Monday, August 30, 2010

Medicare: putting their money where the evidence is

On Friday, the federal government announced that effective immediately Medicare would cover the cost of smoking cessation counseling. Anyone covered by Medicare will be able to receive tobacco cessation counseling from a qualified physician or other Medicare-recognized practitioner who can work with them to help them quit. (All people with Medicare will continue to have access to tobacco cessation prescription medication through the Medicare Prescription Drug Program.)

This is great news on several fronts:
- there is great evidence for the value of this kind of coverage so it is nice to see the goverment implementing evidence-based medicine
- other insurers typically follow what Medicare does
- it keeps tobacco in the news - an issue we've discussed before

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