900,000 people. That’s almost 1 million individuals who smoke in the state of Kentucky – the state with the highest rate of smoking. People with mental illness make up a disproportionate number of those who smoke, with a cancer incidence rate that is 2.6 times higher than individuals with no mental illness and a higher cancer mortality rate.
Through the National Behavioral Health Network (NBHN) for Tobacco & Cancer Control’s Community of Practice (CoP), public health organizations across the state of Kentucky joined forces to address these disparate health outcomes at the local and state levels.
Together, these organizations generated innovative payment and programming solutions to support patients, providers and payers as they expand tobacco cessation activities. By forming partnerships between government organizations, health care providers and nonprofit health organizations, the Kentucky Community of Practice team used their collective resources to improve provider billing information and education, and support passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 89 to expand coverage of tobacco cessation therapies.
Want more information on the National Behavioral Health Network and its Communities of Practice to support your organization’s tobacco and cancer control efforts? Join the network today!