Aetna exploring new ways to reduce tobacco use

Aetna is piloting a program to support dentists in adopting the U.S. Public Health Service's (USPHS) five A's tobacco cessation guidelines: Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange.

"Numerous investigations, along with Aetna's own work in dental offices, provide evidence that many dentists engage in asking and advising about tobacco use," said Mary Lee Conicella, DMD, Aetna's chief dental officer, in a press release. "However, the remaining A's do not receive adequate attention in the clinical setting."

Through the new program, Aetna will promote tobacco counseling by dentists and will study the impact that a smoking cessation clinical decision-support system (CDSS) has on a patient's tobacco use. A CDSS is designed to integrate a medical knowledge base, patient data, and decision-support technology to generate case-specific advice.

Aetna will be working with Columbia University to design and implement the program; Aetna will carry out the pilot program in network dental offices in the New York City area.

The two-phase program includes multiple evaluation methods to assess dentist practice preferences and dental office workflow integration. The Dental Tobacco Cessation iPad will undergo rigorous testing with relevant program modifications before a formal study is conducted in five general New York dental offices.

The study will help evaluate the adoption and maintenance of the CDSS in clinical practice by dentists, their office staff, and patients. A manual of operations will be developed and updated throughout the study.

Page 1 of 116
Next Page