Collaboration to Promote Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention

CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)external icon are working together to promote a newly approved performance measure, Unhealthy Alcohol Use Screening and Follow-Upexternal icon, which is included in the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). The purpose of this HEDIS measure is for health plans to report “the percentage of members 18 years of age or older who were screened for unhealthy alcohol use using a standardized tool and, if screened positive, received appropriate care.”

Performance measures assess the quality of healthcare services and identify areas that need improvement. There are many types of performance measures used by different healthcare systems. HEDIS is a tool used by more than 90 percent of U.S. health plans to measure how they perform in multiple care areas.

Project Information

This project, Improving Quality of Care through Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention and Its Reporting in Electronic Clinical Data Systems, is a quality improvement learning collaborative to help health plans use and report the HEDIS measure. The project will engage health plans in efforts that improve quality of care and health outcomes of individuals with unhealthy alcohol use. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)external icon will complete this work in collaboration with SAMHSA and CDC.

Healthcare providers with computers discussing electronic clinical data


Over the course of this project, activities will include the following:

  • Recruiting health plans willing to implement the measure and participate in quality improvement activities to increase its reporting,
  • Developing a practice change package that includes activities and resources to improve health plans’ quality of care and reporting, and
  • Convening regular meetings for health plans to share experiences and lessons learned with experts and other health plans participating in the learning collaborative.

Visit NCQA’s websiteexternal icon to read more about the development of the measure and next steps.