Prepare for new psychotherapy codes in January
Starting Jan. 1, all mental health providers must use new
CPT® code numbers for psychotherapy when billing
Medicare and all insurance carriers. The changes in store
for 2013 involve only the psychotherapy family of codes
— the codes found in the psychiatry section of the 2013
CPT manual. Other codes used by psychologists, such as
neuropsychological and psychological testing as well as
health and behavior codes, will not change.
The psychotherapy code changes resulted from the five-year-review process required of the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services (CMS). The national associations
representing psychology, psychiatry, social work and nursing
participated in a confidential and proprietary process
overseen by the American Medical Association (AMA) as an
integral part of the CMS review process.
Representatives of the mental health provider
associations took part in a year-long workgroup involved
in evaluating the definitions of existing codes related to
psychotherapy and recommending relative value units
(RVUs) that CMS will consider in determining Medicare
reimbursement rates for psychotherapy services beginning
in 2013. Along with the other associations involved in
the workgroup, the APA Practice Organization (APAPO)
conducted a member survey during the spring of 2012 as
part of the process of determining recommended RVUs for
the psychotherapy codes that take effect on Jan. 1.
Information about Medicare payment rates associated
with the new codes is expected to be released in November
when CMS publishes the final Medicare fee schedule for
APAPO has been providing members with information
and resources to help practitioners prepare for using
the new codes on Jan. 1. Visit the billing and coding
section of APAPO’s Practice Central website at www.
apapracticecentral.org/codes to access the online
compilation of resources.
And look for the December issue of Monitor for an
insert from APAPO with information about the 2013
Current Procedural Terminology® (CPT) copyright American
Medical Association. All rights reserved.
Spend a year working in the federal government
APA seeks applications for its Congressional
Fellowship and Executive Branch Science Fellowship
programs, which allow up to three psychologists to
spend a year in Washington, D.C., to gain firsthand
experience with federal policymaking and agency
research and funding.
Congressional fellows work as special legislative
assistants in congressional member or committee
offices and engage in a range of policymaking
activities. APA offers specialized Congressional
Fellowships for midcareer professionals, experts
in health and behavior issues, and developmental
psychologists and clinicians with experience working
with children. Executive Branch Science Fellows work
in a federal science agency and gain experience in
science policy and research coordination.
Both programs offer a yearlong stipend and funds
to support relocation, travel and the purchase of
health insurance. For more information, visit www.
apa.org/about/gr/fellows or call the Public Interest
Government Relations Office at (202) 336-5935 or the
Science Government Relations office at (202) 336-
5932. Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 11.