Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 8-7-2021

Submission Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program


School of Nursing

Faculty Mentor

Mary Kay Loughran


substance use, brief intervention, referral to treatment, SBIRT screening, implementation, substance misuse, primary care, evaluation


Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an early screening intervention tool for individuals with non-dependent substance use, which is employed to identify and provide care before a patient needs extensive specialized treatment. SBIRT can be used in primary care settings, to methodically screen individuals who might not seek help for a substance use issue (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, [CMS], 2020). Gaps in using the SBIRT screening process were identified within the insurance organization’s PCP practices, therefore, a program evaluation was completed to: (a) determine whether Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) were using the SBIRT process, (b) identify the facilitators and barriers to utilizing the SBIRT process, (c) determine the location and specialties of those PCP offices utilizing and billing for SBIRT screening, and (d) provide recommendations to the healthcare insurance organization. Quantitative and qualitative data revealed that the PCPs were not utilizing the SBIRT process. The barriers and facilitators to utilizing the SBIRT screening process found in the research literature paralleled the insurance organization’s SBIRT results. Recommendations for implementing the SBIRT screening process within the PCP practices include identifying SBIRT initiative resources and support, conducting roundtable discussions with PCP providers to enlist their support and collaboration, establishing SBIRT champions within practices, standardizing billing and payment policies for all payor sources, providing educational opportunities on SBIRT billing and payment policies, and developing an SBIRT Toolkit to support the PCP offices.

Keywords: Substance use disorder, brief intervention, referral to treatment, SBIRT process, implementation, substance misuse, primary care, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.