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Why Docs ask if we are smokers....

Fay A.

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Today I learned that the question "Do you smoke?" is a "billable" question. If you have Medicare/Medicaid as insurance your Physicians will not be paid if they do not ask the question. So when I'm asked the question "Do you smoke?" I always answer it truthfully. The point of requiring the question be asked was to prompt Physicians to discuss smoking with their patients. It's when they follow up with the "Were you a smoker?" that bothers me....especially when the information serves no useful purpose.

Seems to me that if Medicaid/Medicare are going to require answers to that question they should also ask Cervical and Penis Cancer Patients if they were promiscuous (most common cause of these cancers is exposure to two specific variants of HPV-and the "risky behaviors" associated with HPV infection occur with highest frequency in the same young age group.)

Fay A.

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