How To Use CPT Code 90832

CPT 90832 refers to a 30-minute psychotherapy session with a patient, and this article will cover its description, procedure, qualifying circumstances, usage, documentation requirements, billing guidelines, historical information, similar codes, and examples.

1. What is CPT 90832?

CPT 90832 is a code used to represent a psychotherapy session that lasts for 30 minutes with a patient. Psychotherapy is a treatment method that involves a series of techniques to address and treat mental and emotional health problems. This code is used by medical coders and billers to accurately document and bill for this specific service.

2. 90832 CPT code description

The official description of CPT code 90832 is: “Psychotherapy, 30 minutes with patient.”

3. Procedure

The 90832 procedure involves the following steps:

  1. The provider and patient engage in a face-to-face therapeutic interaction.
  2. The provider explores the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to identify areas of concern.
  3. The provider uses various techniques, such as relationship building, communication, and behavior change, to address the patient’s mental health issues.
  4. The session lasts for a minimum of 16 minutes and a maximum of 37 minutes.
  5. If the session is less than 16 minutes, it is not reported using this code.

4. Qualifying circumstances

Patients eligible to receive CPT code 90832 services are those who:

  • Have a diagnosed mental or emotional health disorder.
  • Require psychotherapy as part of their treatment plan.
  • Are able to participate in a face-to-face therapeutic interaction with the provider.
  • Have a session that lasts between 16 and 37 minutes.

5. When to use CPT code 90832

It is appropriate to bill the 90832 CPT code when:

  • The provider performs a psychotherapy session with a patient who has a diagnosed mental or emotional health disorder.
  • The session lasts for a minimum of 16 minutes and a maximum of 37 minutes.
  • The provider does not perform an additional evaluation and management service during the session.

6. Documentation requirements

To support a claim for CPT 90832, the following information needs to be documented:

  • Patient’s demographic information, including name, date of birth, and insurance information.
  • Date and duration of the psychotherapy session.
  • Diagnosis or reason for the session.
  • Specific therapeutic techniques used during the session.
  • Progress or changes in the patient’s mental health status.
  • Any recommendations or plans for future sessions or treatment.

7. Billing guidelines

When billing for CPT code 90832, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Ensure that the session duration is accurately documented, as sessions lasting less than 16 minutes are not reported using this code.
  • If an evaluation and management service is performed during the same session, use the add-on code +90833 instead of CPT 90832.
  • Verify that the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan support the need for psychotherapy services.
  • Ensure that all required documentation is complete and accurate to support the claim.

8. Historical information

CPT 90832 was added to the Current Procedural Terminology system on January 1, 2013. The code was changed on January 1, 2017, with the previous descriptor being “Psychotherapy, 30 minutes with patient and/or family member.”

9. Similar codes to CPT 90832

Five similar codes to CPT 90832 and how they differentiate are:

  • CPT 90834: This code represents a 45-minute psychotherapy session with a patient.
  • CPT 90837: This code is used for a 60-minute psychotherapy session with a patient.
  • CPT 90846: This code is for family psychotherapy without the patient present.
  • CPT 90847: This code represents family psychotherapy with the patient present.
  • CPT 90853: This code is used for group psychotherapy sessions.

10. Examples

Here are 10 detailed examples of CPT code 90832 procedures:

  1. A patient with major depressive disorder receives a 30-minute psychotherapy session focused on cognitive restructuring techniques.
  2. A patient with generalized anxiety disorder participates in a 25-minute session to discuss and practice relaxation techniques.
  3. A patient with post-traumatic stress disorder engages in a 30-minute session of exposure therapy.
  4. A patient with an eating disorder receives a 20-minute session focused on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns.
  5. A patient with bipolar disorder participates in a 30-minute session to discuss medication management and coping strategies.
  6. A patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder engages in a 30-minute session of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  7. A patient with borderline personality disorder receives a 30-minute session of dialectical behavior therapy.
  8. A patient with social anxiety disorder participates in a 25-minute session focused on social skills training.
  9. A patient with substance use disorder engages in a 30-minute session of motivational interviewing.
  10. A patient with schizophrenia receives a 30-minute session focused on psychoeducation and coping strategies.

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