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Release Notes:
Data Element
Version 2010A1

Data Element Name: Brief Intervention
Collected For: TAM-06,
Definition:A single interaction between the qualified healthcare professional and the patient following a positive screening result for unhealthy alcohol use or alcohol use disorder (abuse or dependence). A brief intervention focuses on increasing the patient’s understanding of the impact of substance use on his or her health and motivating the patient to change risky behaviors. The components of the intervention include feedback concerning the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumed by the patient in comparison with national norms; a discussion of negative physical, emotional, and occupational consequences; and a discussion of the overall severity of the problem. The qualified health care professional engages the patient in a joint decision-making process regarding alcohol use and plans for follow-up are discussed and agreed to. Brief intervention corresponds directly with the 5 A’s (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) recommended for tobacco dependence.

The application of a brief intervention may be reimbursed through the use of CPT codes for commercial insurance and Medicaid and through “G” codes for Medicare.

  • 99408 - Alcohol and/or substance (other than tobacco) abuse structured screening (eg, AUDIT, DAST), and brief intervention services; 15-30 minutes
  • 99409 – greater than 30 minutes
Suggested Data Collection Question:Did patients with a positive screening result for unhealthy alcohol use or alcohol use disorder (abuse or dependence) receive a brief intervention prior to discharge?
Allowable Values:

1    The patient received the components of a brief intervention

2    The patient refused/declined the brief intervention

3    The CPT code 99408, G0396, H0049, H0050 was documented in the medical record

4    The CPT code 99409or G0397 was documented in the medical record

5    Brief counseling was not offered to the patient during the hospital stay

6    Unable to determine (UTD) if a brief intervention was provided from medical record documentation

Notes for Abstraction:
  • A qualified healthcare professional may be defined as a physician, nurse, certified addictions counselor, psychologist, social worker, or health educator with training in brief intervention.
  • If there is no documentation that a brief intervention was given to the patient, select allowable 5
  • Only select allowable value 6 (UTD) if the documentation provided is not explicit enough to determine if the intervention provided contained specific components or if the intervention meets the intent of the measures. For example documentation of a statement such as "brief intervention provided" which is not coupled with a CPT, G, or H code would result in selection of allowable value 6. However if one of the above codes was documented on the record, allowable value 3 or 4 would be selected.
Suggested Data Sources:
  • Consultation notes
  • Progress notes
  • Nursing Notes
  • Physicial Progress Notes
  • Coding documents
  • Additional Notes:
    Guidelines for Abstraction:
    Inclusion Exclusion
    • Refer to Appendix A Table 12.4 for Alcohol screening and brief intervention CPT codes.

    Brief Intervention
    Specifications Manual for Joint Commission National Quality Core Measures (2010A1)
    Discharges 04-01-10 (2Q10) through 09-30-10 (3Q10)