Substance abuse screening, intervention and referral to treatment education

Applies to:

All plans


Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) education is a comprehensive public health approach for delivering prevention, early intervention and referral to treatment to people using substances in a harmful or risky way.

This evidence-based practice is used to identify, reduce and prevent the problematic use and abuse of and dependence upon alcohol and illicit drugs. Primary care centers, hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers, and other community settings provide opportunities for early intervention with at-risk substance users before more severe consequences occur.

SBIRT education coverage

Priority Health covers SBIRT education in primary care settings.

The three components of SBIRT are: 

  • Screening: A health care professional assesses a patient for risky substance use behaviors using standardized screening tools. 
  • Brief intervention: A health care professional engages a patient showing risky substance use behaviors in a short conversation, providing feedback and advice.
  • Referral: A health care professional provides referral to additional services, if needed.

SBIRT education billing

Billing codes for all products:

99408: Alcohol and/or substance abuse structured screening and brief intervention services; 15-30 minutes

99409: Alcohol and/or substance abuse structured screening and brief intervention services; greater than 30 minutes

Learn more at IRETA

Priority Health partners with the Institute for Research, Education & Training in Addictions (IRETA) which is the National SBIRT Addition Technology Transfer Center for SBIRT education.

IRETA offers free evidence-based training, both web-based and face-to-face, on a variety of topics related to substance use, addiction and recovery. Most trainings offer the opportunity for continuing education credits. IRETA also has a plethora of educational resources available to our providers.

Find IRETA training, including upcoming and past webinars.

Subscribe to IRETA newsletters.