Walmart Offers $9 Smoking Cessation Starter Pack
  5. Survey of the Month: Health & Wellness Incentives Utilization
  6. Putting out the Addiction: Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs

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1. Tobacco Sales Ban at Colleges and Pharmacies Takes Effect

Healthcare and educational institutions in Boston can no longer sell tobacco products, after a ban approved last year by the Boston Public Health Commission’s Board of Health became effective this week. Pharmacies and drug stores, including those located in supermarkets, and stores on college and university campuses must remove tobacco products from their shelves.

“We hope that these extraordinary steps taken by our Board of Health to restrict the sale of tobacco products greatly reduce exposure to tobacco and its harmful effects,’’ said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the commission’s executive director. “The evidence is overwhelming: Strict tobacco control regulations are effective in saving lives and discouraging people who don’t smoke from picking up the habit.’’

The commission is working with Boston health centers, hospitals and pharmacists to increase access to smoking cessation resources, such as free patches and counseling, to help residents who want to quit. Studies have shown that as many as three out of every four smokers want to quit but find it difficult.

To learn more about this ban, please visit:

2. Disease Management Q&A: Smoking Cessation Incentives

Each week, healthcare professionals respond to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's expert is Ted R. Borgstadt, co-founder and CEO of TrestleTree, Inc.

Question: What impact can the absence of incentives have on tobacco cessation programs?

Response: (Ted Borgstadt) For any program that you roll out, if there’s not some incentive to enroll, you’re going to have very little participation. One organization started out with just tobacco cessation, and the incentive was a one-month supply of tobacco nicotine replacement patches. Rolling it out in a good communication package, participation was what you’d expect with a tobacco cessation program without a heavy incentive — that proverbial 3 percent of smokers joined the program.

For more details on the use of incentives in health improvement programs, please visit:

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3. HealthSounds Podcast: Behavior Modification in DM

Dr. Rick Botelho, a professor of family medicine and nursing at the University of Rochester, advises practitioners to put four key motivational principles into practice when helping patients change behaviors.

To listen to this complimentary HIN podcast, please visit:

4. Walmart Offers $9 Smoking Cessation Starter Pack

Walmart has expanded its affordable pharmacy program to include a smoking cessation prescription starter pack for $9, the lowest price on the market. The $9 starter pack of bupropion ER 150mg is now available at Walmart, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club pharmacies in a 17-tablet, 10-day supply. This announcement is part of the retailer’s January Healthy Living initiative, which aims to help Americans maintain their better eating, smoking cessation and exercise pledges in 2009.

According to the CDC, smoking cessation treatments, including counseling and medications, can double quitting success rates. Nearly 43 million Americans currently smoke, with 70 percent of them saying they want to stop. However — given today’s current economic landscape — money previously set aside for smoking cessation products may now be re-allocated toward items American families need most.

"The public health community has long recognized that the cost of either cigarettes or smoking cessation medications has served as a determining factor for smokers to continue smoking or finally to decide to quit," said Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation. "This move by Walmart to provide science-based smoking cessation therapies that smokers can more easily afford is a huge step forward in helping millions of smokers finally quit for good."

To learn more about this announcement, please visit:

5. Survey of the Month: Health & Wellness Incentives Utilization

As more healthcare purchasers and payors use rewards and incentives to drive participation and engagement in health and wellness programs, the industry has noted recent dramatic shifts in incentives use, preferred reward types and the activities for which incentives are offered. Please share your organization's experiences with health incentives and rewards by completing HIN's Survey of the Month. You'll receive a free executive summary of the compiled results. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential.

To participate in this survey and receive its results, please visit:

6. Putting out the Addiction: Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs

By funding an expansion of healthcare coverage for children with a 61-cent tobacco tax per cigarette pack, the U.S. government is doing their part in the crusade for tobacco cessation and prevention. Now, HIN examines how over 220 wellness companies, behavioral healthcare providers, PCPs, DM organizations, employers, health plans and hospital/health systems are contributing to the area of tobacco cessation and prevention.

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
Contact HIN:
Editor: Laura M. Greene, lgreene@hin.com;
Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Deirdre McGuinness, dmcguinness@hin.com;
Publisher: Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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