Adolescent Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program

​Click here for full service definition information in the Clinical Coverage Policy.

Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program (SAIOP) is designed to assist youth with beginning and maintaining recovery. SAIOP is required to be offered at least three hours a day, and at least three days a week with no more than two days between service dates. It is comprised of structured individual and group education and treatment activities (e.g., therapy, life skills training, relapse prevention, urine drug screens). SAIOP includes case management to assess/reassess the youth's treatment needs and arrange, link or integrate multiple services. The program is provided over a period of weeks or months.

Intended Population

  • Youth with substance abuse disorders requiring intensive interventions to reach/maintain sobriety, and have not been effectively treated in outpatient services or an intensive level of treatment continues to be needed as a step-down from residential substance abuse treatment. ASAM​ level 2.1.

  • SAIOP can be designed for different groups of consumers e.g., pregnant women, and women with their children; individuals with co-occurring MHSA disorders; individuals with HIV; or individuals with similar levels of cognitive functioning.

Recommended Best Practices

  • For specific best practices for substance use disorder treatment, see ASAM and SAMHSA

Expected Outcomes 

Management Approach

  • Authorization Guidelines

  • Conduct focused Utilization Review (UR) of Residential Level II providers based upon over/under utilization, negative outcomes (e.g., noncompliance with treatment plan, high use of acute care or crisis services, minimal or lack of discharge planning), concerning incidents and/or grievances, and other data suggesting a provider's practices are an outlier compared to the community standard of care.