Know the Facts. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):
Alcohol affects every organ in the body. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. Because the liver can only metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, excess alcohol circulates throughout the body with an intensity of effect directly related to the amount of alcohol consumed.
What is the Medical Criteria for Alcohol Dependency?
Signs and symptoms of a severe alcohol use disorder could include:
What Health Problems are Associated with Excessive Alcohol Use?
Excessive drinking in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking is associated with numerous health problems, including:
Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation
Alcohol consumption affects people differently, depending on a number of factors, such as:
Because our bodies change as we age, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends that people over 65 should have no more than seven drinks a week, and no more than three drinks in a single day.
What is “1 Drink”?
One 12-ounce beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. It’s the amount of alcohol consumed that most affects a person, not the type of alcoholic drink.
Screening and Counseling for Alcohol Misuse
For adults who do not meet the medical criteria for alcohol dependency but struggle to limit alcohol consumption to recommended parameters of moderation, Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers alcohol misuse screening and counseling once per year. (For more information, watch this video.)
Adults with Part B (including pregnant women) can get the screening if these apply:
Patient can get 4 brief face-to-face counseling sessions per year if these apply:
The counseling must be provided:
Costs in Original Medicare
Patients pay nothing if the qualified primary care doctor or other primary care practitioner accepts assignment.
Stay up to date with TCI’s best-selling Medicare Compliance and Reimbursement Insider 2018. Jam-packed with best-in-class advice and high-impact tips, this indispensable resource will equip you to avoid underpayments, lock down compliance, safeguard against ransomware, and boost your bottom line.