Alcohol Misuse Screening and Counseling

Published 10/04/2019

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.