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Clinical guidelines and policy bulletins


Respected professional and public health organizations create clinical practice guidelines that document best practices and recommendations for care. We’ve chosen certain clinical guidelines to help our providers give members high-quality, consistent care with effective use of services and resources. These include treatment protocols for specific conditions, as well as preventive health measures.


The intention of these guidelines is to clarify standards and expectations. They should not: 


  • Take precedence over your responsibility to provide treatment based on the member’s needs
  • Substitute as orders for treatment of a member
  • Guarantee coverage or payment for the type or level of care proposed or provided

Clinical practice guidelines

Alcohol abuse


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


Bipolar disorder (PDF)


Children and families in the aftermath of disasters and crises (PDF)


Disruptive behavior disorders in children and adolescents


Generalized anxiety disorder (PDF)


Panic disorder


Major depressive disorder


American Psychiatric Association (APA) practice guidelines


Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense (VA/DoD) practice guidelines


Acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder


Practice guideline (PDF)


Guideline watch (PDF)


Quick reference guide (PDF)


Eating disorders


Practice guideline (PDF)


Guideline watch (PDF)


Quick reference guide (PDF)


Nicotine use


Health equity in tobacco prevention and control (PDF)


Personalized quit plan form (PDF)


Tobacco cessation


Tobacco-free tool kit (PDF)


Tobacco-related disparities (PDF)


Treating tobacco use and dependence


Obsessive-compulsive disorder


Practice guideline (PDF)


Guideline watch (PDF)


Quick reference guide (PDF)


Opioid addiction


American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) national practice guideline (PDF)


ASAM national practice guideline synopsis (PDF)




Practice guideline (PDF)


Guideline watch (PDF)


Quick reference guide (PDF)


Substance use disorder 


Practice guideline (PDF)


Guideline watch (PDF)


Quick reference guide (PDF)


Suicidal behaviors


Practice guideline (PDF)


Quick reference guide (PDF)

Clinical policy bulletins

These bulletins state our policy about the medical necessity or investigational status of medical technologies and other services to help with coverage decisions. A national review team creates the bulletins and bases them on:


  • Published medical literature
  • Formal technology assessments
  • Structured evidence reviews
  • Evidence-based consensus statements
  • Expert opinions
  • Evidence-based guidelines from professional and public health entities 


Aetna® clinical policy bulletins


Aetna® medical clinical policy bulletins

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