Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS)?
What is a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS)?
Can a TTS or a CTTS bill Medicaid or Medicare for tobacco cessation treatment?
Why should I become a TTS?
Who should attend this training?
Who is eligible to attend this training?
After completing the training and passing the examinations, am I a Certified TTS?
I’m attending an upcoming training. How can I best prepare?
I’m attending RMTTS in Denver, Colorado. Where should I stay?
What happens if I don’t pass the examinations?
What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my attendance at a training?
What should I do if I have a grievance with the training that I attended?


What is a Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS)?

A Tobacco Treatment Specialist has completed an intensive training program accredited by the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD). This growing group of professionals have an advanced and specialized skillset that makes them a valuable addition to any interdisciplinary team that treats individuals for tobacco dependence. ATTUD and the Council of Tobacco Treatment Training Programs defines a Tobacco Treatment Specialist as, “A professional who possesses the skills, knowledge and training to provide effective, evidence-based interventions for tobacco dependence across a range of intensities. The TTS may have various professional affiliations and may work in a variety of settings including but not limited to hospitals, community health centers, HMOs, medical and dental practices, educational settings, social service agencies, tobacco treatment centers, telephone Quit Lines, drug abuse treatment programs and mental health centers. The TTS may engage not only in providing treatment but also in educating others (health care professionals, administrators, scientists, smokers, nonsmokers) about tobacco dependence treatments.”


What is a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS)?

A Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist has undergone this specialized, intensive training program and must also demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the treatment of tobacco dependence by completing coursework, documenting experience, and passing an examination. More information on certification.


Can a TTS or a CTTS bill Medicaid or Medicare for tobacco cessation treatment?

A TTS or CTTS is not a recognized position federally. A CTTS is a certification and many of the people who are seeking this certification have another title (nurse, pharmacist, CAC, LCSW, etc.). The TTS training provides specific knowledge and skills to treat nicotine dependence, but does not confer any new federally-recognized privileges.

In other words, as of now, a TTS or CTTS is not recognized as a “qualified professional” by Medicaid or Medicare. However, if you are already recognized as a qualified professional by your state’s Medicaid or by Medicare, you can bill for tobacco cessation treatment. Additionally, other professionals providing services “incident to the care of” a qualified professional are able to bill for tobacco cessation counseling as well.

States can always choose to add CTTSs as qualified professionals, but to the best of our knowledge, no state has done this (although we are hopeful this will change in the near future).


Why should I become a TTS?

Although at this time, the TTS or CTTS credential doesn’t confer billing privileges, we do believe that the TTS will be added in the future as a qualified professional in the category of providing counseling, education, and training related to symptomatic or asymptomatic tobacco-related services.

Additionally, the cost benefit analysis of acquiring this credential shouldn’t be limited to those services that can be billed directly by the TTS but rather to:

1. Those services that can be billed “incident to a physician’s visit (many existing billable services aren’t able to be billed individually anyway and must be performed separately but billed bundled with other services delivered)

2. The increased effectiveness of the TTS both to deliver care to the client and the subsequent cost savings that come from better quit rates. For instance, a) reduced admissions and readmissions; b) reduced intensity of care needed to appropriately treat the client; c) improved health in conditions related to tobacco use (e.g., improved maintenance of client’s diabetes); d) smaller doses required of other medications; e) reduced acute episodes of depression, anxiety, general agitation, and aggression; and f) reduced staff time devoted to supervising smoking clients


Who should attend this training?

This course has been carefully constructed to meet the needs of professionals involved in the treatment of tobacco dependence across a range of disciplines and in a variety of settings. This includes, but is not limited to addictions counselors, community educators, dentists, health academics, health educators, health policy experts, health system administrators, mental health professionals, nurses, nurse practitioners, patient navigators, peer advocates, pharmacists, physicians, physicians assistants, psychiatrists, psychologists, respiratory therapists, and social workers.


Who is eligible to attend this training?

The RMTTS Program is appropriate for healthcare or public health providers, patient navigators, community health workers, or peer specialists with relevant experience, working under appropriate supervision. In addition, applicants must be tobacco-free to enter the program. Course content is primarily designed for degreed professionals, but individuals with other educational backgrounds will be considered.


After completing the training and passing the examinations, am I a Certified TTS?

No. You are a TTS, but not a Certified TTS. Completion of the training and passing the exams makes you eligible to become certified. Certification requires completing 240 hours of experience (post-course completion) in which course content was utilized. More information.


I’m attending an upcoming training. How can I best prepare?

Familiarizing yourself with tobacco dependence and cessation treatment is a good idea before attending the training. We offer toolkits that contain a lot of the same information that will be covered in the training, particularly the DIMENSIONS Tobacco Free Toolkit for Healthcare Providers. Other toolkits are available here.


I’m attending RMTTS in Denver, Colorado. Where should I stay?

Please see the Lodging and Transportation page.


What happens if I don’t pass the examinations?

Participants who do not pass the exam will not qualify for TTS certification; however, they will be allowed to retake the exam again (remotely) at a later date for an additional fee. Please contact bh.wellness@ucdenver.edu for information regarding a retake examination.


What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my attendance at a training?

All requests to cancel or reschedule attendance at a training must be submitted in writing. Requests submitted within 21 days or more of the training start date will not incur a cancellation fee or rescheduling fee, and will be issued a full refund. Cancellation or rescheduling requests received seven (7) business days or more prior to the training start date will be given credit toward attendance at a future training only (no refund) unless able to provide documentation proving inability to attend the training (medical emergency, canceled flight, etc.). Cancellations and rescheduling requests received less than seven (7) business days before training start date and “no-shows” will not be given a refund, nor credit toward a later program, unless able to provide documentation proving inability to attend the training (medical emergency, canceled flight, etc.).


What should I do if I have a grievance with the training that I attended?

Should a trainee have a complaint regarding the course or assessment process, they should report it immediately to the training coordinator in writing through either email or postal mail.

Please send correspondence to:

Bh.wellness@ucdenver.edu  OR
Behavioral Health & Wellness Program
Attn: Program Administrator
1784 Racine Street
Mailstop F478
Aurora, CO 80045

Within one week of receiving the correspondence, the training coordinator will contact the trainee with an update on the status of their complaint.

Was your question not answered? Contact us at bh.wellness@ucdenver.edu or at 303-724-3713.