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[2.0] What is a CPT?

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2018 11:27AM EST
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are used to describe services rendered to patients. If you are going to bill an insurance company for your services, you must describe those services by using a CPT code (or, in the case of some Medicaid patients, a special Medicaid code). CPT codes that describe the provision of mental health services start with the digit "9"; Medicaid codes usually (but not always) start with "H". All are five characters long.

Some commonly used CPT codes are preinstalled when you start using, but you are free to add others. Note that you may also enter "pseudo-codes" that are not official codes: the pseudo-codes "NoSho" (to describe a billed no-show or a late cancellation) and "NoChg" (to describe a no-charge cancelled session) are preinstalled. You may enter your own pseudo-codes, if you like, e.g. "Coach" to describe a coaching session that won't be reimbursed by insurance. Note that insurance claims are never generated for pseudo-codes.

Some of the most common CPT codes used in mental health settings are:
  • 90834 = Psychotherapy, 45 minutes with patient and/or family member
  • 90832 = Psychotherapy, 30 minutes with patient and/or family member
  • 90837 = Psychotherapy, 60 minutes with patient and/or family member
  • 90791 = Mental health diagnostic evaluation
  • 90847 = Family (or conjoint) psychotherapy with the patient present
  • 90846 = Family (or conjoint) psychotherapy without the patient present
  • 90853 = Group psychotherapy (other than of a multiple family group)
  • 90839 = Psychotherapy for crisis, first 60 minutes
  • 96101 = Psychological testing, interpretation and reporting by a psychologist (Per Hour)
  • 96102 = Psychological testing by a technician (Per Hour)
  • 96103 = Psychological testing by a computer, including interpretation and reporting (Per Hour)
  • 96150 = Health & Behavioral Assessment – Initial (per 15 minutes)
  • 96152 = Health & Behavior Intervention – Individual (per 15 minutes)

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) copyright © 2011 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. The CPT manual is available for purchase by calling (800) 621-8335

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