CPT code 97124 can be used for therapeutic massage procedure that includes the techniques of effleurage, petrissage, and/or tapotement and can be reported in units of 15 minutes.
What Is CPT Code 97124?
CPT 97124 describes a therapeutic massage procedure, and effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement techniques are included
Effleurage is a light, flowing stroke that is used to warm up the muscles before deeper work is done.
Petrissage is a deeper technique that involves kneading and compression of the muscles.
Tapotement is a technique that involves light striking actions with the hands and fingers and is used to stimulate circulation and tone the muscles.
The massage will be performed on “1 or more areas,” and the massage can be billed in 15-minute units. If a patient receives a 30-minute massage, the healthcare provider will bill for two units of CPT 97124.
The CPT book describes CPT code 97124 as: “Therapeutic procedure, one or more areas, every 15 minutes; massage, including effleurage, petrissage and/or tapotement (stroking, compression, percussion).”
Massage therapy is a holistic approach to healing the body and mind by manipulating muscles and soft tissues.
It is a technique that involves using hands, fingers, and thumbs to apply pressure to specific areas of the body.
The pressure can be light or firm, and the movement styles can vary depending on the type of massage being performed.
The main goal of massage therapy is to improve blood circulation, relax muscles, and stimulate soft tissues for therapeutic purposes.
A massage therapist or expert performs various massages, each with a specific technique and purpose.
Some of the most common types of massage include Swedish, deep tissue, and sports.
Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage and is known for its long, flowing strokes that are designed to relax the entire body.
Deep tissue massage is used to target deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, making it ideal for people with chronic pain or muscle tension.
Sports massage is designed to help athletes prepare for and recover from intense physical activity.
The therapist uses techniques such as effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement to perform the massage.
Effleurage is a series of light-touch strokes that are used to warm up the muscles before starting petrissage on deeper tissues.
This technique is mainly applied over the spine and back, involving circular stroking movements with the palms and fingers.
Petrissage is a group of massage movements in which deep pressure is applied with the palms, fingers, and thumbs.
This compresses the body’s muscles. Kneading, wringing, and scissoring are some of the petrissage massage processes.
This technique targets specific areas of muscle tension, such as the neck, shoulders, and back. It is particularly effective for people with chronic pain or muscle tension.
Tapotement is a specific technique used in Swedish massage, which includes light, brisk striking actions with cupped hands and fingertips.
These may be performed on many body areas, although they are very effective when used on fleshy and large muscular regions, such as the thighs. Percussion is used to stimulating sensory nerves and to vasodilate capillaries.
The techniques used during a massage session will vary depending on the massage type and the patient’s needs.
Massage is applied to a large area, often crossing over several types and areas of soft tissues. It is a natural and non-invasive way to promote healing and relaxation, and it can be an effective complementary treatment for a wide range of health conditions.
How To Use CPT 97124
You can not report CPT code 97124 with modifier 51. This code requires direct physician-to-patient contact, and the physician must document a care plan that includes manual techniques.
To use CPT code 97124, the therapist must perform a therapeutic massage to increase circulation and promote tissue relaxation in the muscle(s). 97124 can also be used for basic relaxation massage, also known as Swedish massage, as there is no separate code for this type of massage.
However, if the provider performed a myofascial release procedure, you can use CPT code 97140 instead of CPT 97124.