Effects of Global Payment and Accountable Care on Tobacco Cessation Service Use: An Observational Study

Haiden A. Huskamp, Shelly F. Greenfield, Elizabeth A. Stuart, Julie M. Donohue, Kenneth Duckworth, Elena M. Kouri, Zirui Song, Michael E. Chernew, Colleen L. Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disability. New payment and delivery system models including global payment and accountable care have the potential to increase use of cost-effective tobacco cessation services. OBJECTIVE: To examine how the Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) established in 2009 by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) has affected tobacco cessation service use. DESIGN: We used 2006–2011 BCBSMA claims and enrollment data to compare adults 18–64 years in AQC provider organizations to adults in non-AQC provider organizations. We examined the AQC’s effects on all enrollees; a subset at high risk of tobacco-related complications due to certain medical conditions; and behavioral health service users. MAIN MEASURES: We examined use of: (1) any cessation treatment (pharmacotherapy or counseling); (2) varenicline or bupropion; (3) nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs); (4) cessation counseling; and (4) combination therapy (pharmacotherapy plus counseling). We also examined duration of pharmacotherapy use and number of counseling visits among users. KEY RESULTS: Rates of tobacco cessation treatment use were higher following implementation of the AQC relative to the comparison group overall (2.02 vs. 1.87 %, p < 0.0001), among enrollees at risk for tobacco-related complications (4.97 vs. 4.66 %, p < 0.0001), and among behavioral health service users (3.67 vs. 3.25 %, p < 0.0001). Statistically significant increases were found for use of varenicline or bupropion alone, counseling alone, and combination therapy, but not for NRT use, pharmacotherapy duration, or number of counseling visits among users. CONCLUSIONS: In its initial three years, the AQC was associated with increases in use of tobacco cessation services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1134-1140
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • accountable care
  • global payment
  • tobacco cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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