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Initiation and Engagement of Substance Use Disorder Dependence Treatment (IET)

What is the IET — HEDIS® Measure?

Based on current NCQA HEDIS recommendations for best practices, adolescent and adult members with new Substance Use Disorder episodes should complete the following:

  • Initiation of SUD treatment
  • Engagement of SUD treatment

The following meets numerator compliance:

  • Initiation of SUD Treatment: Members with new SUD episodes that result in treatment initiation through an inpatient SUD admission, outpatient visit, intensive outpatient encounter or partial hospitalization, telehealth or medication treatment within 14 days
  • Engagement of SUD Treatment: Members with new SUD episodes that have evidence of treatment engagement within 34 days of the initiation

Best Practices

  • Encourage patient to bring their discharge paperwork to their first appointment.
  • Discuss the importance of timely, recommended follow-up visits.
  • Use the same diagnosis for substance use at each follow-up.
  • Coordinate care between behavioral health and Primary Care Physicians:
    • Share progress notes and updates
    • Include the diagnosis
  • Reach out to patients who cancel appointments and assist them with rescheduling as soon as possible.
  • Consider telemedicine visits when in-person visits are not available.
  • Do not use a non-substance diagnosis code for this measure.
  • If applicable, notify our Concurrent Review team of the patient's aftercare information on the day of discharge.

The following medications are related to the IET:

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Medications

Description Prescription
Aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor Disulfiram (oral)
Antagonist Naltrexone (oral and injectable)
Other Acamprosate (oral; delayed-release tablet)

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Medications

Description Prescription
Antagonist Naltrexone (oral and injectable)
Partial agonist Buprenorphine (sublingual tablet, injection, implant) Buprenorphine/naloxone (sublingual tablet, buccal film, sublingual film)

NCQA HEDIS Population Definition for This Measure:

Population: Members ages 13 years and older as of the SUD episode date

Line of Business: Commercial, Medicaid, Medicare

To learn more about your practice’s current HEDIS performance, 2022 HEDIS Value sets for this or other measures, or for assistance in compliance with the HEDIS guidelines, please email or visit

Reference: Initiation and Engagement of Substance Use Disorder Treatment (IET), NCQA HEDIS 2022 Tech Specifications