SBI Codes Adopted by 10 States

New diagnostic codes for addiction screening and brief intervention (SBI) have been adopted by 10 U.S. states, making it easier for doctors to get reimbursed for screening Medicaid patients, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

The states that have adopted the American Medical Association Common Procedural Terminology codes (CPT) or Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) HCPCS so far are Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. The state of Wisconsin is conducting SBI as part of a package of healthcare services for pregnant women.

“SBI continues to gain traction in the medical and public health communities, as assessments combined with on-the-spot interventions and referrals have shown to be effective in reducing substance abuse, while also saving healthcare dollars,” according to ONDCP.

“By 'medicalizing' the detection and intervention of substance abuse, the ten states recognize the need to de-stigmatize substance abuse, and mainstream preventive services into general medical care,” said Bertha K. Madras, ONDCP's deputy director of demand reduction. “This innovative approach will help diminish the public health burden of substance abuse in their respective state, and catalyze preventive medical procedures in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.”

Private and public health providers like Aetna and the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program are also paying for SBI services.

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