Skill-building in the asam criteria




Clinicians involved in planning and managing care may have an understanding of The ASAM Criteria, but can improve skills in assessment, linkage and monitoring treatment services and individualized treatment. Skill building is needed to focus and target treatment under time and reimbursement pressures; change old ways of documentation to reflect individualized treatment, and improve communication between care managers and treatment providers.

This one-day workshop is designed to build on basic understanding of the underlying principles of The ASAM Criteria – Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions (2013) and improve skills in assessment, individualized treatment and care management.  Specific hands-on exercises will help participants implement The ASAM Criteria and organize assessment data to manage care.  It will help clinicians and care managers improve communication around level of care decisions and utilization management.


Participants will

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the underlying principles of The ASAM Criteria and multidimensional assessment.
  2. Apply ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment to individualize service strategies and level of care placement and continuing care authorizations.
  3. Discuss documentation of ASAM Criteria six dimensional severity to make level of care decisions.


8:30 AM        Registration

9:00 AM        A.  Review of Underlying Concepts of ASAM Criteria in a Managed Care Environment

  • Pretest questions and answers - identifying gaps in knowledge and skills.
  • Individualized treatment based on multidimensional assessment (MDA)
  • Flexible continuum of care

       B.  Skill Building in ASAM Criteria MDA and Levels of Care Decisions

  • The 3 Hs – History, Here & Now, How Worried Now
  • Assessing needs and strengths and services to match
  • Levels of care in ASAM Criteria continuum of care

10:30 AM       Break

10:45 AM       C.  How to Organize Assessment Data to Match Level of Care

  • Review of participants’ cases and actual documentation
  • Using MDA to identify priorities for service planning
  • Discussion of whether severity ratings correct and matched LOC decisions

                        D.  Engaging the Client in Participatory Treatment

  • Assessment of Dimension 4 (Readiness to Change)
  • Starting treatment “where they are at” and role of motivational enhancement strategies
  • Implications with mandated clients

12 Noon         Lunch

1:00 PM          E.  Care Management and Utilization Review Issues

  • Case Presentations
  • Case and system of care consultation

2:30 PM          Break

2:45 PM          F.  Improving Care Management and Communication Using ASAM Criteria

  • Dealing with disagreements about treatment plans, level of care and length of stay

4:00 PM          Adjourn