National Coverage Analysis (NCA) Tracking Sheet

Screening and Behavioral Counseling Interventions in Primary Care to Reduce Alcohol Misuse



Over the past 25 years, the Congress has expanded the Medicare benefit to include various preventive services to the Medicare Part B program such as Pap smear and screening pelvic exams, screening mammograms, colorectal cancer screening tests, and diabetes screening tests. Effective January 1, 2009, CMS is allowed to add coverage of "additional preventive services" if certain statutory requirements are met, as provided under section 101(a) of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) (Pub. L. 110-275). Among other things, this new benefit allows CMS under 42 CFR 410.64 to cover "additional preventive services", if it determines through the NCD process that the service is recommended with a grade A (strongly recommends) or grade B (recommends) rating by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and meets certain other requirements.

After reviewing various preventive services given a grade A or grade B recommendation by the USPSTF, CMS has decided to initiate a new national coverage analysis (NCA) on Screening and Behavioral Counseling Interventions in Primary Care to Reduce Alcohol Misuse, which is recommended with a grade B by the USPSTF. We would be interested in receiving any recommendations on the appropriate frequency of this service and those qualified to provide it based on documentation from the medical literature, current clinical practice guidelines, or the USPSTF recommendations.

Benefit Category

Additional Preventive Services

Requestor Information

Requestor Name Requestor Letter
Internally generated N/A

Important Dates

Formal Request Accepted and Review Initiated
Expected NCA Completion Date
Public Comment Period
02/18/2011 - 03/20/2011
Proposed Decision Memo Due Date
Proposed Decision Memo Released
Proposed Decision Memo Public Comment Period
07/19/2011 - 08/18/2011
Decision Memo Released
Comments for this NCA
View Public Comments


Lead Analysts
Maria Ciccanti
JoAnna Baldwin
Lead Medical Officers
Lawrence Schott, MD, MS

Medicare Benefit Category Determination Date

Actions Taken

February 18, 2011

Internally generated national coverage analysis (NCA). Initial 30-day public comment period begins.

July 19, 2011

The proposed decision memorandum is posted and the 30-day public comment period begins. CMS is particularly interested in receiving comments regarding frequency of screening and counseling, appropriate places of service and those appropriate to provide the service.

October 14, 2011