​Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Effective January 1, 2014, California offers the SBIRT benefit to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. This benefit aligns with the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommendation and is offered annually to all Medi-Cal beneficiaries 18 years and older in primary care settings.  In accordance with the Bright Futures/American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation, adolescent Medi-Cal beneficiaries, ages 11 -17, are to be given an alcohol and drug use assessment annually in primary care settings using the CRAFFT tool for screening. 

What is SBIRT?

SBIRT is a comprehensive health promotion approach for delivering early intervention and treatment services to people with, or at risk of developing, alcohol use disorders.
The SBIRT benefit has three components:
  • Universal screening identifies people with potential alcohol use disorders.
  • Brief Intervention is provided to a beneficiary when the universal screening indicates moderate risk for an alcohol use disorder. Brief Intervention utilizes motivational interviewing techniques focused on motivating people toward positive behavioral change.
  • Referral to Treatment provides a referral to specialty care for persons deemed to be at high risk for an alcohol use disorder.
A key aspect of SBIRT is the integration and coordination of screening, early intervention, and treatment components into a system of care. This system links community health care and social services programs with specialty treatment programs.
You can view a brief SBIRT clip produced by DHCS.
DHCS is also providing a limited number of free SBIRT trainings (Not DHCS) across the state.

Latest News

FREE Online SBIRT Training: 4-hour self-paced! CEU credits available. CME credits pending. Learn more about the training and to register (Not DHCS).

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