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Health Organizations Join Forces Around Quit-Smoking Help
Date:9/25/2007

Call it Quits collaborative launches new Minnesota Clinic Fax Referral

Program Oct. 1

MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Call it Quits -- a newly named collaboration among Minnesota's major health plans and ClearWay Minnesota(SM) -- is launching a new program that makes it easier for physicians and other healthcare providers to help their patients who want to stop smoking. The Minnesota Clinic Fax Referral Program begins October 1, just in time for the start of the statewide smoke-free law which also takes effect that day. This new program will allow clinics across the state to more easily refer a patient to stop-smoking phone coaching support, regardless of the patient's health care coverage.

Call it Quits includes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), ClearWay Minnesota(SM), HealthPartners, Medica, Metropolitan Health Plan, MMSI, Preferred One, and UCare. The group represents all the tobacco quitlines in the state that offer phone coaching to smokers who are trying to quit.

The Minnesota Clinic Fax Referral Program allows medical staff to fax a single form to a central triage number without having to look up a patient's insurance which was required in order to get patients directed to the particular program from their plan. The patient's information is forwarded to the correct health plan (individuals without health care coverage are referred to QUITPLAN(R) Services). The patient then receives a telephone call from the appropriate stop-smoking support line to explain the program and invite the patient to enroll. In the past, for each referral, a physician had to determine the patient's health plan coverage, identify the corresponding quitline phone number, and give it to the patient. The patient then had to call to initiate the coaching.

"This program streamlines the process for everyone involved," said William Nersesian, M.D., chief medical officer for Fairview
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
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