Latest Psychotherapy Codes 2022

by | Last updated Jun 1, 2023 | Published on Aug 18, 2022 | Medical Billing, Medical Coding

Psychotherapy Codes
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An effective mental health treatment, psychotherapy is used by psychotherapists and other mental health professionals to treat a wide range of mental disorders such as – depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, anorexia bulimia and other eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, addictions, personality disorders and more. All mental health professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers utilize medical coding services to submit clean claims for psychotherapy services to health insurers.

Therapy is provided in a variety of formats – individual, group, marital/couples or family. There are different types of psychotherapy and some may work better for certain issues. Psychotherapy is often combined with medication or other therapies for better results.

A wide range of therapeutic approaches exists, which include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)This therapy involves practicing new skills that help to change thinking and behavior patterns that are harmful.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT)This method focuses on improving interpersonal skills and teaches healthy ways to express emotions and thus improve communication with family and friends.
  • Dialectical behavior therapyThis approach combines both individual and group therapy to teach new behavioral skills to handle stress, manage emotions and improve relationships with others.
  • Psychodynamic therapyThis approach aims at increasing self awareness on problematic behaviors and thoughts and developing new insights.

The number of psychotherapy sessions recommended depends on key factors such as – particular mental illness or situation, severity of symptoms, how long patients had symptoms, how much stress they’re experiencing, cost and insurance limitations, and more.

Psychotherapy CPT Codes 2022

In an article, the American Psychological Association discussed certain facts related to utilizing psychotherapy CPT codes.

  • 90791 – Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation (usually just one/client is covered)
  • 90832 Psychotherapy, 30 minutes with patient
  • 90834 Psychotherapy, 45 minutes with patient
  • 90837 Psychotherapy, 60 minutes with patient
  • 90845 Psychoanalysis
  • 90846 Family psychotherapy (without the patient present), 50 minutes
  • 90847 Family psychotherapy (conjoint psychotherapy) (with patient present), 50 minutes
  • 90849 Multiple-family group psychotherapy
  • 90853 Group psychotherapy (other than of a multiple-family group)

Time for Psychotherapy Session

Time for each psychotherapy session should also be documented on the medical claims. Apply the CPT “Time Rule” and choose the code closest to the actual time of the session. The time for each psychotherapy session is described as time spent with the patient and/or family, and the time for each code is specific (30, 45, or 60 minutes).

CPT Code Duration of Psychotherapy Session
90832 16-37 minutes
90834 38-52 minutes
90837 53 or more minutes
90846, 90847 26 or more minutes

Interactive Complexity Add-On Code for Psychotherapy

  • 90785 Interactive complexity (List separately in addition to the code for primary procedure)

This add-on code 90785 may be reported with codes for diagnostic evaluation (90791), psychotherapy (90832, 90834, 90837) and group psychotherapy (90853).

Other add-on codes include

  • 90863: Psychopharmacology with psychotherapy
  • 90833: 30 minutes of psychotherapy with E/M service
  • 90836: 45 minutes of psychotherapy with E/M service
  • 90838: 60 minutes of psychotherapy with E/M service

Psychotherapy Crisis Codes

To bill for emergency sessions, behavioral health professionals can use CPT codes for crises. Crisis codes are mainly used to report the condition of patients in great distress who require immediate attention or are in a life-threatening situation.

  • 90839: First 60 minutes of psychotherapy for crisis
  • 90840: Add-on code for each additional 30 minutes of psychotherapy for crisis
  • 99050: Add-on code for services provided when the office is usually closed
  • 99051: Add-on code for services provided during regularly scheduled hours on evenings, weekends, or holidays

CPT code 90839 is the principal code for a crisis psychotherapy session requiring urgent assessment and history of the crisis state, mental status exam, and disposition.

  • If the crisis session falls below 60 minutes, a regular psychotherapy code, such as 90834 will be used.
  • If the crisis psychotherapy session lasts longer than 60 minutes, the add-on code, 90840, can be billed for each additional 30 minutes of psychotherapy for crisis.

Mental health professionals can rely on medical billing outsourcing companies to efficiently handle their claim submission requirement. Make sure that the company provides the services of skilled coding professionals who can assign the right add-on and crisis psychotherapy codes based on the patient’s condition and treatments provided.

Rajeev Rajagopal

Rajeev Rajagopal, the President of OSI, has a wealth of experience as a healthcare business consultant in the United States. He has a keen understanding of current medical billing and coding standards.

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