Introducing Michael Oyster, SBIRT Specialist at Oregon Health Authority

July 25, 2014   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: SBIRT , OHA Addictions and Mental Health , Screening , CCO Metric
Oregon Health Authority

Michael Oyster, LPC, CADCIII was hired in May by Addictions & Mental Health at the Oregon Health Authority as the agency’s SBIRT Specialist. SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. It is often implemented in medical settings such as primary care, hospitals, and emergency departments to identify patients who have unhealthy substance use patterns, including alcohol, recreational drugs, and misuse of medications.

This practice is more than a screening but an intervention process for patients whose substance use patterns could undermine medical outcomes. About twenty-three percent of patients need some level of substance use intervention, from education, to brief counseling, to specialized treatment.

Michael’s position is to establish policies and standards for SBIRT practice throughout Oregon as well as provide free consultation and training in SBIRT implementation to a variety of medical settings and health care systems. Although SBIRT practices are reasonably simple, providers must receive specialized training to facilitate the process so that all of its elements are included in the practice. You can contact Michael at (503-945-9813) or through email,, to brainstorm solutions or schedule an overview presentation.

Currently, Michael has been working at simplifying the billing / encounter process so that providers can more easily have their SBIRT work paid for and counted toward incentive payments tied to SBIRT metrics. This one page simplification of billing / encounters, plus other clarification documents, will be posted at the Addictions & Mental Health SBIRT website.

There are also private trainers who provide SBIRT trainings, such as Jim Winkle (503-494-1632) and Denna Vandersloot (503-758-2112). In addition, Leigh Fischer (303-369-0039 x.237) from SBIRT Colorado is a national trainer who is willing to work with Oregon. Michael has other national training resources depending on the training needs of the specific healthcare system. There are online resources for SBIRT trainings, however, Michael recommends using these resources as adjunct training to keep SBIRT practices going once an in-person training has been completed.

For more information on SBIRT, visit our Resources section for tools, forms and a recording of a 2013 SBIRT webinar hosted by the Institute.



Thanks, Michael, for getting involved with the Institute and staying in touch re: SBIRT resources for practices.