Health Behavior Assessment and Intervention

In 2002, Medicare established “Health Behavior Assessment and Intervention” (HBAI) CPT codes that are meant to facilitate the integration of primary care and behavioral health to address recovery from medical issues (not psychological problems). WA Department of Labor and Industries reimburses for these services and the Medical Director encourages their use. These codes allow a psychologist to identify psychosocial/behavioral issues that may interfere with recovery or adherence to medical treatment protocols, and provide up to 12 education / coaching sessions to address those barriers. Those barriers can include a wide variety of the subclinical psychosocial issues seen in injured workers that often complicates their care (anger, fear, passivity, hopelessness, anxiety, ignorance, etc.).


Highlights/advantages include:

  • No authorization required from the claims manager = no delays!

  • No formal psychological evaluation required

  • No diagnosis of a “mental disorder” required

  • No need to get caught up in the medical/legal quagmire in order to help injured workers


The only requirement is a documented referral from the AP stipulating “Health Behavior Assessment and Intervention”. I will then conduct a brief screening assessment to identify psychosocial/behavioral barriers and a brief intervention plan, followed by intervention if and as appropriate.