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Measure 431

Preventive Care and Screening: Unhealthy Alcohol Use: Screening & Brief Counseling

Description: The percentage of adult patients who were screened for unhealthy alcohol use and received brief counseling if identified as an unhealthy alcohol user.

Measure ID: 431

Type: Process

CMS Derm Specialty Set: No

High priority: No

Topped out: No

Reporting methods: Registry/QCDR

Maximum points: 10

Measure purpose: This measure encourages physicians to screen patients for alcohol dependence and document a treatment plan when the patient’s alcohol consumption is unhealthful. Alcohol dependence is a leading cause of illness and death. 


The numerator: The number of patients who were screened for unhealthy alcohol use with a systematic screening method and who received brief counseling if identified as an unhealthy alcohol user.


The denominator: All patients aged 18 years and older seen for at least two visits or at least one preventive visit during the reporting period.

Measure calculation example

Dr. Strauss saw 138 adult patients during the reporting period. This is the denominator.

For 122 patients, Dr. Strauss used a standardized tool to identify unhealthy alcohol use and provided brief counseling when such use was identified. This is the numerator.

Quality of patient care = 122/138. Dr. Strauss has a score of 88.4% for this measure. This translates to 7.0 to 7.9 points.

Important note

Because of how this measure is structured, physicians score 3 points even if they report on only one patient. Physicians receive no additional score for reporting scores that fall below 33.43%. For example, if Dr. Strauss reported on one patient encounter, she would earn 3 points.

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Quality measure score benchmark

CMS will award points based on a comparison of your performance rate to CMS benchmarks listed below. Reach the performance rate listed to achieve the corresponding points per measure. Points achieved for the Quality category will account for 45% of the overall MIPS score.

Below 3
Decile 3Decile 4Decile 5
Decile 6Decile 7Decile 8Decile 9Decile 10
Performance rate  1 patient  33.43 - 
66.12 - 
78.13 - 
87.00 -
 93.52 - 
97.96 -
Points  3 - 3.9  4 - 4.9 5 - 5.9 6 - 6.9 7 - 7.9 8 - 8.9 9 - 9.9 10