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CPT Code 90839 | Psychotherapy For Crisis

CPT code 90839 covers psychotherapy for patients in a crisis who are life-threatening and require immediate attention. The duration of the treatment session typically ranges from 30 to 74 minutes.

What Is CPT Code 90839?

The CPT code 90839 is used for billing for a type of therapy called psychotherapy used to treat mental and emotional health problems.

Psychotherapy involves a therapeutic interaction between a provider (such as a therapist) and a patient. The provider helps patients explore their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and uses various techniques to improve their mental health.

CPT 90839 specifically refers to psychotherapy for a crisis and covers the first 60 minutes of the session.


The CPT book describes CPT code 90839 as: “Psychotherapy for crisis; first 60 minutes.”


Psychotherapy is a therapy in which the provider uses several techniques to treat a patient’s mental and emotional health problems. Psychotherapy includes the interactive process between the provider and the patient.

The provider involves the patient in this therapeutic interaction to explore the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

The provider uses various techniques based on relationship building, communication, and behavior change to improve the patient’s mental health.

How To Use CPT 90839

Use CPT 90839 when the provider performs psychotherapy for a patient in a crisis. A crisis state is a life–threatening or complex condition requiring immediate attention to a patient in high distress.

The provider primarily aims the treatment at the mobilization of resources to defuse the crisis and restore the patient’s safety to minimize the potential for psychological trauma.

For CPT code 90839, the provider should spend approximately 60 minutes but no less than a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 74 minutes face–to–face with the patient.

You can only report CPT 90839 once per day.

Use CPT 90840 for each additional 30 minutes.


CPT Professional 2022

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