We Support Behavioral Screening and Intervention Services (BSI) in Wisconsin

Supporters' names may appear on our website and in various publications and awareness efforts. Please add your name and/or the name of your organization to our growing list of supporters. Your public statement of support is invaluable to the success of this project. We thank you!

Current Supporters

We recognize the problem…

  • The behavioral issues that most frequently affect health are tobacco use, excessive drinking, drug use, diet, exercise, obesity, and depression
  • Those behavioral issues lead to 40% of deaths, most chronic disease, and most disability
  • Tobacco use is a tragic and preventable cause of ill health and premature death
    • 20% of Wisconsinites use tobacco
    • Tobacco use is our state’s leading cause of death
    • More of Wisconsin’s pregnant women smoke (and drink) than those in any other state
  • Alcohol and drug misuse is a major public health problem that has given our state these tragic distinctions:
    • Wisconsin regularly leads U.S. rankings for high-risk and heavy drinking
    • Wisconsin leads the U.S. in drunken driving
    • Binge drinking among Wisconsin adults is the highest in the nation and is rising among people under 21
    • Fourth leading cause of death and hospitalization
  • Alcohol and drug misuse results in lost productivity, higher health insurance premiums, and other expenses for Wisconsin employers and more than $5 billion each year paid by our healthcare, social services, and criminal justice systems
  • Much like drinking and substance use, depression severely affects the health of the state:
    • 8% of Wisconsinites suffer from depression
    • The healthcare costs for patients with depression is approximately 50% greater than for patients without depression
    • Nationally, of the 10% of primary care patients who are depressed, up to half have not been recognized, and many others have been undertreated
  • More than 400,000 Wisconsin residents are in need of treatment for substance use disorders but fewer than 10 percent receive it

We recognize the effectiveness of BSI…

  • The effectiveness of BSI has been demonstrated in numerous studies and is considered best practice by many leading governmental, scientific, and professional organizations for identifying and treating tobacco use, unhealthy drinking, drug use, and depression
  • BSI can be implemented in general healthcare settings as a routine, universally administered part of any healthcare visit in a manner that overcomes stigma and other cultural or socioeconomic barriers
  • WIPHL has facilitated the delivery of BSI services to over 115,000 patients in Wisconsin over a five-year period, achieving substantial reductions in binge drinking, drug use, and depressive symptoms
  • The National Commission on Prevention Priorities (NCPP) ranks screening and intervention for smoking cessation and alcohol third and fourth, respectively, in effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of all preventive services recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force. That ranks higher than screening for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and all kinds of cancer
  • Screening for depression, at #18, is ranked higher by the NCPP than diabetes screening for at-risk adults and tetanus-diphtheria boosters

Therefore, we recommend BSI as an essential solution...

Behavioral screening and intervention should be adopted as standard medical care throughout the state. These services should be implemented in general healthcare settings in a manner consistent with the best practices developed and defined by the Wisconsin Initiative to Promote Healthy Lifestyles (WIPHL):

  • Screening is universal; patients should be screened at least once a year
  • Services are delivered by a dedicated health educator
  • Brief interventions are delivered using motivational interviewing for behavior change


  • We believe insurers and self-funded employers should reimburse for BSI services in a manner consistent with its most effective delivery
  • We believe employers play a vital role in advocating for and choosing and designing health plans that include BSI