University of California, San Francisco news reports a recent research team studied the actual costs if Medicaid recipients would simply stop smoking. The team found that if 1% of Medicaid recipients would quit smoking the result would be $2.6 billion in total Medicaid savings the following year. The median state would save $25 million. While 14% of all U.S. adults smoke, 24.5% of Medicaid beneficiaries smoke. Intelligent community care coordination will help communities move toward the triple aim of improved individual and collective outcomes with lower ultimate costs.
This finding informs policy makers that directing resources to reduce smoking in the Medicaid population is of vital interest. Commercial sponsors with new treatments to help quit smoking could be a key part of the solution of driving down Medicaid costs. Approximately 70 million Americans are Medicaid beneficiaries; annual Medicaid spend is now over $500 billion. Industry sponsors should interface with payers (public in this case) and explore anti-smoking treatments.