I’ve been telling my smoking patients for years that nothing I do for them is going to make an ounce of difference until they quit smoking for good. And the Italians are out to prove me right. The American Journal of Cardiology reported July 11th, 2011 on the Effect of Smoking Relapse On Outcome After Acute Coronary Syndrome.
In a study of just under 1,300 patients, Reuters reports that just over 1/2 the patients started smoking within 20 days of hospital discharge, despite in-hospital smoking cessation consultation for all patients. Researchers also found that resuming smoking increased death 3-fold compared with those that did not relapse and quitting smoking had a similar lifesaving effect as taking cholesterol and blood pressure medications. And I’m sure these folks all landed themselves back into the hospitals for a very expensive dying process.
That’s why billing the patient or their insurance for smoking cessation (CPT® 99406 and 99407) is so important. And that’s why I give many of my smoking patients my smoking lecture. You know how much Medicare pays for a ten minute consultation to help cardiac patients quit smoking right now? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*