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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
November/December 2009, Volume 17, Number 6 

photo of doctor talking to a patient

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment: New Populations, New Effectiveness Data

Showing Cost-Effectiveness

SBIRT can also save money, other research suggests.

In one CSAT-funded study, for instance, the Washington State SBIRT grantee examined the approach’s impact on Medicaid costs for emergency room patients.

Researchers in the state’s Department of Social and Health Services compared changes in costs for 1,315 disabled Medicaid recipients who received at least a brief intervention through the Washington SBIRT project and 8,972 who did not.

The reduction in total Medicaid costs after receiving the intervention was $185 to $192 per person per month, the researchers found. The lowered costs came mostly from declines in inpatient hospitalizations.

Although some modest costs are associated with providing SBIRT services, the researchers estimated that the state could potentially save up to $2.8 million a year by continuing to provide SBIRT services to working-age disabled patients.

Read the paper.

Educating Providers

Some challenges remain, including reimbursement for SBIRT services.

Not all providers may be aware that there are now billing codes that can allow them to receive reimbursement for providing SBIRT, explained Mr. Forman.

Providers are beginning to use the new, universally accepted Medicare codes, he said. And several third-party payers already accept the American Medical Association’s new Current Procedural Terminology codes for SBIRT services.

“We’re going to expand our efforts to educate providers on the funding support for doing SBIRT,” said Mr. Forman. CSAT is planning a summit on financing policy in 2010, for example, which will educate state policymakers and health care decisionmakers about the codes and how to use them.

Medicaid codes are a different story, Mr. Forman added. “Each state has to review the use of the SBIRT code, review it against their budget, and make a decision about whether they’ll adopt it,” he explained. Although a few states have already adopted the Medicaid codes, the vast majority have not. “That’s a little more difficult road to travel,” he said.

Find out more about CSAT’s SBIRT program.

SBIRT Resources

The Web site for SAMHSA’s Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program includes the following resources:




  News & Updates  
Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Read more, view Webcast, and see photos.

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Study may help to highlight the need for public education about the Federal parity law.

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Entertainment industry and consumer leaders honored in Hollywood. Photo gallery.


  Publications  
TIP 52:  Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

TIP 52: Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

Improving counselors’ skills takes coaching and mentoring.

Guidelines: Responding to Mental Health Crises

Report offers principles for safe interventions.

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Cross-agency, unified approach is recommended.


  Grants  
Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Call for applications include Peer-to-Peer Recovery program.

Tribal Grants Awarded

In Montana, a tribal group recently accepted a “big check.”


  Homelessness  
New Research Available on Parenting

New Research on Parenting

SAMHSA staff recently guest-edited 11 articles that focus on parenting.

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

New, interactive Web site features a library of tools.


  Adolescents & Substance Use  
“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

Online toolkit helps family, teachers, and doctors keep teens from abusing prescription drugs.

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Fewer youth are using tobacco products.

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Age relates to teens’ perception of the danger of substance use.


  Suicide Awareness  
Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

Lifeline’s Twitter, Facebook numbers rise.


  Prevention Update  
Native American Center for Excellence

Native American Center for Excellence

Recent event included a hoop dancing demonstration.



  Also in this Issue  
Gender Differences in Adolescents

Gender Differences in Adolescents

State reports on behavioral health problems presented by gender.

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

Order free wallet cards in English and en español.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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