by Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
May 3rd, 2016
The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) can be a valuable resource for all healthcare providers seeking to improve patient outcomes. It's a quick and simple way to identify patients who may have substance abuse related problems and then ensure that they receive appropriate treatment. By identifying these potential problems (current or prior) and intervening, other health related issues can be improved.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is dedicated to addressing substance abuse issues. Their information page on the SBIRT is invaluable for implementing this preventive program.
According to HHS, using the SBIRT is necessary because:
- Healthcare providers can reach patients with a range of substance abuse conditions and provide an appropriate level of care.
- Unrecognized substance abuse may compromise a patient’s self care ability and lead to an increase in non-compliance and poor outcomes across a myriad of disorders.
- Early recognition and brief intervention is both clinically and cost effective.
CLICK HERE to review a powerpoint presentation by HHS which discusses the SBIRT screening and interviewing steps in greater detail.
REIMBURSEMENT: Reimbursement requirements can vary by payer so be aware of these differences. Some may require specific screening tools or codes to meet their medical necessity standards. For example:
- Medicare prefers codes G0396 or G0340
- Medicaid prefers codes H0049 or H0050
- Other payers often prefer 99408 or 99409