Alcohol Misuse Screening and Counseling

Excessive alcohol use can lead to an increased risk of health problems, including injuries, liver disease and cancer. Alcohol screening and brief counseling has been proven to mitigate alcohol-related risks, and talking to your patient is the first step. Ask your Medicare patients about their drinking habits and perform a brief screen and intervention if appropriate.

All Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for alcohol screening.

Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for counseling if they:

  • Screen positive (those who misuse alcohol but whose levels or patterns of alcohol consumption do not meet criteria for alcohol dependence)
  • Are competent and alert at the time counseling is provided
  • Get counseling from qualified primary care physicians or other primary care practitioners in a primary care setting

Learn more about this positive preventive benefit on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) MLN Educational Tool, Medicare Preventive Services.

Last Updated: 10/04/2019