Helps Low-Income Smokers in Marshfield Area Quit
You could say that
Laurie Groskopf, UW-CTRI outreach specialist, is on a mission. A former
smoker, she’s driven to eliminate barriers preventing other smokers
from beating their addiction. If she could, she’d drop kick those
barriers like Sydney Bristow, the CIA agent on the hit TV show “Alias.”
But Laurie knows patience and collaboration are needed for progress,
so she has developed allies within healthcare systems and coalitions
and has worked with them to help smokers quit.
none of those allies have been more key than Eva Scheppa, RN Clinical
Services Manager for Marshfield Clinic’s Family Health Centers,
and Julie Wallace, Tobacco Health Educator for Security Health Plan,
a HMO owned and operated by Marshfield Clinic. Eva, Julie and Laurie
are a dynamic trio that has convinced the Marshfield Clinic System
to expand stop-smoking services in a number of ways.
Groskopf, Eva Scheppa and Julie Wallace discuss new posters
they developed that include tear sheets for smokers with information
to help them quit.
Insurance Coverage for the Nicotine Lozenge
Perhaps their biggest achievement was securing the nicotine lozenge
as a covered health insurance benefit for 27,000 low-income patients
in north-central Wisconsin. This includes Medicaid and BadgerCare patients
as well as individuals who receive primary healthcare through federal
Eva presented the business case for covering the lozenge
to Marshfield Clinic System management. “Laurie gives me outstanding
data on the cost-effectiveness of stop-smoking treatments,” Eva
said. “That’s important because you can’t just say,
‘It’s important.’ You have to say why. The healthcare
costs are system-wide. Maybe we wouldn’t see people three times
a year for bronchitis if we help them quit.
“Laurie helped by telling people the same thing
I’m telling them,” Eva said.
Laurie and Kris Hayden, UW-CTRI outreach specialist in western Wisconsin,
serve on a committee to improve stop-smoking services at Marshfield
Clinic, which has about 2 million patient encounters a year.
Eva is pushing to provide financial and other incentives
to Marshfield physicians, medical examiners and nurses to boost the
number that ask about tobacco dependence at every visit and treat it
as a disease.
give us a big bang for our buck,” Eva said. Laurie has provided
background information to support that effort.
schedule interviews with this or other UW-CTRI representatives, contact
Gloria Meyer (608-265-4447 or GKM@ctri.medicine.wisc.edu)
or Chris Hollenback (608-262-3902 or CH3@ctri.medicine.wisc.edu).