Clinical Practice Guidelines

Statement of Intent

North Sound BH-ASO adopts Clinical Practice Guidelines that are considered best practice (e.g., based on clinical evidence or consensus of relevant health care professionals) and consider the needs of the individuals we serve.

Application of the Clinical Practice Guidelines is assessed in the North Sound BH-ASO’s annual Routine Utilization Review found in the Quality Management Work Plan. Decisions for utilization management, individual education, coverage of services and other areas to which the procedures apply will be consistent with the Clinical Practice Guidelines.

North Sound BH-ASO is responsible for ensuring the Clinical Practice Guidelines are distributed to all BHAs and, upon request, to individuals interested in or currently receiving services.

The Clinical Practice Guidelines are not to be construed to limit the individualization of treatment, clinician judgment, or the ability of the clinician to provide treatment in the best interests of the individual.

The Clinical Practice Guidelines should be considered guidelines only, and the North Sound BH-ASO realizes that adherence to them does not guarantee a successful outcome, nor should the Clinical Practice Guidelines be construed as including all the proper methods of care or excluding other acceptable methods of care aimed at the same results.

North Sound endeavors to include community clinical input in the selection of Clinical Practice Guidelines and has selected them based on those services that the ASO will be most frequently providing (including Crisis Services and Services for Substance Use Disorders). Further, their choice was made in consideration of community relevance, the needs of Individuals and are intended to support Individual and family involvement in care plans.

The Guidelines will be updated periodically and at least every 2 years. Some older Guidelines (generally defined as being 5 years old without an update) will be retained as Resources given their continued relevance and utility.

Please note that the Clinical Practice Guidelines are qualified by the limitations of payment sources and funding as designated through current contracts, the Washington State Administrative Codes (WACs), the Revised Codes of Washington (RCWs) and Federal requirements.

Behavioral Health Agencies (BHAs) contracted with the North Sound BH-ASO shall develop and implement policies and procedures that support widely established and recognized best practices that support patient centered recovery and the best possible outcomes that are in the interest of individual.

Delineated Clinical Practice Guidelines

Please see North Sound BH-ASO Policy 1508.00 Clinical Practice Guidelines for additional recourses. North Sound BH-ASO’s Medical Director has identified the following recognized Practice Guidelines that develop or promote evidence based clinical practices:

American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for the Psychiatric Evaluation of Adults , Third Edition. Published 2016, Reviewed February 2018

American Academy of Pediatrics Guideline for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care (GLAD-PC): Part I. Published in Pediatrics. 141(3): 2018. [selected for information on the assessment of the suicidal adolescent individual].

Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guideline Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide (2019).

Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Substance Use Disorders (SUD) . Published 2015, Reviewed May 2017

American Society of Addiction Medicine National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use and Synopsis . Published 2015, Reviewed July 2018

American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline for the Pharmacological Treatment of Patients with Alcohol Use Disorder . Published 2018, Adopted February 2018.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants . Published 2018, Adopted May 2018.

Additional Resources

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association Core Elements for Responding to Mental Health Crisis . Published 2009.

Clinical Guidance for Treatment Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants.

The Zero Suicide Website includes multiple screening and assessment instruments at

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center ( provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of professionals serving people at risk for suicide. Resources include a webpage for professionals serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities and the SAFE-T (Suicide Assessment Five-step Evaluation and Triage) Program.

American Pain Society and College on Problems of Drug Dependence Methadone Safety: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American Pain Society and College on Problems of Drug Dependence, in Collaboration with the Heart Rhythm Society . Published 2014, Reviewed July 2018.

What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families:

SAMHSA TIP 31 Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorder:

SAMHSA TIP 34 Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse:

SAMHSA TIP 42 Substance Abuse Treatment for People with Co-Occurring Disorders:

SAMHSA TIP 45 Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment:

SAMHSA TIP 61 Behavioral Health Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives

SAMHSA TIP 63 Medications for Opioid Disorder:


Suspect Fraud?


Anonymously report suspected fraud, waste, or abuse to the North Sound BH-ASO Compliance Officer by using the Compliance Hotline.

Learn More

Dissatisfied with service?


or visit the Ombuds website for assistance in filing a complaint or appealing a denial of service.

Learn More