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Common CPT Codes for Mental Health: Psychotherapy and Psychiatry

CPT Codes are an important standardized language created by the American Medical Association. According to AMA, CPT codes are

“the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes offer doctors and health care professionals a uniform language for coding medical services and procedures to streamline reporting, increase accuracy and efficiency.”

In this post, we will highlight the most commonly used CPT codes by mental health professionals: Both psychotherapy and psychiatric services.



What is a CPT Code?

CPT codes refer to the treatment being given. For mental health professionals, there are a number of CPT codes that correlate with the various service offerings psychologist, counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychiatrists offer their clients.

Importance of CPT Codes

CPT codes, or Current Procedural Terminology codes, are the codes used to describe clinical procedures and service offerings in health care. Another way to say this, CPT codes refer to what a healthcare provider did during their interaction with a patient or client. CPT codes are standard codes used by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies and were developed by the American Medical Association to act as standard procedural language that is universal for practitioners in the United States. Most practitioners use what’s referred to as Category 1 CPT Codes, often used for billing proposes.

For mental health professionals who accept insurance or provide superbill templates to their clients, working with CPT codes is an extremely important part of their private practice.

Need a Superbill Template? Download ours here.

CPT Codes Commonly Used in Mental Health

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the most commonly used CPT codes for mental health professionals:

CPT 90791

CPT 90791: A provider performs a psychiatric evaluation of a patient with the goal of making a diagnosis.

CPT 90792

CPT 90792: A provider performs a psychiatric evaluation of a patient with the goal of making a diagnosis. In addition, the provider also offers some additional medical services.

CPT 90832

CPT 90832: A provider performs psychotherapy, a series of techniques to treat psychiatric disorders in a client or patient. The treatment session typically lasts between 16 and 37 minutes in length.

CPT 90833

CPT 90833: A provider performs psychotherapy, a series of techniques to treat psychiatric disorders in a client or patient in addition to an evaluation and management service during the same session. The treatment session typically lasts between 16 and 37 minutes in length.

CPT 90834

CPT 90834: A provider performs psychotherapy, a series of techniques to treat psychiatric disorders in a client or patient. The treatment session typically lasts between 38 and 52 minutes in length.

CPT 90836

CPT 90836: A provider performs psychotherapy, a series of techniques to treat psychiatric disorders in a client or patient in addition to an evaluation and management service during the same session. The treatment session typically lasts between 38 and 52 minutes in length.

CPT 90837

CPT 90837: A provider performs psychotherapy, a series of techniques to treat psychiatric disorders in a client or patient. The treatment session typically lasts 53 minutes in length or longer.

CPT 90838

CPT 90838: A provider performs psychotherapy, a series of techniques to treat psychiatric disorders in a client or patient in addition to an evaluation and management service during the same session. The treatment session typically lasts 53 minutes or longer.

CPT 90839

CPT 90839: A provider performs psychotherapy for a client in a crisis situation that is life-threatening and needs immediate attention. This treatment session typically lasts between 30 and 74 minutes in length.

CPT 90840

CPT 90840: A provider, after performing an initial psychotherapy intervention for crisis (described above in CPT 90839), performs an additional 30 minutes of psychotherapy for a crisis situation requiring immediate attention for a life-threatening situation.

CPT 90845

CPT 90845: A provider uses an analytical technique to increase insights into a patient or client’s unconscious motivations and conflicts with the goal to effect a change in maladaptive actions.

CPT 90846

CPT 90846: A provider meets with the patient’s or client’s family without the patient/client present to advise the family on their psychological issues affecting them and their family.

CPT 90847

CPT 90847: A provider meets with a patient’s or client’s family with the patient/client present to advise the family on their psychological issues affecting them and their family. The provider provides psychotherapy to the patient/client and their family when an individual psychotherapy session is not enough. This is done to evaluate the treatment plan and the role the patient/client’s family plays in the treatment process.

CPT 90849

CPT 90849: The provider performs a psychotherapy session with a group of their patients’ families.

CPT 90853

CPT 90853: Group psychotherapy is provided to a group of people who normally do not know each other but might share the same or similar psychological issues. This group consists of patients/clients who are not members of the same family, and involves no more than 12 participants, lasting between 45 and 60 minutes.

CPT 90863

CPT 90863: The provider prescribes and reviews medications for pharmacological management after psychotherapy service is provided in the same session.

CPT 90865

CPT 90865: The provider prescribes a narcotic drug to induce a hypnotic state that will help treat a psychiatric diagnosis.

CPT 90867

CPT 90867: The provider performs transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, to improve symptoms of depression. This code can be used for initial treatment such as cortical mapping, motor threshold determination, delivery, and management.

CPT 90868

CPT 90868: The provider performs transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, to improve symptoms of depression. This code can be used for delivery and management after an initial treatment session.

CPT 90869

CPT 90869: The provider performs a subsequent redetermination of the minimum intensity of electrical pulses necessary to elicit the desired response in brain activity for a patient undergoing therapeutic transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. This service is performed to patients/clients to treat depression for those who do not respond to medications.

CPT 90870

CPT 90870: The provider uses an electric current to the patient/client’s brain for the purpose of producing seizures to alleviate symptoms of mental disorders.

CPT 90875

CPT 90875: The provider performs 30 minutes of psychophysiological therapy using biofeedback training along with psychotherapy to alter the behavior of the patient.

CPT 90876

CPT 90876: The provider performs 45 minutes of psychophysiological therapy using biofeedback training along with psychotherapy to alter the behavior of the patient.

CPT 90880

CPT 90880: The provider uses hypnotherapy to create a state of altered awareness in a patient / client that allows them access their subconscious mind.

CPT 90882

CPT 90882: The provider works with outside agencies, employers, or other healthcare providers regarding a patient’s / client’s physical environment to help manage their psychiatric medical care.

CPT 90885

CPT 90885: The provider reviews medical records of a patient / client related to psychiatric evaluation to help establish a diagnosis and plan of treatment.

CPT 90887

CPT 90887: The provider interprets or explains results of psychiatric exams, medical exams, other procedures, or information about a patient’s / client’s care to their family members or caretakers with the goal of advising how they can care for the patient / client.

CPT 90889

CPT 90889: The provider prepares a report on a patient’s / client’s mental state for other providers of care such as physicians, agencies, mental health professionals, and insurance carriers. This does not include report preparation related to legal or consultative services.



Final Thoughts on CPT Codes for Mental Health

Thank you for reading our blog on CPT Codes for Mental Health Professionals. We hope that this has been a valuable resource for you and your practice.

If you’re a mental health professional, you can Join our community and add your listing here. We also have tools and templates a private practice can use to streamline their practice. View all of our mental health forms, worksheet, and assessments here.

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Anthony Bart is a huge mental health advocate. He has primarily positioned his marketing expertise to work with mental health professionals so that they can help as many patients as possible. He is currently the owner of BartX, TherapistX, and TherapyByPro.

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