Guide to Utilizing the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Model for Medicaid Practitioners

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) added Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) SBIRT codes to the Medicaid Practitioner Fee Schedule effective January 1, 2021, dates of service.

SBIRT is a comprehensive integrated public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk of developing these disorders. Florida Medicaid added SBIRT coverage to promote early screening, brief intervention, and referral services by physicians and physician extenders in primary care centers, hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers, and other community medical settings. SBIRT reimbursement provides the opportunity for early intervention with at-risk adolescent and adult substance users before more severe consequences occur.
  • Screening quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment.
  • Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.
  • Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care.
The following provider types can be reimbursed for SBIRT services in accordance with Rule 59G-4.002 Provider Reimbursement Schedules and Billing Codes, and the Florida Medicaid Practitioner Fee Schedule:
  • 25 – M.D.
  • 26 – D.O.
  • 29 – PA
  • 30 - APRN
Procedure Codes
Code Description Fee-for-Service Reimbursement
H0049 Alcohol and/or drug screening $17.08
H0050 Alcohol and/or drug screening, brief intervention, per 15 minutes $28.73

These codes, when performed in accordance with American Medical Association guidance, are reimbursed in addition to an Evaluation/Management or other medical visit.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Continuing Medical Education (CME) Opportunity for Providers

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) announces a CME learning opportunity free of cost for eligible providers. The Agency aims to reduce the impact of substance use disorders in Florida by increasing the capacity of health care providers to screen, briefly intervene, and refer to treatment individuals with substance use. In this continuous, online CME program, providers will learn how to use SBIRT in their daily practices. This learning event particularly emphasizes SBIRT practice tips in the evaluation and management of pregnant women.

The CME is available to providers online from the University of Florida at the following link: https://cme.ufl.edu/screening-brief-intervention-and-referral-to-treatment-sbirt-for-pregnant-women-and-other-adult-patients/

The CME program expires on August 11, 2023.

Other resource material:

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Services, January 2013 [575KB PDF]
SBIRT for Substance Abuse – Clinician Tools
FPQC MORE Pocket Card for SBIRT
Automated Tobacco Referral for Cessation Therapy