•;Outpatient and inpatient psychotherapy
codes will be replaced by a single set of
codes to be used for both settings.
•;The code numbers and descriptions for
psychoanalysis, family psychotherapy (with
and without the patient), multi-family group
psychotherapy and group psychotherapy
will not change in 2013.
There will be new “add-on” codes for specific
services that can be provided only in combination
with other diagnostic evaluation, psychotherapy
and group psychotherapy services. Add-on codes
identify an additional part of the treatment
above and beyond the principal service. Both the
principal service code and add-on code should be
listed on the billing form.
The codes for interactive psychotherapy are
being eliminated and replaced with an add-on
code to capture “interactive complexity.”
Interactive complexity, new add-on code 90785,
refers to factors that complicate the delivery of a
mental health procedure. Complicating factors
include, for example, difficult communication
with acrimonious family members and engagement of verbally undeveloped children. These
factors are typically found with patients who:
•;Have others legally responsible for their care,
such as minors or adults with guardians,
•;Request others such as family members or
interpreters to be involved during the visit, or
•;Require the involvement of third parties such
as schools or probation officers.
Code 90785 may be reported with codes for
diagnostic evaluation, psychotherapy and
group psychotherapy. At least one of several
circumstances identified in the CPT® manual
that complicate the delivery of care must
pertain in order for providers to bill the inter-
active complexity code as an add-on to the
principal mental health procedure.
Of particular interest to prescribing psychologists, a new add-on code 90863 will be used for
pharmacologic management, including prescription and review of medication, when performed
with psychotherapy services. A psychologist
providing a psychotherapy service with medication management would report the 90863
add-on code along with the applicable new
Prescribing health care professionals who provide
evaluation and management (E/M) services as
well as psychotherapy will also have the following
options, depending on the type of service
delivered: Report an E/M code along with a
psychotherapy add-on code if both E/M and
psychotherapy are provided, or simply report
an E/M code if only E/M is provided.
New crisis codes
There is a new principal code for a crisis psychotherapy session requiring urgent assessment
and history of the crisis state, mental status exam
and disposition. A new add-on code applies to
crisis psychotherapy sessions lasting longer
than 60 minutes.
In order for the new crisis codes to apply, the
presenting problem must typically be life
threatening or complex and require immediate
attention to a patient in high distress.
Code 90839 will be billed for the first 60 minutes
of psychotherapy for a patient in crisis, and
add-on code 90840 will be billed for each addi-
tional 30 minutes of psychotherapy for crisis.
For more information related to billing the crisis
and other codes, consult the 2013 CPT manual.
Copies of the manual can be ordered from the
American Medical Association online at
or by calling toll-free, 800-621-8335.