(2022) CPT Codes For Psychotherapy | Descriptions & Billing Guidelines
Psychotherapy sessions can be reported with CPT 90832, CPT 90833, CPT 90834, CPT 90836, CPT 90837, and CPT 90838. Below are the descriptions and billing guidelines for the psychotherapy CPT codes.
1. What Is CPT 90832?
CPT code 90832 may be reported if a provider performed psychotherapy to treat the psychiatric disorders of a patient. This treatment can last between 16 and 27 minutes.
CPT 90832 is officially described by the CPTs manual as follows: “Psychotherapy, 30 minutes with the patient.”
Psychotherapy is a type of talk therapy, and various techniques can be used to treat patients’ emotional and/or mental health. It is an interactive process between a patient and a provider. The aim is to explore behavior, feelings, and thoughts.
1.3 Billing Guidelines
Report CPT code 90832 if a psychotherapy session crosses 16 minutes (the halfway mark of 30 minutes).
You can bill this code if the provider provides a psychotherapy session with the patient that lasts a minimum of 16 minutes and a maximum of 37 minutes. The psychotherapy session needs to be done face to face without additional E/M services.
It is not allowed to report psychotherapy sessions that take less than 16 minutes.
2. What Is CPT 90833?
CPT code 90833 is an add-on code and can be used when an additional E/M service is provided during a psychotherapy session. This can take between 16 and 37 minutes.
CPT 90833 is an add-on code for psychotherapy sessions and officially described in CPTs manual as: “Psychotherapy, 30 minutes with the patient when performed with an evaluation and management service.”
This procedure is the same as described in CPT 90833. The face-to-face psychotherapy session can last between 16 and 37 minutes.
2.3 Billing Guidelines
Report CPT code 90833 separately as an add-on code to the primary E/M code. Since CPT 90833 is an add-on code, payers won’t reimburse this code if it is not reported with an appropriate primary E/M code.
Report this add-on code only with CPT 99202 until CPT 99255, CPT 99304 until CPT 99337, and CPT 99341 until CPT 99350.
3. What Is CPT 90834?
CPT code 90834 can be billed if a provider performed a psychotherapy session that takes between 38 and 52 minutes.
A provider performs face-to-face psychotherapy sessions with a patient to treat thoughts, feelings, or behavior. This can be done with various techniques.
The average time spent on a psychotherapy session, as defined by CPT 90834, is 45 minutes, but it can last between 38 minutes and 52 minutes.
You can find the complete billing guide for CPT code 90834 here.
3.3 Billing Guidelines
Report CPT 90834 if the psychotherapy session lasts around 45 minutes. This code will be denied if the time is less than 38 minutes or more than 52 minutes. Any additional E/M services need to be billed separately.
4. What Is CPT 90836?
This add-on code can be used if a provider provided a psychotherapy session that takes between 38 to 52 minutes and provided also an E/M service at the same time.
TIP: You can find the complete billing guide for CPT code 90836 here.
5. What Is CPT 90837?
CPT code 90837 is another psychotherapy code that can be billed for sessions that last 53 minutes or more.
On average, the provider performs a face-to-face psychotherapy session with a patient that lasts 60 minutes. But this code can be billed for sessions that take 53 minutes or longer.
You can find the complete billing guide for CPT code 90837 here.
5.3 Billing Guidelines
Report CPT 90837 only if the psychotherapy session is performed without additional E/M services. Do not report his code if the session lasts less than 53 minutes.
You can report psychotherapy sessions that are not performed with an E/M service that lasts 90 minutes or linger with CPT 99354, CPT 99355, CPT 99356, or CPT 99357.
6. What Is CPT 90838?
CPT 90838 is similar to CPT 90837. The difference is that a provider performs an additional E/M service during the psychotherapy session. The session can last 53 minutes or more.
This add-on code can be found in the CPTs manual as CPT 90838 and is officially described as: “Psychotherapy, 60 minutes with the patient when performed with an evaluation and management service.”
The provider sits down with a patient and provides a psychotherapy session that lasts at least 53 minutes. During this session, the provider performs an additional E/M service.
6.3 Billing Guidelines
Report this add-on code if the session lasts between 53 and 60 minutes. Make sure to bill the primary E/M service as well. Otherwise, payers won’t reimburse CPT 90838 because it is an add-on code.
You can report this add-on code with CPT 99202 until CPT 99255, CPT 99304 until CPT 99337, and CPT 99341 until CPT 99350.
If the psychotherapy session includes interactive complexity services, report CPT 90838 with CPT 90832, CPT 90833, CPT 90834, CPT 90836, CPT 90837, or CPT 90838.