A Review: Unhealthy Alcohol Use in Primary Care - The Elephant in the Examination Room

by Dan Osterweil, MD, FACP, CMD

Unhealthy Alcohol Use in Primary Care—The Elephant in the Examination Room, by Jennifer Edelman, MD, MHS; Jeanette M. Tetrault, MD, raises the important distinction between alcohol use disorder and unhealthy drinking associated with health status. CALTCM has been on the vanguard of this notion, collaborating with researchers from UCLA and Harvard, offering a CME program aimed at educating primary care physicians in identifying elders at risk for alcohol-related/associated health problems. The program is interactive and a fun way to learn about the subject. It focuses on knowledge and skills required in the primary care office to identify individuals who should be screened and counseled versus those who should be referred to addiction specialists or  psychiatrists.

This CME program offers an elegant way to screen patients using a web-based module of a screening tool especially appropriate for elders, ARPS (free for those taking the module). ARPS allows patient to interact with a computer survey learn about the risks and potential benefits of moderate alcohol use. It produces a report that can be shared with primary physicians, who could than counsel the patient. As many of you know, the services of screening and counseling are reimbursable by Medicare.

For more questions about the CME program, ARPS please contact [email protected] or 562.989.8356.

Click here to read the JAMA articleUnhealthy Alcohol Use in Primary Care—The Elephant in the Examination Room

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