About the WASBIRT Project

Washington state received a five-year grant in 2003 to implement SBIRT in nine Emergency Departments statewide. A total of 106,464 persons were screened using SBIRT during this grant period.

The key findings from the 2003-2008 WASBIRT initiative were:

  • Declines in substance use, increased abstinence, reduced anxiety and depression, increased employment, and reductions in homelessness
  • Increased admissions to chemical dependency treatment for individuals who received a brief intervention
  • Reductions in medical costs for individuals who received a brief intervention

The findings from the 2003-2008 initiative were so promising that Washington decided to expand SBIRT services. Washington reapplied for the SAMHSA SBIRT grant to expand SBIRT into primary care and began receiving funding for the Washington Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Primary Care Integration (WASBIRT-PCI) in September 2011.

  • WASBIRT-PCI is a 5 year grant from 2011-2016
  • Washington was awarded $8,333,000 from SAMHSA over the 5 year period
  • WASBIRT-PCI has Partner Clinics in 5 counties in Washington

The WASBIRT-PCI goal is to implement SBIRT into primary health and create a sustainable, reimbursable SBIRT system. Much time has been dedicated to working with the Washington Health Care Authority to open billing codes created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and make sure the billing codes are practical for clinics. The Medicaid codes became available for use January 1, 2014.  SBIRT can be billed under Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance in the state of Washington.

    Sponsoring Agencies


    Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration - SAMHSA

    Center for Substance Abuse Treatment - CSAT

    Northwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network - NW ATTC


    King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse, and Dependency Services Division

    Washington State Department of Health - DOH

    Washington State Health Care Authority - HCA


    Project Staff

    Earl Long - DBHR
    WASBIRT-PCI Program Director
    Ph:  360-725-9985
    Jim Mayfield - RDA
    Senior Research Manager
    Ph: 360-902-0764
    Eric Osborne - DBHR
    WASBIRT-PCI Program Manager
    Ph:  360-725-3473
    Lyz Speaker - RDA
    Research Manager
    Ph: 360-902-0802
    Geoff Miller (King County MHCADSD)
    King County WASBIRT-PCI Coordinator
    Ph: 206-263-8960