Behavioral Health Clinical Practice Guidelines 2023-2024

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico adopts Clinical Practice Guidelines as the foundation for our Behavioral Health Care Management Program. We review and adopt updates to guidelines at least every two years. 

The evidence-based clinical guidelines from nationally recognized sources are designed to provide a framework for BCBSNM contracted providers for evaluating and treating our members. They’re not intended to substitute for a provider’s judgment or establish a protocol for all members with a particular condition. Providers are encouraged to make decisions based on their own judgment and most current evidence-based information available. Guidelines for the use of psychotropic medication management are included within each guideline. If you have questions, email our Behavioral Health Quality Improvement team.

The guidelines apply to services provided to our members who have behavioral health benefits through our government, individual and family, and group plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program® (FEP®) members. Learn more about our behavioral health program

Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (2004) American Psychiatric Association
"Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (2009) American Psychiatric Association
"VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder" (2017) Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense
“Post-traumatic Stress Disorder” National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Alzheimer's and Other Dementias
"Treatment of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias 2nd edition" (2007) American Psychiatric Association
"Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias" (2014) American Psychiatric Association
"The American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline on the Use of Antipsychotics to Treat Agitation or Psychosis in Patients with Dementia" (2016) American Psychiatric Association
"Practice Guideline Update Summary: Mild Cognitive Impairment" (2018) American Academy of Neurology
"Dementia: Assessment, Management and Support for People Living with Dementia and Their Carers" (2018) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
"Neuropsychological Evaluation in Adults" (2019) American Family Physician
"APA Guidelines for the Evaluation of Dementia and Age Related Cognitive Change" (2021) American Psychological Association
"Objective subtle cognitive difficulties predict future amyloid accumulation and neurodegeneration" (2020) Neurology

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
"Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents" (2019) American Academy of Pediatrics
"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosis and Management" (2018) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
"Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Complex Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" (2020) Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

Autism
"Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2014) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
"Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: Diagnosis and Management" (2012) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
"Practice Parameter: Screening and Diagnosis of Autism" (2000) American Academy of Neurology
"Early Screening of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Recommendations for Practice and Research" (2015) American Academy of Pediatrics
"Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2020) American Academy of Pediatrics

Bipolar
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder 2nd Edition" (2002) American Psychiatric Association
"Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Bipolar Disorder, 2nd Edition" (2005) American Psychiatric Association
"Evidence-Based Guidelines for Treating Bipolar Disorder: Revised Third Edition Recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology" (2016) Journal of Psychopharmacology
"Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) 2018 guidelines for the management of patients with bipolar disorder" (2018) Bipolar Disorders

Depression
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depression Disorder 3rd Edition" (2010) American Psychiatric Association
"Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Depressive Disorders" (2007) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
"VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for The Management of Major Depressive Disorder" (2022) Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense
"Nonpharmacologic Versus Pharmacologic Treatment of Adult Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians" (2016) American College of Physicians
"Depression in Adults: Treatment and Management" (first published 2009, updated 2022) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
"Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Depression Across Three Age Cohorts" (2019) American Psychological Association
"Depression in Children and Young People: Identification and Management" (2019) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
"Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care (GLAD-PC): Part I. Practice Preparation, Identification, Assessment, and Initial Management" (2018) American Academy of Pediatrics
"Guidelines for Adolescent Depression in Primary Care (GLAD-PC): Part II. Treatment and Ongoing Management" (2018) American Academy of Pediatrics
"Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Major and Persistent Depressive Disorders" (2023) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Eating Disorders
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Eating Disorders Third Edition" (2006) American Psychiatric Association
"Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Eating Disorders Third Edition" (2012) American Psychiatric Association
"Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Eating Disorders" (2015) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
"Eating Disorders: Recognition and Treatment" (May 2017) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
"Identification and Management of Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents" (2021) American Academy of Pediatrics
“Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Eating Disorders Fourth Edition,” (2023) American Psychiatric Association

General
"Practice Guidelines for the Psychiatric Evaluation of Adults" (2015) American Psychiatric Association
"APA Guidelines on Evidence-Based Psychological Practice in Health Care" (2021) American Psychological Association
"Practice Parameters for the Psychiatric Assessment of Children and Adolescents" (1997) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
“Principles of Care for Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Mental Illnesses in Residential Treatment Centers” (2010) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
“Clinical Update: Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Care in Community Systems of Care” (2023) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
“Clinical Update: Collaborative Mental Health Care for Children and Adolescents in Pediatric Primary Care” (2023) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Prevention and Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among College Students” (2021) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
“Psychosocial Interventions for Older Adults With Serious Mental Illness” (2021) SAMHSA
“Psychiatric Assessment and Diagnosis in Older Adults” (2009) Geriatric Psychiatry 

Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorders
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Panic Disorder Second Edition" (2009) American Psychiatric Association
"Clinical Practice Review for GAD" (2015) Anxiety and Depression Association of America
"Diagnosis and Management of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder in Adults" (2015) American Family Physician
"Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders" (2020) American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
“VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder” (2023) Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" (2007) American Psychiatric Association
"Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" (2013) American Psychiatric Association
"Clinical Practice Review for OCD" (2015) Anxiety and Depression Association of America
"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Diagnosis and Management" (2015) American Family Physician
"Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder" (2012) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
"Deep brain stimulation for chronic, severe, treatment resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults" (2021) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
"Evidence-based pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: A revision of the 2005 guidelines from the British Association for Psychopharmacology" (2014) Journal for Psychopharmacology

Schizophrenia
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Schizophrenia Third Edition" (2021) American Psychiatric Association
"Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Schizophrenia" (2013) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
"Psychosis and Schizophrenia in Adults: Prevention and Management" (2014) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
"Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia: Update recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology" (2019) Journal of Psychopharmacology
"Psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people; recognition and management" (updated 2016) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
“VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines: Management of First-Episode Psychosis and Schizophrenia (SCZ)” (2023) Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense

Substance Use Disorders

- General
"Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorders 2nd Edition" (2006) American Psychiatric Association
"Guideline Watch (April 2007): Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorders 2nd Edition" (2007) American Psychiatric Association
"VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Substance Use Disorders" (2021) Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense
"Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide" (2014) National Institute on Drug Abuse
"TIP 31 Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders" (2012) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
"TIP 42 Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Co-occurring Disorders" (2013, revised 2020) SAMHSA
“Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorders” (2020) SAMHSA

- Opioid
"The ASAM National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder 2020 Focused Update" (2015) American Society of Addiction Medicine
"Medications for Opioid Use Disorder TIP 63" (2018, revised 2019) SAMHSA
Pain Management Best Practices inter-Agency Task Force Report (2019) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

- Alcohol
"Practice Guideline for the Pharmacological Treatment of Patients with Alcohol Use Disorder" (2018) American Psychiatric Association
"Medication for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Brief Guide" (2015) SAMHSA
"Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth, A Practitioner's Guide-produced in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics" (Revised 2015, Reprinted 2019) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
"The ASAM Clinical Practice Guideline on Alcohol Withdrawal Management" (2020) American Society of Addiction Medicine

Suicidal Behaviors
"VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide" (version 2.0, 2019) Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense
“Treatment for Suicidal Ideation, Self-Harm, and Suicide Attempts Among Youth” (2020) SAMHSA
“Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Patients With Suicidal Behaviors” (2010) American Psychiatric Association 

Telehealth
"Best Practices in Videoconferencing-Based Telemental Health" (2018) American Psychiatric Association and American Telemedicine Association
"General Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit" (2020) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
"Telepsychiatry Toolkit" (2020) American Psychiatric Association
"Practice Guidelines for Telemental Health with Children and Adolescents" (2017) American Telemedicine Association
"Telehealth for the Treatment of Serious Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders" (2021) SAMHSA
"Clinical Update: Telepsychiatry with Children and Adolescents” (2017) American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Gender Diversity
"Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People" (2015) American Psychological Association
"Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender Diverse Children and Adolescents" (2018)
“Supporting and Caring for Transgender Children - Human Rights Campaign Foundation” (2016) American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and American Academy of Pediatrics 

Multicultural Counseling
"Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality" (2017) American Psychological Association
"The American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines for the Psychiatric Evaluation of Adults: Guideline V. Assessment of Cultural Factors" (2016) American Psychiatric Association
"Cultural Diversity and Mental Health: Considerations for Policy and Practice" (2018) Frontiers Public Health

Electroconvulsive Therapy
"American Psychiatric Association: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Major Depressive Disorder," Pages 44-46(2010) American Psychiatric Association

Reproductive, Prenatal and Postpartum Mental Health
"Resource Document on Psychiatric Aspects of Infertility" (2019) American Psychiatric Association
"Guidance on Qualifications for fertility counselors: a committee opinion" (2021) Fertility & Sterility, Practice Committee and Mental Health Professionals Groups of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine
"Recommendations for practices using gestational carriers: a committee opinion" (2022) Fertility & Sterility Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Trauma-Informed Care
"TIP 57: A Treatment Improvement Protocol: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services" (2014) SAMHSA
"SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach " (2014) SAMHSA
"Key Ingredients for Successful Trauma-Informed Care Implementation" (2016) SAMHSA
"Stress & Trauma Toolkit for Treating Historically Marginalized Populations in a Changing Political and Social Environment" American Psychiatric Association

The above material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician. Physicians and other health care providers are encouraged to use their own best medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining the best course of treatment. References to other third-party sources or organizations are not a representation, warranty, or endorsement of such organization. The fact that a service or treatment is described in this material is not a guarantee that the service or treatment is a covered benefit and members should refer to their certificate of coverage for more details, including benefits, limitations, and exclusions. Regardless of benefits, the final decision about any service or treatment is between the member and their health care provider.