Substance use among adolescents continues to present as a public health concern. Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an effective process that has been proven to identify, reduce, and prevent at-risk use of substances when appropriately applied. The CRAFFT tool is an evidence-based screen used to identify substance use in adolescents aged 12–21 years of age.
The purpose of this project is to assess the rates of substance use in the adolescent population at a behavioral health clinic through the CRAFFT tool while also assessing for provider documentation compliance and overall revenue benefits of SBIRT.
A retrospective chart review was used for this practice evaluation. Descriptive statistics were used through assessing frequencies and averages to gain insight not only on the rates of at-risk substance use and documentation compliance, but also on psychiatric diagnoses and medication regimens.
Three hundred and forty-one patient encounters were reviewed over a 3-month period. Of these 341 encounters, 63.6% of the visits were in-person and 36.4% were conducted virtually. 72.4% of patient encounters had no documented CRAFFT screen, yet 31% of completed CRAFFT screens were positive for substance use or misuse. For those encounters with no completed CRAFFT screen documented, there was an estimated lost income for potential billings at a rate of $33.41 per encounter for a total of $8252.27.
Substance use and misuse in adolescents continues to exist as a public health concern. The CRAFFT tool can be a feasible means of screening for substance use in adolescents when consistently and longitudinally incorporated.