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Crisis Intervention

What is Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention shall provide immediate mental health care in the home or community and be available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, to assist individuals who are experiencing acute psychiatric dysfunction requiring immediate clinical attention. Crisis intervention activities shall include assessment, short-term counseling designed to stabilize the individual and care coordination. Crisis intervention services may include office visits, Temporary Detention Order pre-admission screenings, or telephone contacts.



  • Prevent the exacerbation of a condition.

  • Prevent injury to the individual or others; and

  • Provide treatment in the least restrictive setting.


Crisis intervention services are provided following a marked reduction in the individual’s psychiatric, adaptive, or behavioral functioning or an extreme increase in personal distress.


Individuals must meet both Criteria A and B to qualify for reimbursement.

A. Individuals qualifying for this service must demonstrate a clinical necessity for the service arising from an acute crisis of a psychiatric nature that puts the individual at risk of psychiatric hospitalization.


B. Individuals must meet two of the following criteria at the time of admission to the service:

  •  Experience difficulty in establishing or maintaining normal interpersonal relationships to such a degree that they are at risk of psychiatric hospitalization, homelessness, or isolation from social supports.

  •  Experience difficulty in activities of daily living such as maintaining personal hygiene, preparing food, and maintaining adequate nutrition, or managing finances to such a degree that health or safety is jeopardized.

  •  Exhibit such inappropriate behavior that immediate interventions documented by mental health, social services, or the judicial system are or have been necessary; or

  •  Exhibit difficulty in cognitive ability such that they are unable to recognize personal danger or significantly inappropriate social behavior.

Eligibility Criteria  

Accepting Medallion 4, CCC Plus, and Medicaid Fee-for-Service plans from all VA Medicaid Managed Care Organizations including Aetna Better Health of VA, Anthem Healthkeepers Plus, Magellan Complete Care of Virginia, Optima/Sentara, United Healthcare/Optum, and VA Premier.

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