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Healthcare Providers

Your advice, encouragement, and support are needed to help your patients quit using tobacco.

Healthcare Providers

Your advice, encouragement, and support are needed to help your patients quit using tobacco.

Screening every patient for tobacco use and advising them to quit is key to saving lives. Research shows that tobacco users are more likely to try quitting tobacco if their doctor brings up the topic and provides medication and support. And they are even more likely to be successful if you refer them to the SC Tobacco Quitline.

We offer multiple counseling modalities, regardless of insurance status. And all of our quitline services are free for you and your patients. Our full range of services includes one-on-one Quit Coach telephone counseling, a customized quit plan, help setting a quit date, print materials, text support to manage cravings, email tips and reminders, and free quit medications for most callers. Patients who who can’t enroll by phone right away, but who have access to a computer or smartphone, can use online enrollment to schedule a convenient time to talk to SC Tobacco Quitline staff about signing up for one-on-one coaching (full range of services), or to enroll online for select, individual services (including a free 2-week starter kit of nicotine replacement gum/patch/lozenge, if appropriate). Online enrollment options are a great way for patients to quit on their own time or to maybe test the water before committing to a full quit. Recipients of individual services can upgrade for free to the full range of services at any time! The SC Tobacco Quitline offers your patients free quit support along with quit medications that provide adjunctive treatment to the primary care they receive.

Providers can refer their patients in two easy ways: fax or electronic referral.

Talking about Tobacco Use

Conversations about tobacco use can be tough for both patients and healthcare providers. Let your patients know that your office or clinic is a judgment-free zone and a safe space for them to be open and honest about their health behaviors. If your patient doesn’t seem ready to quit or if they have tried unsuccessfully in the past and need encouragement, refer to this CDC guide for suggested scripts to help you discuss this important step towards better health and longevity.

2As+R is an evidence-based brief tobacco intervention (BTI) that any healthcare provider can use. 2As+R basics include:

  • ASK your patients about tobacco use at every visit.
  • ADVISE tobacco users to quit.
  • REFER them to the SC Tobacco Quitline for free support.
  • Document actions in EHR.

Free online training (CME credit) provides detailed information on how to effectively implement the 2As+R protocol and start talking about tobacco with your patients.

Prescribing Quit Medications

FDA-approved quit medications (nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges, nicotine nasal spray, nicotine oral inhaler, and non-nicotine bupropion and varenicline) along with combo therapy can greatly impact your patient’s success, especially when combined with counseling support from the SC Tobacco Quitline. Quit medications are safe, effective, and non-prescription products are available for free through the SC Tobacco Quitline. When your patient enrolls for support services with the SC Tobacco Quitline, they will connect with a Quit Coach who will help them determine the non-prescription quit medication products that are appropriate for them (like gum, patch, lozenge). Because the Quitline provides services regardless of insurance status, the majority of your patients will be eligible to receive some level of quit medication support. You can refer to this quit medications primer.

Full benefit SC Healthy Connections (Medicaid) members can receive all quit medications (prescription and non-prescription) without copay. More importantly, Medicaid providers do not have to get authorization prior to prescribing any of the 7 FDA-approved products. The SC Tobacco Quitline can get Medicaid patients started with a free 2-week starter kit of non-prescription quit medications. For continued use of quit medications, Medicaid tobacco users will be referred back to their Medicaid healthcare provider.

New Pharmacologic Treatment Guidelines

Recommended protocols on initiating pharmacologic treatment of tobacco dependence from the American Thoracic Society can greatly increase your patients’ chances of quitting successfully. Refer to the 2020 treatment guidelines for more information.

Coding & Billing

ICD-10 diagnostic codes for Nicotine Dependence can be found in the Million Hearts Tobacco Cessation Change Package from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Please note that the 2As+R Brief Tobacco Intervention is an abbreviated adaptation of the 5As protocol detailed in this document. ICD-10 codes can be found in Appendix A. CPT codes for tobacco cessation counseling for SC Healthy Connections Medicaid can be found here.

Quitline Referrals

You asked about tobacco use and you advised them to quit. Complete the 2As+R BTI process by referring your patients to the SC Tobacco Quitline. Referrals are easy. Access our fax-referral form or request more information about making electronic referrals (eReferral) from your EHR by contacting screferralhub@telask.com