QuitWorks: a solution for providers to help patients quit smoking.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health


Q: What is QuitWorks?
QuitWorks is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the major commercial Massachusetts health plans.  The program offers free telephone-based tobacco treatment to patients who are referred by their health care providers.  QuitWorks links patients to the full range of the state's tobacco treatment services through the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline, operated by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. The QuitWorks program is free to all Massachusetts providers and their patients.

Q: How are referrals made to QuitWorks?
Using a simple referral process, any physician, nurse, or other provider can easily and quickly refer any patient who uses tobacco, regardless of the patient’s health insurance status. The referral forms are faxed or electronically transmitted to the Massachusetts Smokers' Helpline, the state-funded QuitWorks service provider.

Q: Who can be referred to QuitWorks?
All Massachusetts residents are eligible for QuitWorks’ free services, regardless of income level or insurance status.

Q: Who can make referrals to QuitWorks?
All health care providers in Massachusetts can make referrals to QuitWorks and receive standard reports-free of-charge. QuitWorks also can be adapted for use in a wide variety of settings, such as statewide and community-based public health programs.

Q: Is there any cost to the patient or the referring practice/facility for QuitWorks services?
There is no cost to the patient, referring provider or facility for QuitWorks services, materials or forms.

Q: Can adolescents benefit from referral to the program or is it specifically designed for adults?
QuitWorks is for all ages, but parental or legal guardian consent on the referral form is needed for youth younger than 18 years of age to be referred to the program.  However, adolescents may call the Smoker’s Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) for quit smoking support and may use the www.makesmokinghistory.org informational website without parental consent.

Q: What happens after a referral is made?
After receiving the referral, the Helpline will:
  • Make up to 5 attempts to contact a patient, within 3 business days of receiving a provider’s referral.
  • Complete a 10- to 15-minute intake assessment and brief motivational call with every referred patient contacted and mail the patient a cessation booklet.
  • Send an initial update report to the referring provider that includes whether or not the patient was reached and services selected.
  • Offer a free 2-week starter kit of nicotine patches to patients who pass a medical screener and send the product to the patient’s home (while supplies last).
  • Tell the patient information about the www.makesmokinghistory.org website for smokers, which offers helpful information and lists community tobacco treatment programs.
  • Schedule up to five telephone-based counseling sessions with each patient who elects counseling.
  • Attempt to conduct a follow-up evaluation call at 6 months with all QuitWorks patients reached for initial intake and fax/send an outcome report to the referring provider.

Q: How many counseling/coaching sessions can a patient receive?
Patients can receive up to five free coaching sessions for each time they are referred to the program.

Q: How long are the counseling/coaching sessions?
The first counseling call is the most comprehensive session and takes about 45 minutes to complete. The focus of this call is on preparing smokers to quit, developing a quit plan, and setting a quit date. The four follow-up sessions last about 10 to 15 minutes each and focus on relapse prevention and helping patients with strategies they can use every day to stay quit. All sessions are scheduled based on patient interest and availability.

Q: In what languages are services available?
Services are provided in English and Spanish by bilingual staff.  A limited amount of of live counseling services also is available in French and Haitian Creole.  More than 134 other  languages are served through a 3rd party interpreter service.  A TTY line for the deaf and hard-of-hearing also is available.

Q: What hours are the QuitWorks counselors available?
  • Monday–Thursday from 9:00 am–7:00 pm for inbound calls, and extended hours to 8:30 pm for QuitWorks patient outreach and counseling sessions.
  • Friday from 9:00 am–5:00 pm for all services.
  • Saturdays from 11:00 am–3:00 pm for counseling and QuitWorks patient outreach.

Q: Are all of the services over the phone or are any available in person?
All QuitWorks coaching sessions are conducted over the phone. If a patient is interested in locating in-person services, the QuitWorks staff will assist in providing information on evidenced-based smoking cessation programs available through health care organizations in Massachusetts.

Q: What if a patient starts smoking again or wants help again at a later time?
It often takes many attempts to quit smoking. Providers can refer your patients multiple times and QuitWorks will reach out to them to discuss a new attempt.

Q: How can providers find out how a patient is doing in his/her efforts to quit tobacco after being referred to QuitWorks?
QuitWorks will send status reports to the individual designated on the referral form. Two reports are sent; Patient Contact Reports are sent within several weeks of receiving the patient referral to confirm patient contact and report patient services requested; Patient Outcome Reports are sent within 7 to 8 months and include quit status if the patient was reached.

Q: What other reports/data are available to practices/facilities regarding referrals or patients outcomes?
Qualified staff may request to receive aggregate reports about the initial contact with patients and/or patient outcome status.  The frequency and content of aggregate reports can be customized to meet an institutions needs. The content of these reports may include:
  • number of patients referred
  • number and percent of patients reached by QuitWorks
  • number and percent of patients receiving counseling/other services
  • Patient demographics
  • List of referring providers and number of referrals made by each

Q: How can providers get a QuitWorks form customized for their practice or facility?
The Department of Public Health will customize a form with a practice name or institutional logo and pre-populate certain fields to help make referrals more efficient. Complete the contact form on the website and someone from the Department of Public Health will contact you.

Q: What kind of assistance will QuitWorks provide to set up a system in an office practice?
QuitWorks provides all the tools providers need to use QuitWorks in their practice. The QuitWorks implementation guide explains the easy steps necessary to start using QuitWorks.  Large practices may qualify for on-site training or technical assistance from the QuitWorks team to integrate the program into their practice.

Q: What kind of assistance will QuitWorks provide in developing a plan and setting up a system for a hospital, health center or large practice?
The QuitWorks team will help from the start, guiding and advising on how to put QuitWorks in place, and providing all the materials needed to implement the program successfully. On-site training for staff also may be available free of charge to qualifying facilities, as well as technical assistance on workflow design and integration of QuitWorks and tobacco interventions into existing clinical systems and Electronic Health Records.
See Supplemental Fact Sheet for Hospitals, Health Centers and Clinics.
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