2013 Psychotherapy Codes: A Quick Guide for Psychologists From the APA Practice Organization
The American Psychological
Association Practice Organization (APAPO) has been
members about new CPT®
codes for psychotherapy
that take effect on January
1, 2013. This removable
publication provides an additional resource for your use
as a handy reference guide.
Stay up-to-date with the latest information on the
new codes by visiting our Practice Central website.
The “2013 Psychotherapy Codes for Psychologists”
section is found at
Also check for updates in our biweekly PracticeUpdate
e-newsletter for APAPO members.
Thanks to our APAPO members for their continuing
membership. You help others. We help you.
Katherine C. Nordal, PhD
Executive Director, APA Practice Organization
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) copyright 2011 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, all mental health professionals must use new CPT® code numbers for psychotherapy when billing
clients and filing health insurance claims with
third-party payers, including Medicare, Medicaid
and private health insurance carriers.
The coding changes in store for 2013 involve only
the psychotherapy family of codes – the codes
found in the Psychiatry section of the 2013 CPT
manual. There are no changes to other codes that
psychologists use, such as testing or health and
As of Jan. 1, 2013, many diagnostic and therapeutic
services will have new code numbers, and most
of the codes now used for these services will be
Yet the fundamental services underlying the codes
will not change. All mental health professionals
including psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses
and social workers delivering psychotherapy
services will use the same applicable codes for
psychotherapy, though psychiatry will change
how they bill for medical services.
Descriptions of the three new psychotherapy
codes in the 2013 CPT manual are associated with
specific times rather than the current time ranges
that apply to these services (noted below
• New Code 90832: Psychotherapy, 30 minutes
with patient and/or family member (not 20-
• New Code 90834: Psychotherapy, 45 minutes
with patient and/or family member (not 45-
• New Code 90837: Psychotherapy, 60 minutes
with patient and/or family member (not 75-
A couple of additional highlights related to
psychotherapy codes for 2013 include: