Alcohol Screening Program Can Save Money and Reduce Hospitalization, Study Suggests

A new study suggests that having health coaches deliver a drug and alcohol screening program to Medicaid patients can save money, while significantly reducing inpatient hospital days. The program, known as Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), can help many people with risky or problem drinking and drug use, says study co-author Richard L. Brown, MD, MPH, Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

The results suggest that SBIRT increases utilization of low-cost outpatient services and decreases utilization of high-cost inpatient and emergency services by Medicaid patients, Dr. Brown says. The study of Wisconsin Medicaid patients, published in The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, found the SBIRT program resulted in two-year average savings of $782 per patient screened.

Full story of a new alcohol screening program at

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.